MAYOR BILL FOSTER SELECTS ARTS CONSULTANT
ST. PETERSBURG, FL (October 10, 2011) - St. Petersburg Mayor Bill Foster has announced the selection of John Collins to organize and lead the St. Petersburg Arts Alliance, a new arts and culture initiative.
The Arts Alliance will be charged with launching the St. Petersburg Endowment for the Arts, a dedicated funding stream created to supplement the city's existing arts grants budget allocation. The city has offered grant funds to not-for-profit arts and cultural organizations since 1987, but funding has decreased in recent years as city revenues decreased and the budget tightened. The arts alliance will be a place-maker for the arts in St. Petersburg, similar to a local arts agency. It will also be tasked with attracting new artists, arts organizations and signature arts events to the city.
Mr. Collins is currently President of Organizational Advancement Consulting, LLC where he provides leadership assistance that positions arts and education non-profit organizations for financial stability and growth, including fundraising campaign planning and execution, marketing communications and staff assessment.
He recently served as the chair of St. Petersburg's Arts Advisory Committee and produced the St. Petersburg Arts and Culture Economic Survey Report, including the Arts Shine Here banners that are now displayed throughout the City.
He has served as President and CEO for the Centre for the Arts in Boca Raton, Vice President for Institutional Advancement at Berklee College of Music and Managing Director of the Arena Theatre at Tufts University, where he was recruited from the theater to reorganize the alumni office in support of a fundraising campaign.
Additionally, Mr. Collins has held a variety of positions in arts management including Producing Director of Boston Mime Theater, Company Manager for the Cambridge Ensemble, and founding member of Boston's First Night and the Back Bay Beacon Hill Arts Council.
"I am excited to have Mr. Collins on board," said Mayor Bill Foster. "As one of the city's top economic drivers, we recognized the need to allocate more resources to the business of arts and culture. John, along with Elizabeth Brincklow, the city's Arts and International Relations manager, will be able to leverage our current accomplishments to bring even greater arts and cultural opportunities to our residents and visitors."
Council Member Leslie Curran, who initiated the arts funding discussion in 2010, is equally pleased with the selection. "John's background lends itself perfectly to this role. We look forward to working with him on this important initiative."
Mr. Collins added, "I look forward to working with the city, with Elizabeth, our arts institutions and business leaders to establish an arts alliance in support of our growth as an Arts and Culture destination and as a great place to live and work."
Brincklow added, "Collins has already begun his research. He has developed and is conducting a survey to determine what our arts organizations and businesses think are the most important priorities. I welcome his partnership and look forward to working with him."