What is the role of a board in artistic planning and risk?

For most arts organisations the senior staff member with responsibility for artistic/curatorial matters is typically designated as the lead on the artistic/curatorial programme. The board’s role is to set out the financial and strategic parameters within which the artistic policy must operate. It is important that the board understands the thinking and rationale behind the artistic programme so that they can be knowledgeable advocates for the work.

Reputational risk is also a responsibility of the board and it is important that board members are alerted to any element of the programme that might cause controversy. A plan should be formed to deal with any criticism with a relevant member of the organisation acting as spokesperson. Board members should be encouraged not to speak to the press or other interested parties on an individual basis.

See this guidance produced by What Next? Meeting Ethical and Reputational Challenges

Read this conversation with the Rt Hon Lord Smith of Finsbury on artistic risk.

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