NW MI Arts & Culture Network
Jennifer H. Goulet
Jennifer Goulet is Executive Director of WonderFool Productions, a nonprofit organization inviting and empowering communities to connect through the inclusive, illuminating, and transforming power of creativity, and best known for producing public art experiences–FestiFools, FoolMoon and ypsiGLOW—in Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti. She serves as Chair of the Ypsilanti City Arts Commission guiding the City in maximizing the power of its arts, culture and creative forces, and helping them to thrive.
Goulet also works as a consultant helping communities strategically position the arts and creative industries as community and economic forces for social good. She also lends guidance to nonprofit organizations helping them maximize their social impact missions through strategic planning, board development, fund development, and financial management.
In her former role as Creative Many Michigan’s president and CEO, Goulet led research, advocacy, professional practice, funding and communications advancing Michigan’s creative economy and the “creative many” that make Michigan a creative state. She facilitated ArtServe Michigan’s rebranding as Creative Many Michigan, expanding its mission to accelerate growth for Michigan’s creative industries. Joining Creative Many as Development Director in 2007, she was appointed President and CEO in 2009 just as state arts funding was nearly eliminated. Goulet led efforts to initiate Creative State MI and bring the Cultural Data Project to Michigan, securing a vital data tool to document the impacts of the arts, culture and creative industries to Michigan’s reinvention. Creative Many’s Creative State MI research initiatives pioneered an evidenced-based approach to state arts advocacy, leading to the first meaningful increases in state arts funds in multiple years in more than a decade.
Goulet previously served as Ypsilanti’s Downtown Development Authority Director and Community and Economic Development Director (1993 to 2005) where she led brownfield redevelopment, downtown revitalization, master planning, economic development, historic preservation, and administered state and federal grant projects. She guided the Ypsilanti Downtown Development Authority’s efforts to transform an historic Masonic Temple building into the vibrant, community arts hub that is the Riverside Arts Center today. She coordinated efforts to secure the City’s Cool Cities Pilot Community designation from Governor Granholm in 2004 in support of the Riverside Arts Center and its efforts to attract artists, patrons, investors, and visitors to Downtown Ypsilanti as part of the City’s revitalization strategy. Before moving to Michigan in 1993, Goulet led growth management efforts as Comprehensive Planning Director for Brevard County, Florida where she partnered with the Brevard Cultural Alliance in establishing the County’s first art in public places ordinance.
Goulet holds a master in city and regional planning from The Ohio State University and bachelor of art degree in geography from Valparaiso University. She serves on the Creative Economy Coalition Leadership Team of the National Creativity Network, the Ypsilanti City Arts Commission, and Boards of Directors for the Michigan Nonprofit Association and Ypsilanti Heritage Foundation.