Ulster Business

Arts & Business NI launches arts board volunteer programmes for business professionals

At the beginning of June, Arts & Business NI launched its ‘Young Professionals on Arts Boards’ and ‘Board Bank’ programmes with a timely call-out for local professionals at all stages of their careers to consider joining the governing boards of NI arts organisations

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Alumni from the Young Professionals and Board Bank programmes, including Mark Eaglesham, commercial manager, Belfast City Airport & Outburst Queer Arts Festival, Rosie Timoney, associate solictor (corporate), Carson McDowell & Bruiser Theatre Company, facilitator of Young Professionals on Arts Boards training and Jim McKeever, retired chief executive and QSS Artist Studios board member

Alumni from the Young Professionals and Board Bank programmes, including Mark Eaglesham, commercial manager, Belfast City Airport & Outburst Queer Arts Festival, Rosie Timoney, associate solictor (corporate), Carson McDowell & Bruiser Theatre Company, facilitator of Young Professionals on Arts Boards training and Jim McKeever, retired chief executive and QSS Artist Studios board member

Alumni from the Young Professionals and Board Bank programmes, including Mark Eaglesham, commercial manager, Belfast City Airport & Outburst Queer Arts Festival, Rosie Timoney, associate solictor (corporate), Carson McDowell & Bruiser Theatre Company, facilitator of Young Professionals on Arts Boards training and Jim McKeever, retired chief executive and QSS Artist Studios board member

The effects of Covid-19 have impacted all industries, and Northern Ireland’s arts and culture sector has been no exception. As recovery plans are implemented across the province, there has never been a more meaningful time to consider joining the board of one of our local arts organisations, to help navigate the new normal we are all entering into.

The ‘Young Professionals’ and ‘Board Bank’ programmes from Arts & Business NI have run successfully for a number of years, placing professionals in both the early and later stages of their careers on the boards of organisations which match their personal creative passions: these have included theatre, music and performance to name just a few.

Maeve McKervey, head of business at Arts & Business NI, said: “The success of these programmes hinges on Arts & Business NI discovering the business proficiencies these professionals have to offer and facilitating opportunities to put these skills to work in a governance position, within a sector that they love.

Our professional candidates come from a wide range of backgrounds – from engineering to accountancy, marketing to law. This programme offers them the chance to put their transferable skills to work in another sector; they have the chance to do something outside their day to day and make a significant contribution on the boards of organisations who need the precise commercial skills that they offer”.

The programmes don’t just offer significant personal development opportunities for individuals- they've also been proven to have positive impact for the businesses who enrol their staff to take part in the process too.

Neasa Quigley, senior partner at Carson McDowell, said: “Carson McDowell has seen first-hand the benefit of placing their young professionals on this programme. The programme offers a practical way for young professionals to develop their skills, build up their network and support the arts sector in Northern Ireland. We commend this year’s participants for getting involved and supporting the arts, a community and sector that Carson McDowell believes enriches our society as a whole.”

The programmes are accepting applications now, from professionals across all industries and at various skill levels, whether they be in full time employment, furloughed, or in the process of seeking new opportunities.

The process includes training (kindly provided pro bono by Carson McDowell), to equip participants to meaningfully contribute to the boards they join and ongoing support will be available at all times from Arts & Business NI.

Further details on the Young Professionals on Arts Boards programme, including how to apply can be found here. Applications will close on July 31.

Those at a more advanced stage in their careers, with a passion for the arts and a desire to sit on an arts board, should consider the Board Bank programme from Arts & Business NI. Details on that programme can be found here.