Your Personal Connection
We've all had defining moments in our lives. What personal experience with arts, culture, or creativity has had an impact on your life and your view of the community?
When I see a really ugly building, I think "Dang. Architecture this ugly should be outlawed." And when it's a government building I think "Dang. My taxes paid for this monstrosity? Really?" Those are personal experiences I have far too often. At least bi-weekly.
Arts & Culture in Your District
Art and culture plays a role in the Commonwealth from Boston and the Gateway Cities and our rural and suburban towns. Please provide us with a story of the impact a local arts or cultural institution brings to your district.
I think one of the most underrated local institutions of art & culture is the game shop. Every Friday night, overweight virgins from Acton and the towns surrounding it converge on Gaming Etc, Acton's most happening game shop, for Friday Night Magic. Gentle folk, but utterly devoid of normal social skills, if not for Gaming Etc they would have nowhere else to go on a Friday, and would probably spend their evenings alone, playing computer games in their dimly-lit apartments.
Addressing District-wide Issues
Just as any other part of the state, we face many economic and social issues here in the district. Can you provide examples on how you would integrate the arts, culture, and creative community in solving social problems? How would you use our community to drive economic development in the district?
Economic prosperity secures itself, when kept safe from the sabotages of the Left. For this reason it's essential that civic-minded artists across society should double as a strong propaganda arm of the Right, a creative citizen corps. Thus, at the intersection of art and politics we find memetic warfare, examples of which, from some of our nation's brightest artists, are currently flooding the internet, mostly in support of Donald Trump. At Busiek campaign HQ we have a meme laboratory of our own, in which two of Massachusetts' best artists are currently hard at work.
Arts Education and Programs for our Youth
Art instruction increases achievement across all academic disciples and develops the whole child. While many communities have access to quality arts education, many youth are still being left out of the creative community. Changes in federal law under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) offers Massachusetts an opportunity to include arts education in the restructuring of the Commonwealth’s accountability and assistance systems for schools and districts. Do you support including assessments based on student access, participation, and proficiency in arts learning and creative learning experiences in these new accountability frameworks?
I'm not familiar enough with ESSA to give a confident answer, but my first question would be "are there any strings attached?" Most federal education programs are booby-trapped, unfortunately.
The Commonwealth’s Support and Role in the Creative Community
This year, the Massachusetts Legislature invested $14 million in organizational support through the Massachusetts Cultural Council (MCC) for the creative community, ranking it ninth in the country. This provided level support for the creative community and overturned a 55% cut in funding by Governor Baker. In 1988, the MCC gave out more than $27 million in grants, nearly twice what we do now. At what level would you fund the MCC?
At whatever level we could afford. (It'd have to vary from year to year as the tax base is never static.)
Percent for Public Art
Public art helps build vibrant and connected neighborhoods and the arts community plays a vital role in the development of cities and towns. The other 5 New England states and an additional 22 have a Percent for Art Program, which establishes that design and public art will be an integral piece of all new state construction. Last November, Gov. Baker vetoed the Percent for Art Program after it garnered support from the Legislature in two separate votes last session, once in the state budget, and then in an amended version. Will you support the Percent for Art Program next session?
Probably. I like the concept. I'd just need to see the actual text of the law before guaranteeing my support.