Mayor Nutter, declaring this morning that the city's economy needs arts and culture to grow nationally and internationally, restored an office closed by then-Mayor Street as more than 200 supporters roared their approval. Nutter appointed Gary Steuer, former vice president of Americans for the Arts, a New York-based non-profit, to be the city's Chief Cultural Office. Steuer, who will start work in October, will lead the new Office of Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy.
Nutter also re-established the city's Cultural Advisory Council and named Joe Kluger of the arts consulting firm WolfBrown to lead the council. Nutter asked members of the city's arts community interested in serving on the council to to submit their resumes to his administration.
Nutter joked that he pledged "early and often" while running for mayor that he would restore the office if elected. Street dissolved the city's Office of Arts and Culture in 2004 in a cost-cutting move. Nutter had hoped to recreate the arts and culture post on his first day on the job in January. It came six months later. "The community has been calling for this for some time," Nutter said. "I think in your heart of hearts you knew that I would fulfill the pledge that I made."