Private Sector Network Call: Making the Case for Business Support of the Arts and Cultural Districts

Recorded On: 12/06/2018


 December 2018 Private Sector Network Call

The Private Sector Network is open to all Americans for the Arts Members who are interested in programming related to the intersection of arts and business. Network calls serve as a way for members to connect regularly, learn about initiatives that engage the private sector and learn from colleagues.

Learning Objectives: 

  • Learn about making the case to the private sector in support of cultural districts and the creative economy
  • Hear about examples of this work in rural areas

Bill Marino

Executive Director, Lakewood-West Colfax Business Improvement District

Bill has served the Denver community for over 20 years as a successful business owner, two-time Lakewood Colorado Planning Commissioner, volunteer, and activist. In those 20+ years, he chaired numerous task forces on economic development, community planning and land use. In 2011, the West Colfax Business Improvement District was created via petition and subsequent special election. Bill was appointed as its CEO and Executive Director with the goal of turning the West Colfax Corridor into one of the best places to live and work in the Denver Metro area. Bill agreed to accept this responsibility, but many believed that this transformative project was impossible. Bill started as an English teacher, who would become an entrepreneur who built a broad career in the publishing, development, technology and professional service sectors. Bill has received the 2015 Colorado Business Committee for the Arts Leadership Award. The 40 West Arts District was awarded the Inspire Award in 2016 by the Urban Land Institute. In 2018, Bill received the Steve Burkholder Diamond Legacy Award from the West Chamber of Commerce.

Margaret Hunt

Director, Colorado Creative Industries

Margaret is Director of Colorado Creative Industries (CCI) in the Governor’s Office of Economic Development. She was appointed in 2013 by Governor John Hickenlooper following a national search.  CCI advances creative economy strategies and administers a nationally recognized Creative District Program, the Space to Create initiative (affordable live/work spaces for creative sector workforce in rural communities), a Creative District Community Loan Fund, Art in Public Places and grants for career advancement for creative enterprises throughout Colorado.

Margaret brings experience in community and economic development from both the private, for-profit sector as well as state and local government.  She served as Director of Community & Economic Development for a large energy company and managed global business development.

She was appointed Director of Community & Economic Development for Salt Lake City in 2001 overseeing seven departments including planning, housing, business licensing, engineering, transportation, special events and the arts.  From 2005 to 2013, she served under Governors Jon M. Huntsman and Gary Herbert as the Executive Director of the Utah Arts Council and Division of Arts and Museums.  She also served as a loaned executive for the Salt Lake Olympic Organizing Committee.

Jessica Stern

Private Sector Initiatives Program Manager, Americans for the Arts

Jessica is the Private Sector Initiatives Program Manager with Americans for the Arts. Prior to this position, she acted as the Membership and Resources Manager for the Nonprofit Association of Oregon (NAO), providing oversight of NAO’s statewide membership program while curating and reinventing its online platform of nonprofit management best practice resources. Prior to NAO, Jessica spent nearly five years working with Portland’s local business committee for the arts, Business for Culture & the Arts (BCA), delivering programs that engaged employees from BCA’s 200+ business members, managing all marketing and communications strategies, and retaining and cultivating corporate and community partnerships. Jessica has also served in development roles at Metropolitan Youth Symphony and Literary Arts; and has freelanced as an independent web designer and developer.


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