Candidate Questionnaire: Kathy Grant

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 benefitted from the arts or creative expression in the last few months? What local arts  experiences have you missed most during the shutdown?

The Arts have such a rich, meaningful part in our history and who we are as people and what we value.  The short term loss is immediately felt but then natural state of creativity will begin to resurface.  The Arts behold storytellers, creators and innovators.  Public investment is under valued but there is consolation in knowing that the Arts will always be a staying power in the long term.  Investing in the Arts is something I personally believe in because of the nurturing qualities it has as an educational mechanism.  I am personally not an artist but my children have all displayed talents in the arts so I believe my creativity is in finding solutions to problems.  I do want to be more involved in the arts community but raising a family as a single mother has been challenging over the years!

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 believe there is a strong connection in our state with appreciation of the Arts based on information above.  I believe the Arts will be more important in a therapeutic sense in COVID recovery and that money should be invested in utilizing more creativity, collaboration and connectivity as both a therapeutic and educational resource. 

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 agree.  The possibilities are endless.  I raised three children and my youngest just graduated High School.  My oldest daughter works in video production for CT-N and owns her own video production company, LG Productions.  My other daughter is an artist and studied with Joan Levy Hepburn when she was a High School student.  She won Gold and Silver key awards and is working towards a bachelor’s degree in Art Education.  My youngest is studying digital media production.  The digital world has opened up massive opportunities for creativity in marketing across all industries. I thonk this is an opportunity for the industry to grow exponentially in most venues.  I think it is important to always have a cost savings plan in place to keep the goals manageable.      

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?

YES.  The Arts have always been a way for us to express ourselves and tell stories throughout history.  The Arts have phenomenal opportunity to tell stories that people will look back on 100 years from now and see how we responded to the racial divide and health crisis.  That’s one of the reason why I’m running for office, I want my children to look back and say I fought for justice and values that make us a great democracy.  I fear that we are losing it.  Art expression is very important in times of crisis. 

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?

Yes.  I think there are plenty of opportunities to collaborate in meaningful ways that will have a lasting impact,  healing our spirits and awakening us from these dark days and building a shared sense of community.  Smaller venues and streamlining how the Arts industry can be competitive in an online industry are just a couple ideas but I think reinvesting in our arts education will also have a huge impact on our social well being.  Funding through mental health, education, a jobs opportunities act that connects artists with communities to build and heal. 

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

%d bloggers like this: