The Arts & Business Council of Greater Boston invests in the people and organizations that create the art we love. We do this through integrated and responsive programs and services designed to support and nurture the creative ecosystem.
Art is an integral part of diverse communities, a healthy economy, and a rich educational environment. For communities to thrive, the artists and arts organizations within them must be sustainable, viable, safe, and supported. We believe deeply in the value of a thriving creative sector and the importance of investing in the creative workforce that powers it. From legal services and human resources support to real estate programs and creative placemaking, our initiatives are aimed at maintaining and bolstering the vibrancy and diversity of the region.
We want to create an inclusive culture that embodies the values, policies, and practices that ensure that all people, including but not limited to those who have been historically underrepresented based on race/ethnicity, indigenous heritage, age, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, socioeconomic status, geography, or religion, experience equal access to the Arts & Business Council’s programs, resources, and opportunities.
Our Creative Campus initiative serves as a cultural community development corporation with the goal of preserving and developing vibrant and sustainable cultural and maker spaces. A&BC’s objective is to develop and own a network of Creative Campuses throughout Massachusetts that leverage the accumulated resources, human capital, equity, and development infrastructure toward the development of future projects.
Volunteers Lawyers for the Arts of Massachusetts (VLA) has provided more than 20 years of legal counsel, clinics, and services to artists and organizations. The VLA merged with the A&BC in 2008. We receive hundreds of calls each year from artists and arts administrators seeking help with contracts, negotiation, copyright concerns, and even human resource matters. What we learn about the real and pressing needs of this population has also served to inform our professional development programming at every step.
The Arts & Business Council’s professional development and capacity building programs are designed to provide essential training, practical frameworks, and direct coaching to artists, creative entrepreneurs, arts administrators, and executives interested in nonprofit board service. Our current workshop offerings are steeped in a long history of successful programs, including our Artist Professional Toolbox program, launched in 2005. Our Walter Feldman Fellowship for Emerging Artists supports the emerging careers of young artists. Two artists are selected each year through a competitive jury process. The Creative Entrepreneur Fellowship supports a cohort of 8-10 solopreneurs through personalized goal setting, one-on-one coaching and skills-training seminars.
Over the years, we have learned that while stand-alone workshops are valuable, artists and creative entrepreneurs often need an arc of support, one-on-one coaching, and the time necessary to implement and iterate their learnings. This is why the majority of our trainings are now embedded within our fellowship programs or offered through partnerships with organizations and foundations as part of larger initiatives and that include ongoing support such as direct services and coaching.
Our mainstay volunteerism program trains and facilitates the placement of business and legal professionals on nonprofit boards throughout Greater Boston. To date we have trained more than 1,000 and directly placed over 300 executives through our Business on Board program, many of whom have gone on to serve on a number of boards and provide millions of dollars in support and professional services, expansive networks, and company resources to their organization partners.
Meet the staff, consultants, and partners who make this work possible.
Our partners at Massachusetts Growth Capital Corporation have two new grant programs available to help small businesses continue to recover from the pandemic. While not all of the artists and arts organizations we work with…