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Mayor Thomas M. Menino today announced the creation of the Department of Arts and Cultural Development to combine the efforts of the Mayor's Office of Special Events, Tourism, and Film and Office of Cultural Affairs. Mayor Menino named Susan Hartnett, a respected and successful member of the arts community, to serve as director. Ms. Hartnett will report directly to Mayor Menino.

"Susan's proven talent in the arts and cultural community, along with an impressive record of leadership, will serve the Department of Arts and Cultural Development well," said Mayor Menino. "This new combined office is well positioned to create effective links between the arts, culture and tourism communities."

As the Boston Redevelopment Authority's director of Economic Development, Hartnett developed policy to create permanent space dedicated to artists and arts organizations. In a 10-year career heading the Boston Center for the Arts, Hartnett grew that agency's budget 140 percent. She was also credited with developing new revenue ventures for the center, including luring Hammersley's to the BCA. Hartnett also served 11 years with the Massachusetts Council on the Arts and Humanities.

Mayor Menino's announcement will meld the expertise of Hartnett's arts experience with the overwhelming economic potential the discipline creates throughout the region. Arts and tourism annually outpace the productivity of Boston's four professional sports teams in terms of economic windfall. By capturing that energy, the Department of Arts and Cultural Development will continue the vast improvements, such as revitalization of the Theater District.

In addition to the arts, the department will also oversee tourism, filmmaking and the Fund for Boston Neighborhoods.

City of Boston, Arts

Image courtesy of the Associated Press.

News story courtesy of the City of Boston Office of Cultural Affairs.

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