Candidate Questionnaire: John Piscopo

1. YOUR PERSONAL CONNECTION TO THE ARTS

The pandemic has been challenging for so many in CT and in so many ways. How have you personally benefited from the arts or creative expression in the last few months? What local arts experiences have you missed most during the shutdown?

Pat and I have attented outdoor concerts local and venues such as Ridgefield playhouse. We attended the “out for music” festival in Torrington sponsored by the Northwest Arts Association. I’ve missed local theater. The cancelation of “Of Mice aand Men” was a tradgedy. I also miss local bands in the area venues.

2. ARTS + ECONOMIC RECOVERY

CT can’t recover without the arts. Arts and culture are key for CT’s economic recovery. Creative industries pump $9 billion into the state and account for 3.5% of CT’s total economy. Our non-profit arts organizations support 23,000 jobs, generate $800 million annually, and return $7 back in tax revenue for every $1 invested by the state. How will you help harness the power of the arts for CT’s economic recovery?

I serve on the board of Landmark theatre in Thomaston, so I am acting locally as well as State Wide. Anyone can see the boost in any economy by obseving the activity in the local restuarants in any Town or City on the night of an event. We can help by getting Connecticut out from under these restrictions.

3. ARTS HEAL + REBUILD

Creativity helps us process loss, fight loneliness, and create vibrant, resilient communities that attract and retain residents, businesses, and visitors. What do you think is an important role for arts and culture to play in healing and rebuilding the social fabric of our cities and towns?

I call arts and culture the soul of the communityWe must do what we can to nuture that soul.

4. ARTS SUPPORT RACIAL & SOCIAL JUSTICE

The pandemic has deepened existing divides in Connecticut, particularly along the lines of race and class. The arts create shared experiences that can unite people and bridge divides to acknowledge the strength in our differences. Do you believe the arts can help build racial and social justice in Connecticut? If so, how?

Plays, music and visual arts are all based on unity regardless of differences in there being.

5. CT NEEDS HELP FROM THE ARTS

With 62% of artists unemployed and most arts organizations unable to reopen, the industry needs emergency support to recover and thrive. CT’s arts and culture sector has suffered an estimated $400 million in economic losses. Will you support emergency funding to support the arts industry in Connecticut? If so, from what source and at what level?

I will support emergency funding through grants. I will also support long term releif through bonding.

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. CT Arts Alliance launched the first Create the Vote CT during the gubernatorial election in 2018 and inspired focus on the arts during Governor Lamont’s transition and helped stabilize statewide public funding for the first time since the Great Recession. The initiative was originally conceived and developed at MASSCreative, a state arts advocacy organization in Massachusetts.

Regional Partners

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