In September, the Ohio Arts Council welcomed its newest staff member, Justin Nigro, as the agency’s executive assistant and leadership liaison. Justin brings a variety of skills to the OAC, including extensive experience in state government and a strong background in finance and budgeting–extremely useful qualities in meeting the needs of arts constituents.
His professional life has centered on public service. Justin began his career in the Ohio Senate as a Legislative Service Commission Fellow, later becoming a legislative aide to a Cleveland-area senator. He then joined the staff of the Ohio Treasurer’s Office, administering an award-winning small business assistance program, before serving the Ohio Attorney General as a legislative liaison. Justin returned to the Ohio Senate as the minority finance director in 2009, where he performed fiscal and policy analysis and advised elected officials on the state budget and economic matters.
In 2012, Justin and his wife, Brittany, moved to Chicago, where he worked on public pension issues while Brittany completed graduate school, before returning to Columbus this summer.
“I’m always excited about the day in front of me and feel fortunate to work in a supportive, friendly atmosphere,” Justin said about his new role at the OAC. “Our efforts to fund and support the great work done by artists and arts organizations throughout Ohio is both energizing and gratifying.”
Executive Director Donna Collins said, “It is an honor to welcome Justin to the Ohio Arts Council. He is bright, dedicated, and a delight to work alongside–no matter how complex the task at hand. The wealth and breadth of his knowledge will serve our state’s arts community and citizens well. Whether the project involves administration, budgeting, communications, or relationship-building, Justin has already demonstrated a deep passion for the arts in Ohio and a mastery of the issues arts leaders face.”
Originally from Ashtabula, Ohio, Justin earned a B.A. with honors and distinction in international relations and political science from Miami University in 2006. His lifelong interest in the arts began with writing and acting and has grown to include painting.
“Having creative outlets has always been an important part of my life and personal development,” Justin concluded, “so I’m thrilled to have an opportunity to help more Ohioans access, experience, and create art.”