ArtsWave seeks applicants for board training, placement to arts boards

Boardway Bound, ArtsWave’s signature nonprofit arts board leadership and development program, returns this fall with in-person classes and expanded networking opportunities. 

The acclaimed program, which includes board placement as a key component, has been in place since 2004, matching over 400 individuals from local companies with dozens of arts organizations that make up the Cincinnati region.

“With refreshed content and sessions that will include more interaction with arts leaders and Boardway Bound alumni, the program is becoming an even stronger resource for its participants,” said Thompson Hine Cincinnati office partner Shane Starkey.

Thompson Hine’s Shane Starkey

ArtsWave began in the late 1920s when Cincinnati’s Taft family provided an initial investment, and it evolved to become the first united arts fund in the nation and then in the mid-1970s the first organization nationally to initate a workplace giving program for the arts.

ArtsWave continues to innovate while leading, as illustrated by its No. 1 rank nationally in community arts fundraising; coordination of a sector-wide strategy; piloting of new technologies to maximize arts engagement; and development of resources for the arts. ArtsWave supports 100 arts organizations, school outreach programs, festivals, community centers, neighborhoods and various collaborations through impact-based grants. Its 2022 campaign goal is $11.5 million.

Boardway Bound attracts professionals who are passionate about making a difference in the region. The program provides all the tools necessary to become a successful arts board volunteer, while offering a unique peer learning environment across companies, and the chance to interact with Greater Cincinnati’s arts professionals.

For ArtsWave, the program is an important strategy in advancing an overall objective to increase the diversity of board leadership across the entire arts landscape. 

Comprised of six, two-hour sessions from October 20 to December 1, Boardway Bound will be held in person at ArtsWave after a year of virtual learning sessions that were needed due to the pandemic.

This year will include networking opportunities with leaders of arts organizations before every session.

The program includes classroom interaction with videos, case studies and panel discussions. Information on best practices, industry trends and the Cincinnati region’s arts scene is shared over the course of the program. Topics range from advocacy, fundraising and marketing to understanding arts budgets and nonprofit governance. In the final session, candidates meet with arts groups in a speed-dating approach.

The program culminates with a matched relationship that the newly trained board candidate and arts organization define together, leading in many cases to a subsequent invitation to join in a board role. 

In addition to the extensive networking with the arts sector, Boardway Bound has been designed to include networking opportunities with alumni from the program.

Networking activities are sponsored by the law firm Thompson Hine LLP.

The program also provides insight into the role the arts play in the region’s economic impact, along with an understanding of governance and the growth of influential leadership skills.

“Feedback from past participants confirms that Boardway Bound is highly effective in giving business professionals valuable new connections in the community,” said Alecia Kintner, ArtsWave president and CEO.

The program has served as a welcome strategy for employee development for major employers, such as P&G, Thompson Hine LLP, PNC, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital & Medical Center, Ohio National Financial Services, Fifth Third Bank, Champlin Architecture, EY, GE Aviation, Kroger and The Christ Hospital Health Network.

An informational session for prospective applicants and employers will be held livestream on May 25 at 12-1 p.m. Interested participants are encouraged to sign up here.

Boardway Bound applications are due June 15. Applicants from all backgrounds and career stages are welcome. ArtsWave encourages diverse candidates at all career levels, with the goal of ensuring that the programs and practices of the region’s arts and cultural organizations are reflective of our entire community. 

Visit for more information or to apply. 

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