The Creative Portland Corporation and the Portland Arts and Cultural Alliance on Wednesday announced the appointment of Jennifer Hutchins as full-time executive director.

She will serve both organizations, effective Dec. 1.

Her hiring follows several years of planning by Portland businesses, cultural institutions, artists and city officials to invest in the development and promotion of the city’s creative economy.

“This announcement caps a very successful year for both organizations,” Andy Graham, Creative Portland board president and owner of Portland Color, said in a press release issued Wednesday. “combining our resources, we want to promote and expand Portland’s creative community and attract talented, motivated people who want to live, work, and set up shop in this exciting, beautiful coastal city.”

Hutchins is director of communications and external affairs for the USM Muskie School and is a co-author of the study “Maine’s Creative Economy: Measurement and Analysis,” conducted by the Muskie School for Gov. John Baldacci’s inaugural Blaine House Summit on the Creative Economy in 2004. Previously, she was marketing director of Portland Stage Company and an Artsave representative for People For the American Way in Washington, D.C.

Creative Portland, comprising representatives of Portland businesses, arts organizations and independent artists, has raised private financial support from more than 20 individuals, corporations and foundations and won a “Bright Idea” award from Harvard’s Kennedy School for its Creative Economy Tax Increment Financing. It has launched two websites: and, which are designed to lure highly skilled people and creative businesses to the city.

Now a subsidiary of Creative Portland, the arts alliance organizes Portland’s First Friday Art Walk, and this year inaugurated summer trolleys shuttling attendees to art spaces throughout the city. The arts alliance has organized and supported many programs during its 25-year history, including Creative Conversations in collaboration with SPACE Gallery, and research initiatives with the Maine Arts Commission and Americans for the Arts.

Creative Portland is a nonprofit established by the city of Portland in 2008 to capitalize on and grow Portland’s creative economy. More information is available at In 1997, the Portland Arts and Cultural Alliance was designated Portland’s local arts agency by City Council resolution. Its mission is to strengthen Portland by strengthening the arts. More information is available at