GREENSBORO — Wanted: a “chief creative economy officer.”
That title doesn’t sound like typical government-speak. But it’s a new job that the city aims to fill this year.
The successful applicant will lead the new Office of Arts and Cultural Affairs. The job carries a hiring range annual salary of $82,267 to $109,689, commensurate with experience.
He or she will become chief strategist for implementing the new cultural arts master plan, adopted by the City Council in December.
As of Friday morning, 40 people had applied, city communications specialist Sarah Healy said. The application deadline is June 16.
The city drew inspiration for the title from the District of Columbia, City Council member Nancy Hoffmann said. It, too, has a chief creative economy officer.
The position acknowledges the relationship between arts and economic development.
“This is a focused professional who is encouraged to be creative and look at opportunities, but not overlook the notion that arts and culture have a huge impact on our economy,” Assistant City Manager Chris Wilson said.
A national study released in 2017 found that, in Guilford County, the nonprofit arts and culture industry generates $162.2 million in annual economic activity through spending by organizations and their audiences.
That supports the equivalent of 5,963 full-time jobs and generates nearly $15.6 million in government revenue.
“There’s a significant economic development piece to arts and culture,” Hoffmann said. “Artists are business people and arts organizations are businesses.”
Hoffmann and Jacquie Gilliam led the volunteer community task force that prepared the master plan to sustain and grow the local arts scene.
The 10-year plan titled “Creative Greensboro” calls for city government to take a more active, focused role in supporting local arts and culture, in collaboration with other organizations.
Its first recommendation: Create a city Office of Arts and Culture, with a full-time director who reports to the office of the city manager. There, the city’s efforts related to arts and culture will be consolidated and focused.
The successful applicant will serve as a steward of city-owned arts facilities, advance the city’s cultural life, and develop policies on arts and culture with a new Cultural Affairs Commission.
Judging by the job description, the successful candidate will have plenty to do.
The new office will take on management of the City Arts function from the Parks and Recreation Department, and the Greensboro Cultural Center at 200 N. Davie St., Wilson said. Fifteen nonprofit arts organizations rent space in the cultural center for $1 a year.
The chief creative economy officer will lead the way in providing sustained support for arts and culture by enhancing and expanding resources, fostering cultural equity and arts participation for all, and creating a prosperous environment for artists and arts and culture organizations — many of which face financial challenges.
He or she also will:
- Oversee planning and implementation of art, performance, literature and cultural programs by building partnerships with other organizations, schools and private industry.
- Manage preservation, maintenance and enhancement of public art throughout the city.
- Lead the annual operation budget and grants program.
The city already provides an average of $500,000 annually in direct funding to arts groups through the Community Partners grants program.
The arts plan recommends that it be distributed instead through an annual grants program run by the new office.
To finance operations of the new office, the city will move about $600,000 to $700,000 from the Parks and Recreation budget, Wilson said.
Wilson said that he hopes that the new job will be filled by August or September.