Creative Institute of Central Arkansas announces new director

The Creative Institute of Central Arkansas is thrilled to announce the appointment of Nick Stevens as the organization’s new Executive Director. Stevens co-founded the Creative Institute alongside current Executive Director Jessica Crum. Crum will continue to support the organization as the chairperson of the board of directors.

Nick Stevens

Crum and the Board of Directors invite the public to join them in welcoming Stevens to his new role at a Welcome and Wine Reception from 5:30 to 7 p.m. on Thursday, July 13.

With a wealth of experience, Stevens has served as the Program Director and Crum’s trusted collaborator since October 2020. “Nick’s unwavering commitment to effecting change, fostering innovation, and collaborative education makes him an exceptional fit for the role,” Crum said. “As a co-founder, Nick played a pivotal role in establishing a groundbreaking career training pipeline for Arkansas’ creative industry. 

“He has acquired funding from organizations such as the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation and the Arkansas Community Foundation and cultivated valuable partnerships with the Winthrop Rockefeller Institute, EAST Initiative, and Arkansas Arts Council,” Crum said. Stevens’ efforts in developing the Creative Institute’s program curriculum involved collaborating with over 20 industry professionals. Additionally, he serves as an instructor and mentor to students and alumni.

A Central Arkansas native, Stevens has deep roots in the community. He graduated from Jacksonville High School and holds a BA in Economics from the University of Central Arkansas, as well as a Master of Public Service from the University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service. Prior to joining the Creative Institute, he made contributions at UA Little Rock Children International and the Arkansas Farm to School Network. Stevens is also actively involved in mentoring students through Chi Alpha at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, where his wife, Michelle, works as a minister. Together, they are proud parents to two children, Reese and Lucas. 

When asked about his new role, Stevens expressed his enthusiasm for the possibilities that lie ahead. “I am most excited about the expansion of our training programs to reach additional members of our community. Thanks to the generous support of our sponsors and supporters, we are able to offer both a one-year, tuition-free training program to high-talent, high-need individuals, as well as individual courses and certification programs to working professionals seeking new skills and growth opportunities. We are committed to equipping individuals with the industry knowledge,

leadership development, and communication skills they need to succeed in the Arkansas creative economy. I look forward to getting these offerings to the people who need them most.”

Crum, the founder, expressed her confidence in his ability to lead the organizationinto the future. “The Creative Institute’s future, our team, and our participants are in excellent hands with Nick. His vision and innovative approach will continue to foster long-term partnerships and programming that empower creative Arkansans to flourish.” For more information, visit