On July 5, 2013, Daniel Forrest was appointed the Director of Art and Historic Preservation within the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development. In that role, Dan supervises the staff of the Connecticut Office of the Arts and the State Historic Preservation Office.
Dan will bring seasoned supervisory, team building and analytic skills to DECD’s art and historic preservation efforts. Dan previously served as Deputy State Historic Preservation Officer, and for the past eighteen months essentially ran the State Historic Preservation Office in the absence of a Director. He impressed me and others as he kept that office functioning at a high level of volume, quality and on-time performance. This was in large part due to Dan’s willingness to take on new responsibilities, leadership by example and his ability to motivate the dedicated SHPO staff to work hard and effectively under stress.
Dan has also worked closely with the Arts staff, including an intensive week-long LEAN kaizen event to improve the Arts Catlayze Placemaking grant process. That experience and his other work with the Arts staff, including assistance to regional arts organizations and new integrated historic preservation and arts initiatives, will enable him to help make the COA a stronger and more integral component of DECD’s mission to build vibrant sustainable communities in Connecticut.
Dan’s professional training as an archeologist has developed in him keen powers of observation and deep listening skills, including a respect for the sacredness of objects and sites to the people whose stories they embody. He knows that the best places are made of the shared vision of local residents. He believes in the power of integrating art and historic preservation to help realize local visions of place, and is excited by what history can learn from art, where as he puts it, community engagement is closer to the surface.