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Mayor Michael A. Nutter announces the appointment of Helen Haynes as Chief Cultural Officer

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Mayor Michael A. Nutter announced the appointment of Helen Haynes, the current Director of Cultural Affairs at Montgomery County Community College, as Chief Cultural Officer in the City’s Office of Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy (OACCE).

Beginning June 7, Haynes will oversee day-to-day operations of the OACCE (including all of the City’s arts programs,) coordinate with relevant City agencies to unify the City’s arts efforts, and serve as a liaison between the City’s cultural institutions. She will also be responsible for expanding arts education for young people and supporting the growth and development of the City’s arts, culture and creative economy sector by promoting public and private investments.

“Helen Haynes will be an excellent proponent for the arts in Philadelphia,” said Mayor Nutter. “She has had a significant impact in the arts community, particularly in the jazz and dance genres. Her experience and passion for arts and culture will bring a fresh perspective to our programs and initiatives. We are truly looking forward to having her on our team.

Along with her background in teaching, supporting and advocating for the arts, Haynes has thirty years of experience as an arts administrator, presenter, and visual artist. Additionally, she has worked in the direct delivery of technical assistance to arts organizations and individual artists to access local and national resources for institutional and project support.

“I’m honored to work with Mayor Nutter, my colleagues, and the citizens of Philadelphia and to be a resource for the arts and cultural sector,” Ms. Haynes said. “Besides its significant role as an economic engine for Philadelphia, the arts are the soul of our city, they are part of our identity.  Our quality of life is enriched by the arts in multiple ways through education, community building, conflict resolution, and increasing cultural understanding and appreciation of diversity. We want to insure that arts and culture remain a priority for the city and receive the help and support that they need.”

As Director of Cultural Affairs at Montgomery County Community College, Haynes was responsible for curating, marketing and fundraising. She also oversaw the Lively Arts Series, a presenting season of 20+ performances by regional, national, and international artists.  In addition, she managed the resident ensemble, Montgomery County Choral Society and Annual Writer’s Conference. Her global vision brought thoughtful, innovative programming to the college.

Haynes came to Philadelphia to direct the Coalition of African American and Latino Cultural Organizations. She has worked as a consultant for many organizations such as Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance, African American Museum in Philadelphia and Pew Center for Arts and Heritage.

For her ongoing dedication and continual support of the arts, the Philadelphia Clef Club of Jazz and Performing Arts Inc. named Haynes as one of its Distinguished Jazz Honorees during its second annual Clef Club Jazz Awards on Nov. 23.

About the Creative Economy: The creative sector includes the people and products that make up the for-profit and nonprofit arts-related creative industries such as visual and performing arts, graphic design, music, fashion, public relations, and architecture.

For more information about the OACCE visit: http://creativephl.org/

- Steven Weisz

Founder & Editor
While not a dancer himself, Weisz’s love for the arts and dance started as a child growing up in New York City. With parents, who were strong supporters of the arts and part of a community with an incredible array of notable artists in music, dance, theater and fine arts, Weisz’s access and affinity for the performing arts took root. Upon attending college in Philadelphia at the University of Pennsylvania in the mid 70’s, Weisz started performing as a puppeteer, magician, juggler and fire eater as a means of supplementing his income. This soon grew in to what became Rainbow Promotions Inc., one of the largest entertainment and special events producers in the region. It was here that he began to promote and book dance for major events throughout the city. Many of the dancers he worked with in the early days of his company are now major choreographers in Philadelphia. At the same time, Weisz’s interest in computers and the early developments of what is now known as the Internet, led him to also start another company, Delaware Valley On Line, which became one of the first regional ISPs. It was this combination of event production, internet development and event marketing that led him to examine the use of the internet as a means to promote the arts. Dance continued to be a major interest for Weisz and in 2005 he founded PhiladelphiaDANCE.org as a major online resource to promote dance in the city. It was soon after that the Dance Journal was also founded as a way to provide an outlet for writing on a range of topics that encompass the ever growing and emerging dance community in the region. Weisz continues to run both PhiladelphiaDANCE and The Dance Journal on purely a voluntary basis with no income derived from any of his projects. He is also the Artistic Director of Graffito Works, a unique platform for dancers and performing artists to create site-specific work and to make it readily accessible to the public.

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