On Thursday 4 October Arts & Business NI, hosted its ‘Director Connector’ business networking event in Belfast Exposed. Sponsored by Cunningham Coates, the event saw the alumni of A&B NI’s board matching programmes come together and share their experiences of volunteering on the board of an Arts organisation.
For over 30 years Arts & Business NI has helped business professionals become Non-Executive Directors on Arts charity boards. Through the Board Bank and Young Professionals on Arts Boards programmes individuals receive governance training and are matched with an arts organisation who are seeking their particular skills at non-executive level.
Tania Carlisle, Development Manager at Arts & Business NI said: “Our Board matching programmes provide our local professional arts organisations with quality, committed trustees who make a real difference to the strategic leadership of the company. They also give the business participant an opportunity to expand their network and experience while giving back to the community”.
A keen advocate for Board trusteeship, Ryan Cornett from sponsor Cunningham Coates, is a graduate of the A&B NI Young Professionals programme. He spoke about his ongoing Board membership role with The John Hewitt Society. He commented: “Whether your motivation is building your own career, helping to develop younger members of your firm or even just the warm fuzzy glow of giving something back to your local community, this will prove to be a fantastic move. On a personal level I would be quick to say that the fantastic people that I have encountered throughout the Arts sector have undoubtedly been the highlight of my involvement thus far.”
Other alumni from A&B NI’s board programmes participated in an engaging panel discussion, comparing and contrasting the different challenges and triumphs they have faced in their roles, as well as how they have benefitted personally and professionally from their experiences. Panel Members included: Katey Dixon, Forde Campbell Law (matched with Golden Thread Gallery), James Fair, Fusion Antibodies (matched with QSS), David Hill, Hill Business Growth Consultants (ex-Chair of the Crescent Arts centre), Anne Orr, Greenlight Consulting (matched with Dumbworld) and Rosie Timoney, Solicitor at Carson McDowell (matched with Bruiser Theatre Company).
Guests at the event in contemporary photography Gallery Belfast Exposed were also invited to attend Late Night Art. Held the first Thursday of every month, Late Night Art sees Belfast’s art galleries open their doors 6-9pm to welcome new faces into their exhibition spaces.
A&B NI are now accepting applications for the Board Bank programme which is a rolling programme for senior business professionals, and expressions of interest for the 2019 Young Professionals on Arts Boards programme.
Arts & Business is generously supported by The Arts Council of Northern Ireland.