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Our board

Founded in 1937, Community Art Center (CAC) is a neighborhood institution committed to our mission: to cultivate an engaged community of youth whose powerful artistic voices transform their lives, their neighborhoods, and their worlds. We believe in the power of young people. We believe in the power of artistic expression. We believe in taking care of ourselves and each other. We believe in creating positive change in our neighborhood & beyond.


CAC was founded by a group of parents and began in the basement of Newtowne Court, one of America’s oldest public housing developments, as a way to improve access to education, arts-rich experiences, and creative enrichment activities for children and youth in low-income situations. In 1980 CAC received its first state child care license allowing for expanded services and reach. In 1999 CAC moved into a former Polaroid Warehouse building across the street from Newtowne Court. Programs today include the School Aged Child Care Program for youth aged 5-12, that provides interdisciplinary art lessons alongside essential child care for families. Teen Public Art and Teen Media Programs, provide creative development and help prepare young people for post-secondary opportunities. The Teen Media Program operates Do It Your Damn Self!! the nation’s longest-running youth-led film festival for teens ages 13-19. Youth programs are offered in a family like environment with transportation, mental and emotional supports, and up to three full meals a day. “Port Arise” and community programs are open to all ages, ensuring that families in crisis have their basic needs met. Now in its 86th year, CAC is still a grass-roots organization that serves the most historically marginalized residents of the Port-neighborhood in Cambridge.


Community Art Center Board of Directors act as essential ambassadors, connecting the organization to opportunities in the community and beyond, that will help to build the Art Center’s adaptive capacity. The organization prioritizes having a Board with a diversity or talent, skills, and lived experience. Current Board Member expertise includes: cinematography and film production; business and finance; education; museum and anthropological research; architecture and real estate development; marketing and events; theatre; visual arts; activism and social justice movements; etc.

Position

Founded in 1937, Community Art Center (CAC) is a neighborhood institution committed to our mission: to cultivate an engaged community of youth whose powerful artistic voices transform their lives, their neighborhoods, and their worlds. We believe in the power of young people. We believe in the power of artistic expression. We believe in taking care of ourselves and each other. We believe in creating positive change in our neighborhood & beyond.


CAC was founded by a group of parents and began in the basement of Newtowne Court, one of America’s oldest public housing developments, as a way to improve access to education, arts-rich experiences, and creative enrichment activities for children and youth in low-income situations. In 1980 CAC received its first state child care license allowing for expanded services and reach. In 1999 CAC moved into a former Polaroid Warehouse building across the street from Newtowne Court. Programs today include the School Aged Child Care Program for youth aged 5-12, that provides interdisciplinary art lessons alongside essential child care for families. Teen Public Art and Teen Media Programs, provide creative development and help prepare young people for post-secondary opportunities. The Teen Media Program operates Do It Your Damn Self!! the nation’s longest-running youth-led film festival for teens ages 13-19. Youth programs are offered in a family like environment with transportation, mental and emotional supports, and up to three full meals a day. “Port Arise” and community programs are open to all ages, ensuring that families in crisis have their basic needs met. Now in its 86th year, CAC is still a grass-roots organization that serves the most historically marginalized residents of the Port-neighborhood in Cambridge.


Community Art Center Board of Directors act as essential ambassadors, connecting the organization to opportunities in the community and beyond, that will help to build the Art Center’s adaptive capacity. The organization prioritizes having a Board with a diversity or talent, skills, and lived experience. Current Board Member expertise includes: cinematography and film production; business and finance; education; museum and anthropological research; architecture and real estate development; marketing and events; theatre; visual arts; activism and social justice movements; etc.

Desired skills
*required
Finance, Fundraising, Legal, Marketing, Public Relations, Web Design
When Board of Directors Meetings are held bimonthly on the 4th Tuesday of the month. The meetings are held at 6pm and are 1.5 - 2hrs long. They have been held virtually via Zoom since 2020, with occasional in-person meetings if agreed upon by Board. On alternating months, Committees meet to discuss business.
Where Primarily via Zoom. If agreed upon by Board, in-person at Community Art Center [119 Windsor Street, Cambridge, MA 02139]
Commitment 1 to 3 hours/month
Donation We strive for 100% board giving, but have no strict guidelines around financial contributions.
Requirements

BOARD RESPONSIBILITIES:
The Board of Directors is empowered by the State of Massachusetts to govern the Community Art Center as a nonprofit public benefit corporation on behalf of the people of Massachusetts. In execution of this authority, the Board holds the following responsibilities, which are divided between those held by each individual member of the Board, and the shared responsibilities of the Board as a whole.


ATTEND FULL BOARD MEETINGS
a. Full Board Meetings are normally held on the fourth Tuesday, of every other month and include committee goal updates, program updates and financial review.


b. Commitment: Board Members commit to attending all six (6) full board meetings held between July 1 and June 30 each fiscal year. Inability to attend should be communicated to the President or Executive Director prior to the meeting. Board members who do not attend regularly will be engaged in a reassessment of their board membership by the Board President.


2. SERVE ON A BOARD COMMITTEE
a. Committee Meetings are held monthly either virtually, by conference call or in-person and are scheduled by committee chairs.


b. Commitment: Board Members commit to attending monthly committee meetings. Inability to attend should be communicated to the Committee Chair or Executive Director prior to the meeting. Board Members who don’t participate actively on at least one committee will be engaged in a reassessment of their board membership by the Board President.


c. Current committees include:
1. Finance Committee: Oversees development and changes of long and short term financial strategic plans as well as business plans for specific projects or programs; monitors organization’s fiscal matters.
2. Alumni and Archiving Committee: Collects and organizes documents, photographs, and recordings; maintains and makes available the archival collection, and performs historical research as requested. Works with archivists, including Cambridge Public Library to ensure adequate preservation and record-keeping. Advises on outreach to alumni; and works to compile and gather up-to-date information on alumni.
3. Nominating and Governance Committee: Responsible for recruiting the best-qualified candidates for the board of directors and the senior leadership
of the organization. Reviews and updates governance principles & practices, personnel policies and gives input on the design of structures to ensure adequate employee support (provides evaluation, orientation and training). This committee requires at least 3 members who are not officers of the board.
4. Fundraising/Development Committee: Conceives fundraising and development strategies as they relate to individual & corporate giving – including events, outreach and d rect appeals.
5. Executive Committee: Actively advocates for the board’s needs, making that body as effective as possible in leading the organization and creating positive community impact. Provides interim decision making as needed. Oversees Executive Director’s evaluation and support.
6. Ad Hoc Committees have included the following: Facilities Committee, Programming Committee, Events Committee, Strategic Planning Committee, Do It Your Damn Self!! National Youth Film Festival Advisory Committee


3. ASSIST WITH FUNDRAISING EFFORTS including:
a. Making an annual donation every fiscal year between July 1 and June 30 according to personal resources (no minimum required donation) in support of our goal of 100% board giving.


b. Friend-raising through championing the organization and connecting CAC to potential donors or supporters


c. Attending fundraising events including one monthly tour and our annual fundraiser


d. Participation in the solicitation of donations from individuals and building connections with corporations and foundations as appropriate


4. ENSURE THE EFFECTIVE FUTURE GOVERNANCE OF THE ORGANIZATION through:
a. Active participation in new board member engagement including nominations, outreach and recruitment as needed and appropriate


b. Serving as an officer or committee chair when needed and appropriate


5. SUPPORT THE OVERALL HEALTH OF THE ORGANIZATION through:
a. Maintaining familiarity with the issues, concerns and activities of the Community Art Center


b. Abiding by the Community Art Center’s policy of not speaking to the press, unless otherwise directed by the Board of Directors and/or the Executive Director


c. Attend and when possible bring a guest to at least two (2) programmatic events, performances, exhibits, festivals per fiscal year


d. Act as an advocate for the organization in the community and in professional environments and through constructively bringing input, questions and concerns about the organization to the Executive Committee in a timely manner


The following are the SHARED AUTHORITY and responsibilities of all Board Members:
1. Set policy for the organization
2. Hire, direct and evaluate the Executive Director
3. Monitor the fiscal health of the organization (see Attorney General’s guide and Top Ten board responsibilities) including monitoring expenditures and income through an annual budget
4. Execute strategic planning activities
5. Assure balance between the organization’s mission, and its resources available to fulfill that mission
6. Assure the organization’s compliance with all applicable local, state and federal laws

On-boarding

New Board meet with the Executive Director and Board Leadership, tour the Art Center, receive a Board Handbook, and watch several videos to familiarize themselves with the history of the organization.

Additional Info

https://www.instagram.com/caccambridge/

Our mission

To cultivate an engaged community of youth whose powerful artistic voices transform their lives, their neighborhoods, and their worlds.

Shared Values
We believe in the power of young people.
We believe in the power of artistic expression.
We believe in taking care of ourselves and each other.
We believe in creating positive change in our neighborhood & beyond.

Causes
Arts & Culture, Children, Poverty, Social Justice & Equality