By Mike LaBella
---- — Creative Haverhill, the organization that brought the city a unique shopping experience with its Shops@90Wash for the past two holiday seasons, has merged with the Greater Haverhill Chamber of Commerce.
The goals of Creative Haverhill are to help create jobs, focusing on the city’s creative workforce and enhance cultural tourism to drive economic development.
The arts service organization, formerly based in City Hall, was launched in 2010 with money from the Adams Art Grant program, which provides resources to Massachusetts communities looking to leverage local assets to drive a creative economy.
The following year, Creative Haverhill Executive Director David Zoffoli worked with the Haverhill Cultural Council to introduce a downtown summer concert series called Make Some Noise, which will kick off its third year on July 11.
During the holiday season two years ago, Creative Haverhill opened its Shops@90Wash, a retail store next to The Tap restaurant that featured the work of local artists and artisans, along with workshops and activities. The shop was also open during the last holiday season.
With the merger between the two organizations, Zoffoli is now the newest member of the chamber team.
On April 1, Creative Haverhill, formerly located in City Hall, relocated to the chamber office at 80 Merrimack St. The blending of the organizations was devised by the chamber’s board, the city and others interested in a strategy to drive economic development in Haverhill, officials said.
”I’m working with the Chamber’s staff and board to provide a central resource for arts and culture in the city,” Zoffoli said in a newsletter, noting that Mayor James Fiorentini encouraged the merger.
Chamber President Sven Amirian said he is excited about the expanded cultural and economic capacity Zoffoli brings to the city as the chamber’s arts & culture coordinator.
”David brings years of experience and an impressive set of skills working with artists and cultural and educational institutions,” Amirian said. “I’m very happy to have him as part of our team.”
Zoffoli, a veteran in the arts and culture sector, will share his 30-plus year career as a theater director, producer, administrator and educator with the chamber. In 2004, Zoffoli introduced the city to the Massachusetts Cultural Council’s prestigious John and Abigail Adams Arts Grant program when the mayor appointed him to the all-volunteer Haverhill Cultural Council.