Uncertainty. It hangs over so much of life these days. And yet, our work continues, our institutions continue, our relationships continue. Indeed, those relationships are what sustain us right now, even as the ongoing pandemic and its economic devastation get us down.

How do we build new relationships in these difficult times? Many of us have been trying some semblance of networking online. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. (Who knew I’d miss standing around a breakfast buffet and making small talk so much?)

At ABC, we are intentionally focusing our programs on fostering new connections. One of the best aspects of our Business on Board program is that by matching business leaders and arts organizations, we automatically create a new bond for both parties. Aside from the networking among participants that occurs throughout the program, each Business on Board participant gets to join a whole new community through their matched arts organization. Now more than ever, the business community can play an extraordinary role in shaping the direction of the arts and culture sector.

We also support relationship building through our program alumni networks, our advisory board, and the interchange between program faculty and participants. This week we share the story of how our advisory board member Charlie Kochka, Executive Vice President for Lending at Meridian Bank, has worked with two of our 35th Annual Award winners, World Cafe Live and Metropolitan Ballet, to support their business needs during the pandemic. Their experience also highlights how nonprofits are more successful if they have a real relationship with their bank.

Finally, our new series, Industry Intersections, launches December 3rd with a discussion about the connections between the health care industry and design. Our program, sponsored by Meyer Design, will highlight how good design strengthens human connection despite having to keep people physically distant. As part of the program, we’ll be testing out small breakout groups to help us and our attendees make new acquaintances.


Diana Lind
Executive Director
Arts + Business Council

Sponsored By

Meridian Bank logo