Columbia’s Chris Stevens announced he is resigning his position as the Office of Cultural Affairs Manager at the end of July.
Stevens said he and his family are relocating to the Denver area for better opportunities. Stevens said his wife Jennifer Perlow accepted a position at Nine dot Arts, an art consulting firm in Denver. His daughter Charlie will start school at the Denver School of the Arts this fall. He said, “Because of these great opportunities, we are going to pick up from Columbia and relocate to Denver.”
Stevens says the city is very supportive of his decision to resign. He said he hopes to help find his new replacement. Stevens said, “I’m hoping to be here to perhaps help someone step into this position and make a smooth transition.”
Assistant City Manager Carol Rhodes said during the short time Stevens has worked for the city he has accomplished many things, including “helping 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 strategic plan for the Office of Cultural Affairs and served as an exemplary cultural ambassador for the City of Columbia.”
Rhoads said, “He’s done a great job and we will miss his leadership in the arts community.” She said the city will begin searching for Stevens’ replacement soon. Rhodes said, “I will begin to form an advisory committee that will help with the selection process and hopefully we will have a seamless transition.”
Rhodes said Stevens provided generous notice for his resignation giving the city plenty of time to find a replacement. Stevens and his wife Jennifer Perlow own PS art Gallery in downtown Columbia. Stevens said they are not planning on closing the gallery.
Stevens said, “We are not saying the gallery is closing yet, because we are hopeful that someone will step forward and keep the momentum going that we have built over the last few years.” They hope to sell the business before moving.
Stevens said he plans on staying involved with the arts, even if it’s not on a city government level.