Candidate Questionnaire: Bob Statchen

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?

My daughter has participated in the New London program, Writer’s Block, Ink. It’s been rewarding to see her flourish with this organization (even online).

Where do I begin? Both my daughters sing in the church choir. I really miss seeing that. I missed the Sea Music festival at the Seaport. I love seeing shows at the Garde and miss those opportunities. I miss the outdoor music concerts. I miss the buskers on the streets in Mystic. I miss the high school band concerts and plays.

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 will proudly support arts initiatives in Eastern Connecticut and throughout the state. In addition to the important financial benefits you highlight, they are necessary for the soul.

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?

Arts and culture will play a prominent role in rebuilding our region. I cannot wait for the first outdoor concert, art show, music festival or school performance.

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, I believe the Arts can be the glue that holds together communities during these difficult times.

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 to support the arts. I know the devil is in the details. I will work with the appropriations committee to ensure appropriate funding Is provided to help us move forward.

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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