Candidate Questionnaire: Chris Perone


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?

Our local open mic venue has now been doing weekly open mic jams. It allows musicians like myself the opportunity to sing and play for a growing audience. I do miss going to the movies.


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?

We need to get creative by how large and small events are staged. Outdoor, drive in concerts are a good start. Building out and strengthening CT’s IT capacity like 5G would also increase the quality and access so more people could access streaming concert and stage productions.


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?

Increasingly there doesn’t seem to be a shortage of positive, engaging and enjoyable content for people. Where it gets tricky for people is how and where to look for It. For example a town and/or city would be doing a valuable service for people if they had a page on their city hall websites that tell people where they can go for a variety of content: Music, arts, exercise and links for people with mental health questions.


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?

Music and the arts have long went hand in hand with large scale social change in CT and across the country. Black lives matter is what Live Aid was in the 80s and Woodstock was in 1969 – massive public cry out about the social injustices of our country subsequently delivered through music, musicals, movies and literature.


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 losse.s

Will you support emergency funding to support the arts industry in Connecticut? If so, from what source and at what level?

 Absolutely. The arts in CT are an economic driver and should be seen as such when we begin making decisions about where to invest. The specific sources of funding still have to be worked out and won’t be until December/January when session begins and the Appropriations and Finance committees can assemble to asses where things stand relative to the pandemic.

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