Arts & Business Council of Chicago

The Arts & Business Council of Chicago’s mission is to develop leadership, the business of arts, and the art of business in Chicago.


A&BC’s mission is to develop leadership, the business of arts, and the art of business in Chicago.

We believe our work is vital to sustaining Chicago’s creative AND corporate sectors. We believe the arts can bridge divides, open dialogues, and create understanding—all three tools essential in working toward diversity, access, equity, and inclusion.

A&BC can meet this challenge by continuing its decades-long work of building working relationships between not-for-profit arts organizations and highly qualified business professionals who serve as volunteers; by providing training in all aspects of management and board function; and by conducting research in leading and emerging issues related to the world of arts nonprofits. 

Program synopsis

Through its flagship programs, each year, A&BC serves more than 100 not for profit art organizations representing an estimated 3,600 artists and 260,000 patrons, as well as working with more than 140 business professionals as both short- and long-term volunteers. Flagship programs are: the smARTscope© assessment tool; Business Volunteers for the Arts (BVA) skilled-based volunteering; On BOARD governance training and board-service matching; Breakfast Club peer-to-peer learning; and Learning Labs, an educational series on arts management topics and best practices. 

The goals of Arts & Business Council of Chicago are:

  • To enhance the organizational capacity of nonprofit arts and cultural organizations through A&BC’s Continuum of Care and programs including management consulting, educational labs, and governance training and board member matching;
  • To train, match and support business volunteers in their partnership with arts organizations’ specifically on skills-based consulting projects and governance essentials;
  • To create, adapt, and promote systems that create a more equitable, diverse, and inclusive arts and culture sector, and to commit to an anti-racist agenda, both internally and through all programs.

Services Provided

Business Planning

  • Business Plan Consulting
  • Forming a Business

Financial Resources and Assistance

  • Grant Funding
  • Insurance Requirements

Management Issues

  • Insurance Requirements
  • Leadership/Professional Development


  • Formal Mentoring Programs
  • One-on-One Counseling
  • Peer Mentoring

Nonprofit and Social Enterprise

  • Accounting
  • Board Development
  • Human Resources
  • Strategic Planning

Starting a Business

  • Forming a Business

Business Planning

  • Business Succession Planning
  • Demographic and Census Data
  • Market Plan Development
  • Market Research

Buying or Selling a Business

  • Valuation

Financial Resources and Assistance

  • Budget, Financial Statement and Cash Flow Training

Human Resources, Workforce and Talent

  • Policies and Templates

Legal Services

  • Employee Relations

Libraries and Research

  • Demographic/Census Data

Management Issues

  • Human Resources

Marketing and Sales

  • Competitive Analysis
  • Demographics/Census Data

Networking and Associations

  • Industry Specific


  • Bookkeeping/Accounting Software Training
  • Budget, Cash Flow and Financial Statements Training

Marketing and Sales

  • Market Plan Development and Training
  • Market Research
Primary Contact
Kristin Larsen
1 W. Monroe
Chicago, IL 60603
(312) 372-1876 Ext: 101