Sacramento has a new lead for its public arts and film efforts, with the recent hiring of Megan Van Voorhis as the city's first culture and creative economy manager.
The city announced that it hired Van Voorhis on Tuesday afternoon. Her employment with the city is expected to start by mid-September.
Van Voorhis will oversee the city's Office of Arts and Culture, which offers grants for artists, arts organizations and creative businesses. Her responsibilities will also include the Sacramento Film Office, which launched in January to lure more film and media companies to the city, and to promote movie production as a potential source of tourism. Van Voorhis will also oversee the city's arts education, equity and arts programs for youth and its public art program.
“Megan's understanding of the arts and how creative ecosystems improve our city’s quality of life make her uniquely qualified for this position," said Assistant City Manager Michael Jasso, in a prepared statement. “With her experience and skills, I know that Megan will help our creative businesses to flourish and grow to strengthen Sacramento’s creative sector.”
Van Voorhis is currently the CEO of Arts Cleveland, a nonprofit in Ohio. During her 17-year career at Arts Cleveland, she launched several arts and culture initiatives, established a collaborative marketing database for major arts and cultural organizations and helped create a dedicated local public-sector revenue stream to support arts and culture, according to the city of Sacramento.
Van Voorhis holds a bachelor's of fine arts in dance from Ohio State University and a master's in business administration from Case Western Reserve University, where she received the Holmes Fellowship in Regional Economic Development.
“Megan will provide a great new perspective for the Sacramento arts and culture scene,” said city Convention & Cultural Services Director Jody Ulich, in a written statement. “Her extensive experience in developing and executing art, culture and creative economy programs with a focus on diversity, equity and inclusion will help further develop the cultural and creative life of our city.”
The creative economy manager arrives as Sacramento's arts organizations have been hit hard by the pandemic. Last month the city began taking applications for $7.5 million in relief grants for creative economy organizations, and other relief efforts from both the city and local nonprofits have been aimed at helping artists, theaters and musicians who are not able to work due to the cancellation of events.
“The Office of Arts & Culture plays a critical role in supporting, promoting and advancing the arts throughout Sacramento,” Van Voorhis said, in a written statement. “I look forward to working with staff and the creative community to further the arts and culture goals of the city.”
Article by Felicia Alvarez for Sacramento Business Journal