- 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?
I believe that art throughout the shutdown is something that we can still do, and make at home. I also believe we can encourage people to get involved and make more art at home. During the shutdown, I created a social media challenge with the southington community cultural art, we encouraged folks to go outside the sidewalk and make sidewalk chalk art. This was something we could do in my community to inspire artists and the community in a safe manner. People would post online their sidewalk chalk art and others would see it during walks.
2. ARTS + ECONOMIC RECOVERY
CT canâ€™t recover without the arts. Arts and culture are key for CTâ€™s economic recovery. Creative industries pump $9 billion into the state and account for 3.5% of CTâ€™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 CTâ€™s economic recovery?
Ensuring we fund/ invest in tourism and advertising our arts, we should be know for all of the arts and institutions we have in Connecticut. We must make these investments especially when people are traveling more locally and staying within their states or regions.
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 believe art can be a distraction from ones life and from the chaotic world around us. By allowing communities that have experienced trauma we can better heal and change lives. Arts are a way to also create jobs and bring people to cities and other communnities that they have no previously had visited.
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. Art is an excellent platform for those who walk in different shoes from the artist to see and feel what their life and life experiences are like. For instance, one can feel the emotions that someone of a different race or background has thru the art they have created and that is displayed. This highlights the importance of showing our students and public art made by artists from diverse and all backgrounds.
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. CTâ€™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 believe that we must get Connecticutâ€™s economy working and growing again, that way we can again fund art at the levels weâ€™ve previously. In terms of bringing money and jobs to the state- the arts are an important part of this. We should be attracting industries like broadway to our smaller safer theaters, in areas with lower covid 19 rates, all things the state has.
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 Lamontâ€™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.