Monday, August 18, 2008

LOCAL: Steuer Instated As Head Of Phila. Culture Office

(previously published here at

By: Heather J. Chin, The Bulletin

Philadelphia - Mayor Michael Nutter has installed Gary P. Steuer as the city's new cultural leader, who will head the newly reconstituted Office of Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy. Mr Nutter made the announcement Friday at a City Hall reception, where the 52-year-old was introduced to members of the city's diverse arts community.

Reopening the arts office fulfills one of Mr. Nutter's campaign pledges. The office, as well as the $165,000-a-year cabinet-level post, was eliminated by former Mayor Street for financial reasons and has been recreated in what Mr. Nutter says is an investment in urban revitalization.

"We will be a place where other cities come to figure out how we did it," Mr. Nutter said at the reception, packed with around 100 city arts leaders.

Mr. Steuer carries an extensive background in arts administration and communication, having served as president of the Arts and Business Council, and then as vice-president and executive director of the newly merged Arts and Business Council of Americans for the Arts. His wife, Sophie, is a fund-raiser at Jazz at Lincoln Center, but will leave her job in the coming months to move to Philadelphia.

Mr. Steuer's new responsibilities will include bringing more arts venues and opportunities into neighborhoods, attracting more visitors to the city and restoring full-time art and music instruction in public schools. He will be a member of Mr. Nutter's cabinet, and will work out of the mayor's office. Additional staff for the Office of Arts and Culture have not yet been named.

Mr. Steuer begins work on Oct. 1.

Heather J. Chin can be reached at

©The Evening Bulletin 2008

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