On May 11 at Mercedes Benz, the first graduating class for Collin County’s Leadership Arts Institute was celebrated in style. Launched by nonprofit Business Council for the Arts (BCA) in Collin and Denton Counties, the first Leadership Arts Institute (LAI) is aimed at developing the next generation of business leaders for the arts in North Texas. Plano Mayor Harry LaRosiliere spoke at the celebration, reminding us of the importance of arts in the community before a crowd of representatives from a wide variety of arts-focused groups.

The founding of LAI was made possible by a recent grant from the Carl B. and Florence E. King Foundation. With 27 years of experience in Dallas County and more than 1,000 graduates in the Leadership Arts network, the program provides training in leadership, nonprofit board practices and provides knowledge about issues affecting cultural organizations in North Texas. There is a wide variety of graduates in this inaugural LAI Class of 2016 in Collin and Denton Counties, such as business and academic professionals, arts leaders and local artists who live or work in Plano, Richardson, Frisco, McKinney, Denton and beyond.

Classes meet at various arts venues, such as Plano Children’s Theater and McKinney Performing Arts Center, as well as at businesses that include and support the arts, such as Hall Financial Group and Capital One. Classes are also slated to meet at the University of Texas at Dallas and the University of North Texas. BCA was founded in 1988 as an initiative of the Dallas Citizen’s Council by Raymond D. Nasher and other local business leaders to create business/arts partnerships leading to an enhanced quality of life and economic growth for the region. For 28 years, Business Council for the Arts has developed business leaders for nonprofit arts and cultural boards of directors, fostered employee engagement and creativity through the arts and guided strategic business support for the arts—all while measuring the economic impact of arts and culture in North Texas.

The team at Plano Profile has a long history of enthusiasm for supporting local artists and arts groups and we’re proud to see this vital part of our community blossoming in new and exciting ways. Read more about LAI here.

For more information about BCA, go to ntbca.org