Monday March 27, 2017 from 2:00 PM to 4:30 PM CDT
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Metropolitan Regional Arts Council 
2324 University Avenue West
Suite 114
St. Paul, MN 55114

Driving Directions 


Bethany Whitehead 
Metropolitan Regional Arts Council 

The Proactive Board: Overcoming Inaction 

Boards are built to be reactive. At our very root, we have this notion that as board members our job is to listen and react. We wouldn’t be doing our fiduciary duty otherwise. Someone has to hold this organization accountable. Someone has to tell this staff that there might be a better way to do things. Hell, we only have 12-16 hours a year to be on this board and we have to be quick about it. Cut to chase…. Yet, somehow we are not giving our very best and getting the very best out of our staff, volunteers, and fellow board members. Instead of inspiring action, our own reactivity generates inaction.

This workshop is designed for board and staff leadership and, if possible, we encourage both to attend together.  During this two and half hour workshop we will focus on how you develop a culture of proactive engagement within your board, leading to greater collaboration and leadership. Here, you will learn how to:

  • Reframe board members’ role while simultaneously strengthening their governance responsibilities
  • Help your board members listen to and explore difficult issues, aligning their expertise to possible solutions 
  • Motivate board members to say yes to tasks and strengthen their ability to follow through
  • Create opportunities for board learning

Our approach to learning will include: case study review, small group discussion, and working together to discover how the habits and techniques you will learn can be applied to your unique situation.  

  This workshop is led by Carlo Cuesta, Managing Partner of Creation In Common. Carlo Cuesta founded Creation In Common with Dana Gillespie and Padraic Lillis in 2002. He serves as the firm’s lead consultant. In the early 1990s, Carlo Cuesta began his career as a theatrical stage director and arts administrator founding the Playwrights’ Project and serving as producer and general manager of Shakespeare In The Park in Dallas/Fort Worth Texas. In 1996, he was appointed executive director of the Playwrights’ Center, a national arts service organization based in Minneapolis. In addition to his work at Creation In Common, Carlo is an adjunct professor at University of Minnesota’s Arts and Cultural Leadership program. His articles on nonprofit strategy have been featured in the Nonprofit Quarterly. He holds a MBA from the University of St. Thomas and lives in Saint Paul with his wife Dana and daughter Isabella.