Perisphere Theater’s bylaws call for a volunteer board of directors with up to eleven members, including the artistic director. We are currently seeking six new members. With our emphasis on representing the underrepresented and our key values of antiracism and diversity, we’re especially interested in adding BIPOC members to the board. Email Kevin O’Connell at [email protected] for more information.
The board is responsible for the following:
- Ensuring that the company sticks to its stated mission, vision, and values.
- Contributing to the development of the company’s strategic plan.
- Keeping the company on solid financial footing through the budget development and approval process.
- Contributing money to the company and encouraging others to do the same.
- Setting the company’s overall policies and practices by writing and revising the bylaws.
- Recruiting and electing new board members when there are openings.
- If necessary, hiring and firing the company’s artistic director.
The board does not cast the plays, hire designers or other contractors, or select the plays the company will produce. The board’s only direct hire is the artistic/executive director. However, issues of budgeting; strategic planning; and living up to our mission, vision, and values; can affect these decisions. And the board has responsibility in all of those areas.
The board as a whole meets at least quarterly. Many meetings are all-virtual, and virtual participation in meetings is acceptable even if the meeting is otherwise in person. These meetings allow for discussion of the matters just described and voting on them when the time comes. Many issues will first need to be studied by one of our two committees or a subcommittee, which will then report its findings to the full board. All board members must serve on either the External Affairs Committee (EAC) or the Internal Affairs Committee (IAC). The board also has officers—president, vice president, treasurer, and secretary—elected by the whole board. The officers, the chairs of the EAC and IAC, and the company’s executive director serve as an Executive Committee.
What’s expected of each individual board member?
- Active involvement: Each director must attend at least 75% of the meetings, serve on at least one of the two standing committees (EAC and IAC), and attend at least 75% of the committee meetings.
- Financial contributions: We expect all board members to make a significant annual gift to the company. “Significant” is different for everyone; a good rule of thumb is that your donation to Perisphere should be among the three biggest charitable donations you make each year. There are three reasons we insist on this:
- We need the money.
- Grant-making entities want to see that we have a 100% contribution rate from our board.
- We need to know that Perisphere is a big deal to each member of the board. If we come in fourth or lower in the list of charities you support, you might not be a fully committed director.
- Encouraging others to donate: We know not everyone has the contacts or skill for this sort of thing. We’ll find a way for you to help in this effort.
- Attendance at events: Of course you’ll see our productions. There might also be galas, breakfasts, receptions, and other events.
- Sharing your expertise: We’re going to need your advice. If you’re an accountant, we may lean on you for tax issues. If you’re in marketing, we’ll want to hear your ideas. If you’ve served on other boards, we might want you on our governance committee. This doesn’t mean we get a full-time pro bono lawyer or fundraiser—if that’s what you are—but we’re also not expecting a bill every time we ask for an opinion or a favor.
- Being an ambassador for the company: Talk us up. Let people know about this avocation of yours and why it’s important to you.
What characteristics make you a good candidate for the Perisphere board of directors?
- You like theater, preferably a lot.
- You support the company’s mission and vision and share our values.
- You believe that theater, in and of itself, is a benefit to society.
- You’re open to the opinions of others and not afraid to express your own.
- You have the time to devote to this.
- You’re prompt in responding to emails and other communications.
- You’re a reasonable, respectful, and pleasant person.