Arts on Board

Arts on Board is the exciting new division of Trustees Unlimited which focuses exclusively on the arts and culture sector. We caught up with Sarah Davies who is leading the project to find out what it’s all about.
So, Sarah, welcome to Trustees Unlimited. Tell us why you’ve joined us. 
For the last decade I’ve been leading a thriving arts centre in Brighton. I’ve learned a lot and discovered first-hand how difficult it can be for a Chief Executive to attract and recruit brilliant trustees. A few years earlier I was running a successful programme which advocated for business leaders to join the boards of arts organisations. We nurtured a huge number of connections between culture and commerce and I’d always wanted to re-launch a similar scheme, because I knew it could make a big difference.
What’s different about Arts on Board?
I’ve always been aware of Trustees Unlimited and the amazing service it provides, but I was curious to understand why more arts organisations weren’t getting involved. Lots of them are charities – often quite big charities – so they need engaged and effective trustees to help them succeed, just like any charitable organisation. But, at the same time, there are some differences which make arts organisations distinctive, so that’s why I’m working with Trustees Unlimited on this specially tailored version of their model. And I’m proud to say our doors are now open; we are ready, willing and able to offer this new service directly to the cultural sector right across the UK.
Why are you so passionate about the arts?
Culture and creativity play an important role in the world. The arts allow us to reflect and comment on society, to better understand our own lives and those of others and to occupy a shared space in which we can debate issues, present alternative views and discover new ways of expressing our anxieties and ambitions. The arts can also play an important role in supporting local economies and talent, boosting health & wellbeing and engaging constructively with children and young people. This, in turn, strengthens communities, creates diverse employment opportunities in museums, libraries and arts organisations and improves the lives of people everywhere.
Tell us a bit more about how potential trustees can get involved.
You probably love visiting the theatre or spending a lazy afternoon in a museum or gallery. But have you ever wondered how these organisations are managed or how sustainable they are? How do they fund themselves? How do they stay relevant to their community? And how do they survive when times get tough? 
The UK arts sector has an incredibly wide range of theatres, galleries, museums, opera and dance companies, as well as socially active community arts groups. 
So, whether you want to get involved with a large, national theatrical institution or your local gallery or dance company, we can find you the right fit.
By volunteering to become a trustee via Arts on Board, you’ll have the opportunity to help shape their strategic direction, to understand their unique role in society and maximise the value of their contribution. You’ll also have the perfect opportunity to use your own skills in a unique environment, to widen your network and have some fun along the way. 
That sounds great – how can we find out more? 
I’ll be running a short ‘Introduction to the arts’ webinar on a quarterly basis, so sign up here. Alternatively drop me a line and we can meet to discuss what skills and experience you have and the kind of arts organisation you would be interested in. 
One final thing, could you tell us something about your career that we don’t already know?!
I used to be a marriage celebrant, helping loving couples to tie the knot. So, I guess Arts on Board is a neat follow up, enabling trustees and arts charities to find their perfect match.     

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Trustees Unlimited believes that diverse boards strengthen society. We will strive to remove the barriers that prevent people from applying to become trustees and help our clients to recruit and support people with a wide range of skills and lived experience.

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