Candidate Questionnaire: Juan Ospina

Q1 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?

I’ve helped coordinate the BLM mural on Bedford street. Additionally, i’ve offered free guitar and piano lessons to local residents and members of the Stamford Senior Center

Q2 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?

Any thriving city has a vibrant culture to offer. I will help harness the power of the arts to CT’s economic recovery by facilitating development of local artists and supporting non-profits who help advance the arts in our beautiful state.

Q3 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?

Arts and culture allows for social interactivity and self-expression. Working in healthcare, I hear from many behavioral health professionals that a healthy mind is helped made possible by regular exposure to the arts which helps develop creativity and oral communication.

Q4  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, because music and the arts accentuates the universal language which is love and understanding. Human beings are special in that we have many ways to express ourselves, so it is a common bond we all share regardless of our size, shape or color.

Q5 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 will support funds to the art industry from cost-saving strategies that i can introduce to the legislature which will reduce wasteful spending and redirect funds to important sectors of the economy such as the arts.

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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