Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts (VLA)

Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts provides $1.5 million worth of pro bono legal services to the Commonwealth’s arts communities each year. Since its inception, the VLA has expanded its services to include legal services for artists and arts organizations as well as educational opportunities for artists, arts organizations and attorneys. The VLA accomplishes its mission through the work of a panel of nearly 400 attorneys who volunteer their time and services to provide legal counsel, education, and organizational support.  Learn more >>


We believe in the power of effective communication and alternative dispute resolution.  Disputes are costly in time, money and emotional investment and, especially with the creation of art, can be highly disruptive and damaging. Arbitration and mediation are proactive services that seek to mitigate conflict and improve communication between individuals and organizations.  Please contact us if you would like to explore affordable and expeditious mediation services.  Learn more >>

Teen Art Law

The Arts & Business Council’s Teen Art Law program, sponsored by the Brown Rudnick Center for the Public Interest, provides inner-city high school students with an understanding of copyright, trademark and patent law. Students are made aware of the intellectual property law and concepts that govern the digital age in which they live through fun and lively presentations by VLA faculty. While the arts classes and after school programs of the Boston Public Schools have served as the target population for the Teen Art Law program, we are happy to discuss bringing this program to new audiences. Learn more >>

Holiday Card Contest

The Arts & Business Council strongly believes that the arts play an integral part in secondary education and that every student has the potential to create powerful and original expressions. With this in mind, the VLA developed its Holiday Card Contest to support young artists in the Boston Public Schools and to provide an opportunity for educators to encourage students to explore their artistic sides. A part of the Teen Art Law program, this contest is generously supported by The Brown Rudnick Center for the Public Interest and The Brown Rudnick Charitable Foundation.  Learn more >>

Fiscal Sponsorship

The A&BC provides legal and tax-exempt status through our Fiscal Sponsorship Program to artists and arts groups engaged in activities related to our mission. For more information, please email Director of Services Megan Low: megan@artsandbusinesscouncil.org

Nonprofit Incorporation

For organizations interested in incorporating as a 501(c)3, the A&BC provides non-profit incorporation educational seminars, as well as direct assistance. Learn more >>

Pro Bono Patent Program

With the passage of the America Invents Act, the United States Patent Office is working with regional patent pro bono programs to assist financially under-resourced independent inventors and small businesses. The VLA has partnered with the USPTO and the Boston Patent Law Association to provide pro bono legal assistance to eligible inventors inMassachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont. Learn more >>

Business On Board (BOB)

Business on Board provides professional development training, resources, and consulting services for businesses and professionals. Whether you are looking to serve on a not for profit board or looking to use business skills in a volunteering capacity, our programs provide an opportunity to enhance leadership knowledge, creative thinking, group decision making and networking opportunities with people that share your interests.  Learn more >>

SpaceFinder Mass

SpaceFinder Mass is a free online platform that enables artists and creative spaces to connect with one another. Created by Fractured Atlas and established in numerous cities nationwide, the A&BC is bringing this service to our area with the support of StageSource, Boston Dance Alliance, and the Massachusetts Cultural Council. SpaceFinder Mass makes communication between creative spaces and potential renters more efficient, largely due to its advanced search function. This search component enables venues to promote their space based on technical specifications, pricing, availability, the type of events suitable for their space and more. Learn more >>


Essential Training for the Arts (ETA)

Essential Training for the Arts is a program providing professional development training for individual artists and the personnel of arts organizations in Massachusetts and the surrounding region.  Our seminars, workshops, and webinars, presented by a diverse range of thought leaders, share inspiring and instrumental ideas, methods, and tools to grow careers and organizations in the arts. Learn more >>

The Artist’s Professional Toolbox

Now in its sixth year, the Artist’s Professional Toolbox (APT) is one such program that provides tremendous resources for individual artists. This exciting, nine-month career development course empowers a select group of artists with the skills and confidence they need to master the business challenges of being an artist. The Arts & Business Council has brought this nationally-lauded curriculum to constituents outside of Massachusetts as well, helping artists learn and practice marketing, networking and business skills with the additional benefits of peer group interaction, mentorship, and feedback. Learn more >>

The Musician's Professional Toolbox

MPT empowers musicians of all genres with the entrepreneurial skills they need to master the business challenges of being an artist. This program takes career musicians through a series of engaging workshops that further their capacity to think and operate like creative entrepreneurs. Now in its third year, the Musician’s Professional Toolbox program includes seven innovative workshops, presented by outstanding instructors, each a renowned expert in their field. Musicians will leave the program with a business/marketing plan, improved materials, sharp insights into financial management and fundraising, tips and tools of the trade, the support of fellow musicians, and new industry contacts. Learn more >>

Investing in the Creative Workforce

Some of the most valuable assets within the arts are the employees of organizations like yours. We are invested in building a platform of support for the arts community. In collaboration with Ipswich Bay Advisors, this human resources program addresses the needs of cultural organizations and their employees by: increasing HR compliance through direct legal services and HR consulting; creating educational webinars and workshops for senior staff on HR best practice; increasing access to employment benefits, such as retirement, disability and life insurance, and employee assistance program; and providing education on, access to, and support for implementing and monitoring a business insurance program. Learn more >>

Corporate Art Partnerships

Our art lending program for businesses seeks to forge greater connections among business and arts communities by bringing extraordinary, original artwork by local artists into Boston’s workplaces. This program is an outgrowth of our eight-year commitment to the professional development of artists (Artist’s Professional Toolbox) and grounded in our philosophy of investing in artists. True to our mission, we share program revenue with the lending artists. The loan of artworks also provides opportunities for works to be purchased outright by our clients. Artwork is loaned for a one-year period from the date of placement. Learn more >>

Legacy Services for Artists

Legacy planning for artists entails more than just drawing up a will. While getting financial matters settled is important, an artist faces the unique challenge of ensuring their art and their message lives on as well. The A&BC has partnered with artists, their families, and attorneys representing artists of all media to think about legacy on deeper level. We also provide estate planning services through our Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts program. Learn more >>


Banner art by Aimee Empey