Contact: Carol Rhodes
Assistant City Manager
Assistant City Manager Carol Rhodes today announced that Office of Cultural Affairs (OCA) Manager Chris Stevens will resign his position, effective the end of July 2013. Stevens, along with his wife and daughter, are relocating to Denver.
"It has been an honor to work on behalf of the arts and the City of Columbia," Stevens said. "I have enjoyed working for City Manager Mike Matthes and Assistant City Manager Carol Rhodes. I will miss the support of my city colleagues and everyone who works throughout the community to broaden Columbia's cultural horizon."
Assistant City Manager Carol Rhodes played an active role in hiring Stevens in December 2011. Rhodes noted that Stevens' marketing experience and rich background in the arts made him a natural fit for the position.
"Chris has done a tremendous job nurturing the arts during his tenure. He helped establish the Community Arts Foundation, increased collaboration with the Convention and Visitors Bureau to strengthen the partnership between arts and tourism, led the creation of a strategic plan for the Office of Cultural of Affairs and served as an exemplary cultural ambassador for the City of Columbia" Rhodes said.
A graduate of the University of Missouri, Stevens holds a Bachelor of Arts in speech communications with a minor in art history. He has been involved in several arts organizations during his career and worked as a fine arts appraiser. He and his wife, Jennifer Perlow, opened PS:Gallery in 2006 and relocated the business to the North Village Arts District in 2011.
Stevens and his family will continue their work with the arts in Denver. Daughter Charlie was accepted to attend the Denver School of the Arts and Jennifer has taken a position with growing art consulting firm Nine dot Arts.
"We love Columbia and will miss it tremendously. We could not have made this transition without the support and the opportunities the Columbia community has provided us. We will always be champions for the arts in Columbia," Stevens said.
Stevens will also pursue a position in the arts.
Rhodes said a national search for Stevens' replacement will begin soon.
"I will ask an advisory committee to help with the process. Fortunately, Chris has given generous notice, so we have time to search for the perfect candidate," she said.