City Home > News

Arts Commission Welcomes New Director

by Katy Garavaglia
Thursday, January 25, 2018


Subject:         Traverse City Arts Commission Director

Contact:            Christie Minervini, Arts Commission Chair,
                        Nate Elkins,, 231-944-4114
                        Benjamin Marentette,, 231-922-4480                  

Issued:             January 24, 2018 

The Traverse City Arts Commission selected Nate Elkins, founder of Influence Design Forum, as its Director. On January 16, 2018, the City Commission authorized a one-year contract for services with Influence Design Forum after a selection process conducted by the Arts Commission.  

Since its inception in 2015, the Arts Commission has worked to expand the public understanding of visual art, support arts and culture in the community, and enhance the aesthetic quality of public places throughout Traverse City. In 2017, the Arts Commission debuted their first fully commissioned sculpture, Enspire, a memorial to Bryan Crough, former Executive Director of the Downtown Development Authority, as part of the revitalization of Lay Park in Downtown. 

In the interest of furthering their goals and making a bigger impact on the community, the Arts Commission identified a need for a Director. In his capacity, Mr. Elkins will progress the fund development efforts, lead the planning process for public events held by the Arts Commission, attract and launch traveling and temporary art installations and advise and develop proposals brought forward to the Arts Commission.

Arts Commission Chairwoman Christie Minervini, who led the selection process that ultimately chose Influence Design Forum and Mr. Elkins, is energized by what he brings to the table. “Nate has orchestrated multiple public space projects throughout Michigan, including many in Traverse City. The Commission has put a high value on his grant writing and public engagement experience, as well as his connections and familiarity with the key players in our community. I look forward to working with him as the Arts Commission takes its work to the next level.”

Director Nate Elkins is also excited about his new role, “Ingenuity and creativity take courage and I have the highest respect for those who were before me and made this position possible and have worked hard to bring public art to Traverse City. The Director position provides the Arts Commission with an opportunity to cultivate a strong public art collection, work towards sustainable programming, and provide leadership in communicating the Commission’s goals.”