Schupbach Takes NEA Role
Jason Schupbach, the first state official in the country tasked with promoting the “creative economy,” will be leaving his position with the Massachusetts Office of Business Development effective May 5 to become director of design at the National Endowment for Arts in Washington, D.C., the NEA announced today. Schupbach’s role at the endowment will be to administer grants to the design sector and design initiatives such as the proposed $5 million “Our Town” project, which will explore the role of the arts in economic revitalization and community improvement. “Jason has set a national standard here in Massachusetts for connecting the various and diverse sectors of the creative economy to the public and academic agencies throughout the state,” Massachusetts Secretary of Housing and Economic Development Greg Bialecki said in a statement. “He has been a critical resource for innovation and collaboration for the Commonwealth, and I’m certain he will offer the same to the NEA.” Last fall Xconomy profiled Schupbach and his efforts to boost Massachusetts business sectors such as advertising, architecture, design, digital media, film, gaming, marketing, music, publishing, tourism, and the arts, which collectively employ more than 100,000 people in the Bay State. “This was a bit of an unexpected opportunity, and I’m very excited about the possibilities it holds,” Schupbach said in an e-mail.