Our Story

Stilwell Cultural Consulting, LLC is a woman-owned consulting firm providing services specifically for the arts and culture industry with a focus on planning and projects for museums, performing arts center and theatres, creative districts, and communities. The firm is located in Fort Collins, Colorado, where owner and principal Jill Gardner Stilwell has been engaged with the arts and culture community and the museum field for more than 25 years.

In 2015, Jill founded Stilwell Cultural Consulting, LLC, to support arts and culture clients as they grow, change, and strive for excellence within their own communities. Jill understands every community and organization is unique, and has its own specific expectations, limitations, and opportunities. She shares her expertise and experience in planning, operations, and staff and Board development while keeping true to each client’s individual needs and circumstance. Stilwell Cultural Consulting’s goal is to help each client identify their needs and goals and develop a road map to achieve them.

Jill Gardner Stilwell

Jill Gardner Stilwell, Owner & Principal

Jill Gardner Stilwell has 25 years of public sector arts and culture experience developing, managing and operating museums, performing arts center, public art programs, grant programs, and creative centers.

From 2003 to 2016, Jill was the Director of Cultural Services for the City of Fort Collins. In this role, she spearheaded Fort Collins’ first Cultural Plan and nominated the City for the 2011 Governor’s Arts Award, which the community received. She was proud to direct the department’s two largest capital projects: the $8.4 million renovation of the Lincoln Center and the $27 million public/private partnership that is the Fort Collins Museum of Discovery. With a local non-profit partner, she also secured one of only 51 National Endowment of the Arts “Our Town” grants in 2011 to design and plan a community creative center which today supports artists and creatives in the community. She also led the effort for State certification of the Downtown Fort Collins Creative District in 2016, showcasing the strong spirit and unique character of the heart of Fort Collins.

Jill facilitates large vision-oriented projects, like master plans and community cultural plans, but also enjoys the personal aspects of team building and board development. Jill shares her experience with up and coming professionals as an adjunct faculty member at the LEAP Institute for the Arts at Colorado State University. She teaches courses in arts management and museum studies and learns as much from her students as they do from her! Jill also engages with her local community through activities like presenting at Start-Up Week.

Jill has a bachelor’s degree in fine art from Colorado State University and a master’s degree in art history and museum studies from the University of Denver. She is certified through the International Association of Public Participation (IAP2) in planning effective public participation processes.

Our Team

Stilwell Cultural Consulting is owned and led by Jill Stilwell.  She also engages a network of affiliate consultants who can bring specialized experience and expertise as needed for each project.

Our Approach

Stilwell Cultural Consulting brings a unique combination of skills, knowledge, creativity, strategic thinking, and real-world experience to every project. Stilwell Cultural Consulting is dedicated to helping arts and culture organizations have positive impact and create vibrant communities.

Our goal is to support arts and culture as an essential and powerful asset to communities. Through engagement, research, and experience, our firm approaches every project as unique and works to build sustainability, relevance, and value.