Arts & Business NI Launches Arts Board Volunteer Programme

Arts & Business NI has launched its Young Professionals on Arts Boards programme today, with a timely call-out for local professionals, aged 21-35, to consider joining the governing boards of NI arts organisations; this announcement comes as part of the Volunteer Week 2020 celebrations, running from 1-7 June across the UK. 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 programme from Arts & Business NI has run successfully for a number of years, placing professionals in the early stages of their career 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 A&BNI, commented: “The success of our Young Professionals programme hinges on A&BNI 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 programme offers significant personal development opportunities for individuals, as well as having positive business impact for those who enrol their staff to take part in the process. Neasa Quigley, Senior Partner at Carson McDowell commented: “Carson McDowell have 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 programme is 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.

Check out the Young Professionals Flyer 2020 for more infomation.

Further details on the Young Professionals on Arts Boards programme, including how to apply can be found at

Applications will close on 31st July. 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: