Colorado Creative Industries (CCI), a division of the Office of Economic Development and International Trade (OEDIT), is pleased to announce that the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies (NASAA) has named Margaret Hunt, director of Colorado Creative Industries, the recipient of its 2022 Luminary Award for Transformative Executive Leadership. The award recognizes an executive director who has exhibited exemplary leadership and made a significant contribution to public support for the arts at the state, regional and national levels. Hunt has served as CCI director since 2013 under Govs. Jared Polis and John Hickenlooper.
“This award is very well deserved by Margaret and highlights her admirable leadership and passion for her work. Margaret and the Colorado Creative Industries office have provided transformative opportunities to the creative arts industry and economy in Colorado. Thank you, Margaret, for your dedication to the state and your excellent work,” said Gov. Polis
"NASAA is honored to recognize Margaret Hunt and her many accomplishments with the Luminary Award for Transformative Executive Leadership," said NASAA President and CEO Pam Breaux. "Throughout the West, Margaret changed public support for the arts with her strategic thinking, bold ideas and skill for implementing public policy. Her unique experience at the intersection of economic development and creative industries allowed her to develop innovative programs that transformed individuals, organizations, communities and entire states. Her visionary leadership extended to all parts of Colorado, the region and the nation and has made a long-lasting impact on the state arts agency field. I can think of none more deserving to receive this highest of distinctions for executive leadership in our field."
Prior to serving the arts at CCI, Hunt was previously director of the Utah Division of Arts & Museums beginning in 2005 under Govs. Jon Huntsman and Gary Herbert. She was executive director of community and economic development for Salt Lake City, where she oversaw housing, planning and zoning, business licensing, transportation, and the Salt Lake City Arts Council. She is rooted in community building and strategic planning from her days as manager of economic development for PacifiCorp Energy Company in a seven-state western region. She served as director of the International Microfinance Training Program for Naropa University and vice president of a fundraising consulting group leading capital campaigns for nonprofits.
Hunt has served as a trustee of NASAA and WESTAF (Western States Arts Federation) and has received leadership awards that include the Utah Governor's Leadership Award from Utah Small Cities, Inc., the Pathfinder award for mentoring women in business from the Salt Lake Area Chamber of Commerce, the Governor's Helping Hands Award for corporate volunteer programs in Utah schools, and United Way's Volunteer of the Year award.
“Through Colorado Creative Industries, Margaret has been a champion for the arts across the state, helping Colorado artists and communities build thriving and resilient creative industries. Her work has contributed to the development of a strong Colorado economy that works for everyone, and we are proud to congratulate her on this well-deserved award,” said Patrick Meyers, Executive Director of OEDIT.
“I'm delighted Margaret has been recognized by her national colleagues for the amazing work she's done to ensure the arts and creative sector in Colorado thrive. I'm proud of how she has positioned Colorado as a national leader in the creative industries, creative districts, arts relief during the pandemic, and community revitalization,” said Colorado Rep. Leslie Herod.
As a visual artist, Hunt has work hanging in the Salt Lake City International Airport and is a published author. She currently chairs Philanthropy Colorado's Arts & Culture Funders Group and is a member of the International Women's Forum of Colorado. She is a very proud mother and grandmother.
“It's been an honor and a privilege to serve the people of Colorado and Utah. Advancing arts, culture, creativity and community development has been extraordinarily fulfilling for me. I feel blessed and humbled to receive this award. None of this would have been possible without the dedication of the mighty teams of colleagues at Colorado Creative Industries and the Utah Division of Arts & Museums. I'm deeply grateful for their friendship and support,” said Hunt.
Hunt received the Luminary Award for Transformative Executive Leadership on September 24 during the NASAA Assembly 2022 in Kansas City, Missouri.