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PACA Welcomes Jennifer Hutchins as Executive Director!

Two Organizations Join Forces to Invest in City’s Creative People and Businesses

Portland, Maine—The Creative Portland Corporation and the Portland Arts and Cultural Alliance (PACA) announce the appointment of Jennifer Hutchins as full-time executive director, serving both organizations as of December 1, 2010. The hire follows several years of planning by Portland businesses, cultural institutions, artists and city officials to invest in the development and promotion of the city’s creative economy.

“This announcement caps a very successful year for both organizations,” said Andy Graham, Creative Portland board president and owner of Portland Color. “By combining our resources, we want to promote and expand Portland’s creative community and attract talented, motivated people who want to live, work, and set up shop in this exciting, beautiful coastal city.”

Hutchins is currently the director of communications and external affairs for the USM Muskie School and is a co-author of the seminal study, “Maine’s Creative Economy: Measurement and Analysis,” conducted by the Muskie School for Governor John Baldacci’s inaugural Blaine House Summit on the Creative Economy in 2004. Previously, she has been marketing director of Portland Stage Company and an Artsave representative for People For the American Way in Washington D.C.

Since its start in 2008, Creative Portland—made up of representatives of Portland businesses, arts organizations, and independent artists—has raised private financial support from over 20 individuals, corporations, and foundations, won a “Bright Idea” award from Harvard’s Kennedy School for its Creative Economy Tax Increment Financing, and launched two websites — LiveWorkPortland.org and CreativePortland.me — designed to lure highly-skilled people and creative businesses to the city.

Now a subsidiary of Creative Portland, PACA organizes Portland’s nationally-recognized First Friday Art Walk and this year inaugurated summertime trolleys shuttling attendees to art spaces throughout the city. PACA has organized and supported many programs during its 25-year history, including Creative Conversations in collaboration with SPACE Gallery, and research initiatives with the Maine Arts Commission and Americans for the Arts.

“Hiring Jennifer really takes us to the next level,” said Alice Kornhauser, PACA board president and director of marketing and communications at the Portland Symphony Orchestra. “Volunteer support from artists, businesses, community members and organizations continues to be critically important, but a full-time executive director will allow us to focus our combined efforts in a whole new way.”

Creative Portland is a non-profit established by the City of Portland in 2008 to capitalize upon and grow Portland’s creative economy. More information is available at www.liveworkportland.com. In 1997, PACA was designated Portland’s local arts agency by City Council resolution. Its mission is to strengthen Portland by strengthening the arts. More information is available at www.portlandarts.org.

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