New manager selected for Columbia's Office of Cultural Affairs

Monday, August 5, 2013 | 4:26 p.m. CDT

COLUMBIA — JJ Musgrove has been selected to replace Chris Stevens as manager of the city’s Office of Cultural Affairs, effective Aug. 29.

Stevens resigned from the position after deciding to move to Colorado with his wife and daughter. He announced his departure in April.
Musgrove is originally from Butler, a small town of about 4,000 people, and visited Columbia often in high school for music competitions. He also participated in the Missouri Honors Choir and spent a summer working with the MU Department of Theatre in 1989.
“I really like the city,” Musgrove said about applying for the position. “My wife had just recently retired from being a college professor, and we were looking around for different opportunities. What we really wanted to do was move back to the Midwest.”
Musgrove said his most relevant experience for the job is his past work with nonprofit organizations, identifying where they needed help. He said many nonprofits struggle with fundraising, and he’s worked to help them learn how to start fundraising efforts. For example, he said he could identify the best donor management software to use and how to legally thank donors.
“I felt like I could add a lot of value to the position,” Musgrove said.
He said one of his goals working with nonprofits was to help them increase their own sustainability so that they could help themselves.
Musgrove said he is proud and honored to have been selected for the position of manager of the Office of Cultural Affairs.
“I am extremely impressed with the vibrant arts and culture scene that is already in existence in Columbia,” Musgrove said. “I think it’s one of the strongest I have ever seen, and I've been very impressed with the city’s commitment to maintain it.”
The Office of Cultural Affairs aims to support artists and cultural organizations in Columbia. As the manager, Musgrove will be paid a $75,500 salary.
Past projects led by the office include commissioning local artists to decorate the traffic signal boxes downtown and coordinating Poetry Out Loud for mid-Missouri. The office also sponsors performances by local art groups at Stephens Lake Park Amphitheater Concert Series events and funds education and presentation projects of local arts organizations.
Supervising editor is Zachary Matson.

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