Breaking News: Nutter announced head of Office of Arts and Culture

WHYY’s Elizabeth Fiedler did a story for this morning’s edition of… uh… Morning Edition about an impending announcement by the Nutter Administration on the new Arts and Culture Tsar.

Well, the announcement has been made and… ok, they’re not calling him a Tsar.  They go with a much less russified title – Chief Cultural Officer.  The lucky winner is: Gary Steuer, formerly Vice President of the New York based non-profit Americans for the Arts. He starts in October.

The entire press release can be found after the jump.

In Liz’s story, she talks to well known blogger and art critic Roberta Fallon, whose blog makes frequent appearances in this blog because, well, she knows a LOT about the region’s art scene.  (While I tend to be more of an expert of “culture”… as in pop culture… as in reality television and Judd Apatow movies.)

I absolutely love that Liz got one of the stars of the blogosphere for her story instead of one of the usual suspects in the institutional art world.

(Edited to Add) One more thought.  I love that the city has acknowledged the importance of the arts by providing some support for arts and culture with the establishment of this office.  However, I worry a little about the constant pounding by both the city and “institutional” arts advocates about the “economic benefits” of arts and culture.  If the arts – performing, visual, and otherwise – did not bring in any cash for the local economy, wouldn’t it still be important to show support for artists?

I suppose if the city has to justify the use of tax dollars to support art by calling it an “investment” with a monetary “return” then that’s what it has to do.  But it should be enough to say, “Hey!  Having great art in this city makes us all a little more well-rounded, smarter and just better citizens.”

It has been said time and again.  A great city has great art.

Friday, July 18, 2008

For Immediate Release


Philadelphia, July 18, 2008 – This afternoon Mayor Michael A. Nutter signed an Executive Order creating the Office of Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy.  Gary Steuer, formerly Vice President of the New York based non-profit Americans for the Arts, was appointed as Chief Cultural Officer.  Mr. Steuer will formally start with the Administration in October.

“After an exhaustive national search, I am tremendously pleased to have Gary Steuer join my Administration,” said Mayor Nutter.  “His experience both as an arts manager and as an arts advocate will give him a unique perspective on how to best grow the arts community – an important step to creating a healthier and more vibrant Philadelphia.”

The Office of Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy will be housed in the Mayor’s Office.  The office will be tasked with:

Improving access to the arts for both residents and visitors

Expanding arts education for young people

Overseeing all the City’s arts programs

Supporting the growth and development of the City’s arts, culture and creative economy sector, by promoting public and private investment in the creative economy sector

Coordinating with relevant City agencies to unify the City’s arts efforts

Serving as a liaison between the City’s many cultural institutions

“I am thrilled by the opportunity the Mayor has provided me to work with him, his team and the great arts and civic leaders of Philadelphia to serve this City,” said Gary Steuer. “With the growing recognition of the importance of the arts in workforce development, business attraction and retention, community revitalization, civic engagement, and tourism, it is more important than ever that cities integrate the arts into City programs and policies. Mayor Nutter understands this and I look forward to serving him and the people of Philadelphia.”

The Executive Order also re-established the Cultural Advisory Council which will serve to advise the Mayor and Administration officials on issues relating to arts and culture.  Mayor Nutter appointed Joe Kluger as head of the Council.  Mr. Kluger is currently an Associate Principal at the arts consulting firm WolfBrown.  He previously worked with the Philadelphia Orchestra and has served on other regional arts boards such as the Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau, the Arts and Business Council of Philadelphia, and the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance.

The Mayor asks members of the arts community interested in serving on the Council to submit their resume.

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2 Comments on “Breaking News: Nutter announced head of Office of Arts and Culture”

  1. Conspirama Says:

    Breaking News: Nutter announced head of Office of Arts and Culture…

    WHYY’s Elizabeth Fiedler did a story for this morning’s edition of… uh… Morning Edition about an impending announcement by the Nutter Administration on the new Arts and Culture Tsar. Well, the announcement has been made and… ok, ……

  2. Linda Says:

    Let’s support the saving of cultural landmarks in our urban cities.

    For Immediate Release: Jan 1, 2009
    Linda Troeller Chelsea Hotel 222 W 23rd St. NY NY 10011
    646 752 1528

    Chelsea Hotel Exhibition opens 2009 – Philadelphia and Amsterdam

    At the Chelsea Hotel generations of actors, artists, musicians. photographers and writers from around the world have come through and woven valuable bonds to each other, the place and New York City.
    Linda Troeller’s exhibition, “Chelsea Hotel” features 24 color photographs and a 120 page artist book with letters to the hotel celebrating its 125th anniversary.
    “ My images explore the fragility and elegance of sustaining atmosphere — a concept Malcolm Gladwell predicts will have ever more importance. He explains in his new book, Outliers, “…cultural legacies matter and they are powerful and persuasive and can persist long afterward…

    Linda Troeller’s ( ) earlier art projects focused on personal and social issues from health to sexuality. Aperture published her Pictures of the Year award winning images in “Healing Waters.” Her book, “Erotic Lives of Women, “by Scalo was reviewed as one of the most important books of the year in the NYTimes. She received the Woman of Achievement Award from Douglass College for her TB-AIDS DIARY ( that helped prevent discrimination with the stamping of HIV in passports. The Philadelphia Inquirer ran a photo-essay spread of these photo-collages in its Sunday Magazine. Her photographs are published around the world from Flair to Le Monde by the photo agencies, Grazia Neri, Italy and Agence Vu, Paris and are in major museum collections. She has a MFA from School of Art, MS from Newhouse School, Syracuse University and a BS from Reed School of Journalism, West Virginia University. She has lectured in NYC at School of Visual Arts, NYU, Parsons, Yale, Salzburg Art Academy and Ryerson University among others. She was a guest artist at University of the Arts in 1991. She has made the Chelsea Hotel her base for the past fifteen years.

    “Chelsea Hotel “ by Linda Troeller opens February 13– March 6, 2009 at Sol Mednick Gallery, University of the Arts, 211 South Broad Street, 15th Floor (Gallery hours: Mon – Fri 10am – 8pm, Sat 10am – 4pm, Sun 12-4pm)

    “Chelsea Hotel” by Linda Troeller opens Wednesday Sept 2, 2009 and the show runs through Sept. 27th at the Melkweg Galerie, Lijnbaansgracht 234a, Amsterdam. Melkweg is one of the most well known cultural centers within and outside the Netherlands, and is unique because of a program that unites five artistic disciplines under one roof: music, dance/theatre, film, photography and media art. Many artists from Europe have had a long relationship staying at the Chelsea Hotel including artists Christo and Jeanne Claude, France to Jan Cremer, Netherlands.
    – linda

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