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 benefited from the arts or creative expression in the last few months? What local arts experiences have you missed most during the shutdown?
In Bristol, a local artist recently painted a large mural at Webster Bank on Main Street celebrating Bristol’s past and future. Seeing this artwork afforded me the opportunity to connect on an even deeper level to our community.
Local fairs are one of my favorite events to take my family too. We enjoy the art exhibits while attending and have missed those this year due to the shutdown.
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?
As with other industries within our State, Arts and Culture are important to our society. I will lobby for governmental assistance to help our Arts and Culture sector recover which will further assist in our overall economic recovery.
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 feel that Arts and Culture are vital to the success of our communities. They bring together a feeling of connection and help provide an environment inclusive of all and free from division.
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?
I believe the Arts play a vital role in building racial and social justice not only in Connecticut, but in the world as a whole. The Arts provide expression of emotion and meaning in a non-violent way.
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 for the arts industry in Connecticut. The Arts sector needs to be considered as important as every other social and economic sector in the State. The source of the funding will need to be reviewed. For the long term, I will strive to better our communities and our State to make us the place where businesses want to be, further expanding our tax revenue and allowing for additional funding to each sector in need of assistance.
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.