What is JPN?

JPN is a membership organisation founded in 2013. Our mission is to encourage, promote and support the development of opportunities for organisers, audiences, and artists in the realm of jazz and related music throughout the UK and ROI.

What is a JPN board member responsible for?

By becoming a board member of JPN you also become one of its trustees – we are a CIO (a Charitable Incorporated Organisation). As a trustee, you’ll be legally responsible for overseeing that the organisation continues to fulfil its mission and that its finances and other protocols are in order and up to date. You’ll help agree and plan the aims and work of JPN, help approve and recruit memberships and liaise regularly with members. For the purposes of this document, trustees and board members are one and the same.

JPN’s work includes – but isn’t limited to – the following: project planning and delivery; advocacy; networking; communications to members, media and other organisations; research; membership development; education; mobility of artists, organisations and audiences; and the annual conference.

Is it paid or voluntary?

JPN is a membership organisation. Currently it has two part-time freelance staff, subsidised by an ACE project grant which will end in 2022. Occasionally, board members may also be appointed to carry out specific paid tasks, but they would be recruited in line with our constitution to ensure that no conflict of interests exists with their position as trustee. Trustees carry out their duties as trustees in a voluntary capacity. JPN will reimburse any reasonable travel expenses incurred in attending meetings. Rates of reimbursement apply depending on whether or not the trustee can reclaim expenses from their employers.

What will be expected of me?

You’ll be expected to attend 4 – 6 board meetings per year. These run for 4 hours during the working day, and are held on Zoom or rotated around UK cities. You’ll also be expected to attend and participate in the AGM/annual conference, and to engage in relevant project activities – subject to your time and expertise, and to monitor budgets and accounts. Normally, should a trustee be absent for more than two consecutive meetings, they would be asked to concede their place on the board, unless reasonable justification is provided. 

You will be required to provide certain personal details in order for us to register your trusteeship with Companies House – this information will be publicly available.

Most importantly, you are on the JPN board not to represent your organisation or your interests, but to serve the membership and act in the best interests of those throughout the UK and Irish jazz communities that have elected you to carry out JPN’s mission on their behalf.

Have I got the right characteristics?

Personal qualities of diplomacy, tact, enthusiasm and good humour will all come in useful, and if you are well-connected, respected, respectful of other opinions and motivated by change for the good, then you would make an excellent board member. Becoming a board member is a serious and important undertaking and requires commitment.

As well as attending Board Meetings, it is highly desirable that you are able to spend some time between meetings working on JPN activities and representing JPN at other events. However we recognise that Board Members usually have multiple other commitments, so we try to ensure there are no excessive demands on anybody’s time.

Who is on the board and how long do I stay on it?

Please see the JPN website for a current list of trustees. We want a diverse board and welcome nominations from all backgrounds and communities. Although there are no reserved spaces on the board, we are especially keen to recruit more female and young members and those from diverse cultural backgrounds. We are also keen to ensure that the board is geographically diverse and that all types of experience are present, from large funded organisations to the voluntary sector. JPN is also keen to expand its membership in areas of jazz other than promoting, and we would welcome Board Members who can contribute towards this objective.

There are up to nine board positions at any one time. Within the board, there are honorary positions of chair, vice-chair and treasurer – elected by the board annually, following the board’s ratification at the AGM, and there is a non-elected Company Secretary. Board members serve a term of three years, after which they must stand down but may stand for re-election for a maximum of two further consecutive terms. Board members are assigned as a lead for a particular speciality or area of work, relevant to their interest and experience, and will be expected to report on their assigned responsibilities where necessary.

What happens at board meetings?

Board meetings follow a strict timed agenda, distributed in advance, with papers for each item also submitted in advance. Meetings are minuted and the minutes distributed to trustees and stored on our online file storage system.

As well as ensuring that JPN is on target with its mission, and advising on the direction of current projects and activities, board meetings are also a chance to raise sector issues that may emerge from time to time.  

Discussions at board meetings are not to be shared outside of the board meeting unless this has been expressly agreed by the trustees. We foster an atmosphere of openness and respect during discussions and expect other trustees to honour confidentiality where requested.

I’m interested – how can I join?

Places will be available at this year’s AGM taking place online on the 19th November as part of the JPN Conference. If you are interested in joining the JPN board to help us further our ambitions for the sector, please provide your nomination with a secondary (who must be a JPN Member), a headshot and a short written statement summarising their experience and what they think they could bring to the board, and email it to membership@jazzpromotionnetwork.org.uk by the 3rd November.