Candidate Questionnaire: Kerry Wood


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?

Live music, both outdoor and indoor performances, and dinner & a show on the weekends.


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 be focusing 100% on our economy and recovery. We Increase our state revenues through a healthy economy. I have consistently promoted interaction and partnership with our business community to make sure they stay healthy and growing. I have proposed all our PPE purchases to be made through local companies. I have supported apprenticeship training, Angel Investor Tax Credit programs, and tax Incentives to spur growth. With these factors In place, we can help support our arts community during these difficult times by providing forgivable grants. As legislators, we can also prevent future executive orders that close down the economy. Managing the pandemic is the best way forward rather than shutting down our economy.


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?

People are utilizing our green spaces, parks, forests, and waterways more so than ever during this pandemic. People have taken it upon themselves to create art to brighten other people’s lives like by painting rocks and painting signs with words of encouragement. On a larger scale, incorporating art, sculpture, seating and landscaping designs into these spaces would greatly enhance these areas.


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?

There’s no better way to start a discussion than through a visual stimulation. Art has the ability to encourage dialogue and questions, the gathering of people, and the time and space for reflection. Additionally, people that feel a need to speak and voice their concerns can do so powerfully through art. I have noticed during this pandemic that the BLM signs, the THANK YOU ESSENTIAL WORKER signs, the BACK THE BLUE signs, have caused articles to be written, comments to be made on social media, and neighbors having dialogues that they may not have ever had. People are eager to voice their concerns and many have chosen to speak through art.


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 have already made a commitment to support cultural venues like the Bushnell through a contribution from the state. Money has been saved through state employees working from home and the state having many of their buildings shut. We can re-allocate funds to arts and cultural centers to help them survive the storm. 

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