Creative Many Michigan today announced interim president and CEO Steve Wilson to lead a season of transition as the organization’s current president Jennifer Goulet steps away after 11 years of leadership. Wilson was appointed by Creative Many Michigan’s Board of Directors.
As the statewide organization advancing the creative industries for a strong and resilient Michigan, Creative Many is positioned for strategic impact in collaboration with a strong base of partners across the state. “At this time of transition, we are committed to working together to explore and evaluate the leadership needed to advance our mission,” said Ara Topouzian, chair of the Creative Many Board and president of the Troy Chamber of Commerce.
“Steve’s appointment will strengthen this organization – with insight and expertise that smartly complements the current leadership of the Board of Directors and staff working on the ground.”
Wilson joins the team at Creative Many with a deep knowledge of community and organizational development. During the past decade, he has led place-based family foundations in Michigan and is a recognized leader in philanthropic circles. He served as president of the Frey Foundation in Grand Rapids from 2012 through 2018 and as executive director of the Ruth Mott Foundation in his hometown of Flint from 2008 to 2012. His passion for the arts and his expertise in arts administration have been hallmarks of his career, establishing collaborative arts initiatives and investments in artists through his philanthropic work. Wilson also has led economic and community development organizations on both sides of the state with the Grand Rapids and Flint Convention and Visitors Bureaus.
“Creative Many Michigan is critical to the foundation of Michigan’s future as the creative industries are embedded in every sector across our economy and culture,” said Wilson. “I am proud to support the expertise of the Creative Many Board of Directors and staff in this time of transition. I have long been a champion of the strength of creative people and partnerships to empower Michigan communities.”
With years of experience, Creative Many has advanced the creative economy in Michigan through research, public policy, advocacy, professional practice development, funding and communications. Their Creative State Michigan research agenda put data to work in affirming the economic and civic contributions of the arts, culture and creative industries in Michigan. In their 10th year of providing professional practice opportunities to the Kresge Artist Fellows and Detroit’s broader creative community, the organization understands the exponential impact of supporting artists with the resources to strengthen their practice.
“Michigan’s creative industries are essential to any strategy to advance our economy and attract and retain talented people of all kinds to our state,” said Goulet. “It has been an honor to lead the organization through the innovation of our own evolution to Creative Many from ArtServe Michigan. I am confident in the commitment our Board and staff have made to consider this transition as a unique opportunity to be thoughtful and strategic in the work ahead to develop creative people, creative places and the creative economy for the strength of our state.”
Wilson will work closely with the Board leadership and staff during his tenure to evaluate the support and infrastructure needed for Michigan’s “creative many” to thrive.