Candidates Agree that Arts are a Solution for Our Cities

Solution for Cities

Over the past months, we’ve collected responses to six questions about arts and culture from each of the gubernatorial candidates.

In the next weeks, we’re going to focus on the candidates’ responses to specific questions. This week, we spotlight the candidates’ solutions for creating vibrant cities that will attract and retain talent.


CTV: As governor, how would you recognize the importance of arts and culture in economic development and the revitalization of our cities?

LAMONT: The creative economy is booming around the nation. Recognizing the importance of the arts to economic development will be an important element of my administration. Specifically, I will be a partner to our urban and rural communities in creating alternative funding streams for the arts. I would seek to replicate, in our Connecticut context, the example of the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (MASS MoCA) in North Adams. Once a thriving electronics manufacturer, the plant closure in the 1980s decimated the community. Today, the once-vacant 16-acre factory not only hosts massive art installations, but also supports local small businesses and industry by renting out space and hosting events. It’s this kind of diverse economic activity that has the potential to revitalize our own communities and build livable cities, and the arts will be a critical piece of my revitalization and economic development strategy.

STEFANOWSKI: As governor, I would like to visit towns and learn first hand how they successfully incorporated art and culture into their economic development plans and apply it statewide. The state needs to help market all the talent and diversity not only to increase tourism, but to make CT attractive for people to move into, and high tech jobs to invest in.

GRIEBEL: I reference my response to the prior question to illustrate my understanding, based on the past 25 years, of the importance of arts and culture to economic development, job retention and growth, and revitalizing our cities. I also note the key principle of the Griebel-Frank Administration that each of our fiscal and public policy decisions will be evaluated through the prism of whether the decision will enhance Connecticut’s ability to secure 200,000 net new private sector jobs by 2028.


CTV: How do you see the role of arts and culture in Connecticut’s effort to attract and retain a talented workforce?

LAMONT: After GE left Connecticut I lead a group that was tasked with asking and answering the question: why? GE talked about our crumbling infrastructure, but they also talked about the difficulty in attracting young talent to their suburban campus. They said they could have better attracted these young people by having more of a presence in our urban communities because many young people want to live in vibrant cities. Part of what makes for a vibrant, livable city is a thriving arts community. Thriving arts that contribute to vibrant cities are key to attracting and keeping a talented young workforce, and thus are key to attracting and keeping all kinds of businesses and industries to Connecticut.

STEFANOWSKI: I believe today’s workforce is more diversified and interested in the arts and culture and chose to live in communities and states that can offer them those choices. Therefore the more art and culture that is generated in our state, the better prepared we are to attract such talented workforce.

GRIEBEL: It goes without saying that arts and culture organizations generate excitement and creative energy, the keys to vibrant cities which in turn are critical to retaining and attracting a talented workforce. Our Administration will work with the Mayors of our major urban centers and with the leaders of our arts and culture organizations to determine the most comprehensive and coordinated approach to using the latter to strengthen the former.


Create the Vote CT is a nonpartisan public education campaign to raise awareness and support for the arts among voters and candidates running for public office.

Click to read the complete responses from Ned Lamont, Oz Griebel, and Bob Stefanowski. Lamont has also published an additional policy statement on Investing in Arts and Culture. Griebel has published a Policy Plan that includes statements on Arts, Culture and Tourism.

State Arts Alliances Launch “Create the Vote”

 

Create the Vote logo (square)In an election-year effort to draw attention to the importance of arts and culture to the state’s economy and welfare, the Connecticut Arts Alliance (CAA) and Connecticut Alliance for Arts Education (CAAE) have announced the launch of a campaign to “Create the Vote” in this year’s gubernatorial and other elections. All voters are encouraged to join the effort by signing up for the Create The Vote CT email list, talking to the candidates about arts and culture, and considering candidates’ platforms when they vote.

Elections are a time when candidates and voters debate the strengths and challenges of their communities. While arts and culture play a significant role in state and local economies, educational systems, and in the vibrancy of neighborhoods and downtowns, candidates often do not include arts and culture as part of their platforms or vision. Seeing the need to make the arts part of the discussion, CAA and CAAE have launched Create the Vote CT to raise awareness and support for the value of arts and culture. The project is modeled on a program first organized by MASSCreative in Massachusetts in 2013, which has grown each year since and has influenced both statewide and local elections in over forty cities throughout that state.

Create the Vote CT is a nonpartisan public education campaign led by arts organizations and regional arts councils throughout the state. The campaign aims to raise awareness of the ways that arts and creative expression improve schools, strengthen local business districts, and build vibrant neighborhoods in which people want to live, visit, work, and play.

During the Create the Vote CT campaign, CAA and CAAE will share with voters the responses candidates give to a questionnaire about arts and culture. Leaders of the Alliance organizations will also meet with candidates, and will host a candidate forum which will be open to the public.

“Expanding the political conversations this election season to include arts and culture is part of our effort,” explained Amy Wynn, President of CAA (and Executive Director of the Northwest Connecticut Arts Council). “Expanding who participates in that conversation is equally important.  As working artists, arts leaders, and arts supporters, we are not sitting this election out.  Create the Vote is going to help us all dive in.”

“As an organization representing arts educators,” said CAAE Chief Operating Office Dr. Jeffrey Spector, “we are especially interested in governmental and community support for arts education, and ways that we can create teaching and learning environments in which arts educators are a recognized, respected, widely sought-after, and wisely used resource in every school building.”

All interested voters and arts supporters can follow the Create The Vote CT campaign on this site and are urged to get involved by signing up for the Create The Vote CT email list, following the Connecticut Arts Alliance on Facebook (Facebook.com/ctartsalliance) and Twitter (twitter.com/CT_ArtsAlliance), and helping to promote the campaign with the hashtag #CreateTheVoteCT.

Click here to learn more about Create the Vote CT, to sign up for email updates, or to become an organizational co-sponsor.

CREATE THE VOTE CT

This is a gubernatorial election year in Connecticut, and elections are a great time to talk about the strengths and challenges our state faces and the vision for our community. While candidates spend lots of time talking about jobs, the economy, and education, they rarely talk about arts and culture as part of their vision. Seeing the need to make arts and creativity part of the discussion, Connecticut Arts Alliance (CAA) and the Connecticut Alliance for Arts Education (CAAE) are launching Create the Vote CT.

Create the Vote CT is a nonpartisan public education campaign to raise awareness and support for the arts among voters and candidates running for public office.

Create the Vote logo (transparent)

Create the Vote logosThe campaign was established by arts, cultural, and creative institutions and leaders. Organizations, businesses, and individuals are welcome to join the effort to raise arts and culture in the conversation around elections.

Click here to learn more about Create the Vote CT, to sign up for email updates, or to become an organizational co-sponsor.