Last weekend I was extremely fortunate to have been shortlisted as a finalist at the prestigious Arts & Business Cymru Awards for the Advisor of the Year category.
First of all, let me own up that this is post is a shameless effort to plug the organisation and encourage the next generation of professionals to take up voluntary roles within the arts.
The annual awards ceremony (held at the Millennium Centre in Cardiff Bay) provides a hybrid role of celebrating the strong links between private sector organisations and all forms of art, along with showcasing some of the best musical and creative talent on show throughout Wales. In fact, with musical heavyweights such as West End legend John Owen Jones and representatives from the consistently excellent Only Men Aloud (A belated happy birthday Tim!) performing live on the evening, one could argue that the entertainment was well worth the ticket price alone.
Getting on board with Powys Dance
Since relocating to Mid Wales back in the spring of 2015, I have been actively involved with the revamp of Powys Dance, a long established organisation that has recently been made independent of the County Council. Finding the project extremely exciting (if a little daunting), I was initially approached by A&B Cymru about the potential partnership. Let's just say I found it impossible to refuse. Powys Dance has started making waves in the local community in the past couple of years, hugely influenced by the relentless energy that the chief exec, Amanda has brought to the organisation. This has in turn been reinforced by a proactive and diverse board of trustees. Growing a creative dance studio in a rural area brings it's own unique challenges, however there is also an opportunity to become part of some hing very special.
It is early days, however our mission to get more people dancing is off to a great start. We are cautiously optimistic moving forward.
Powys Dance is the second arts organisation that I have been involved with through Arts & Business (I have been a trustee at Theatr Iolo since 2012) and one of the biggest challenges I have faced is to constantly avoid being stretched too thin. Managing the time commitments alongside launching and growing a rural business isn't always straight forward and there have been a number of occasions when I would have ideally liked to pump more time into my role. I would recommend that you take a look at your personal skillset to see how you can best support the organisation within the time you can commit. If you can get a good balance with this time, there is a huge amount that you can take away from your involvement.
Interested? I urge you to give it a go...
If you are interested in the arts and you (or your employer) can spare a few hours each month, I urge you to check out A&B Cymru to find out more, in particular check out the Board Bank project. In the 5 1/2 years I have been involved, i have been fortunate to have gained a huge amount of experience working in different environments and proactive boardrooms.
It has also been a great deal of fun!