Brian Field's Response to the Arts & Culture Questionnaire

Your Personal Connection
1. We've all had defining moments in our lives. What personal experience with arts, culture, or creativity has affected your life and your view of the Lynn community?

I think my first appreciation for art began in grade school with our art teacher Ms. Berchnoff (Sp).  I remember the pride I felt as a young child seeing my created work on display for the entire school to see.  Usually reflective of the closest holiday or season, pumpkins, witches, hand turkeys and cornucopias were always my favorite.  I think that was the beginning of what I consider a respect and appreciation for art and creativity.  I feel art and creativity along with science has been certainly played an integral role in my own career as a funeral director and embalmer.  Restorative art is an important part of my profession and I would say is reflective in our success as a firm in our community.  All things considered, I would certainly credit the art appreciation I received at a young age as having a positive impact on me.   

 

Arts and Culture in the City
2. Lynn is blessed with a rich mix of arts and cultural organizations. What are two places where you have had personally significant arts and/or cultural experiences in our city?

One place I would consider significant would be Raw Arts.  My oldest daughter is beginning her third year at Raw Film and I could not offer enough accolades for the impact that the teachers have had on Sydney.  Because of them, she hopes to pursue a career in Directing and/or Film at hopefully Emerson, but there was also mention of film programs at other colleges and universities nearby and not so nearby.  This past year she wrote, directed, filmed, acted and edited her own film "Turning Through Time" for the Real to Real Screening.  (see attached)

https://vimeo.com/224669544

A second place would be the Neal Rantoul Black Box Theater.  My daughter and I recently enjoyed the AAH show "Next to Normal".  Lynn's arts and cultural district is alive and well.  These are the two most recent experiences, of many, that I could share. 

 Addressing Citywide Issues
3. Lynn’s current challenges include a recent increase in violence, the opioid epidemic, and city finances. How would you integrate the arts, culture, and creative community in solving these challenges? Please give one or two specific examples.

Every challenge mentioned in question three is certainly a concern for not only the Arts and Cultural District or for our city or even for our state but affects our entire nation.  Severe cuts at local, state and federal levels eventually reveal that these cuts have a negative affect on every community and typically an even more severe affect on Urban communities like Lynn.  I think the revival of the downtown area and more specifically the designated Arts and Cultural District has played a key roll in drawing a new image in those challenged areas.  Coffee houses rather than night clubs are one example of how business can also play a key role in how to address these challenges.

4. How would you use Lynn’s arts and culture community to revitalize the city so that businesses and customers flock to it? Please give one or two specific examples.

I think the revitalization of the Auditorium at Lynn City Hall has had the most impact on drawing customers/visitors to the city.  Visitors have been supportive of nearby restaurants which has a benefit to the City as well. 

The City Council’s Role in the Creative Community
At a time when the Trump administration proposed dismantling the National Endowment for the Arts and the State Legislature chose not to increase investment in the Mass Cultural Council, we need local leadership and support for arts and culture here in the city—now more than ever. Describe how you will address these funding concerns in the following areas:

5. What three revenue sources will you consider creating or using to increase the city’s financial investment in the creative community?

I would certainly invite any ideas from the creative community as to what they see as potential opportunities for creating revenue.  

6. What are your program priorities and where will the funds be allocated?

I would consider all programs that have shown to have a positive impact on the community and allocate based on those results.  

 An Arts Destination

7. While Lynn is growing as a community, the city has yet to fully leverage the strength of our arts, culture, and creative community as a means for branding and attracting residents, employees, and visitors. How would you integrate the arts into your plan to make Lynn a place where people want to live, work, play, and visit?

I think the city is still in its infancy as to realizing what "can" happen by leveraging the strengths of our arts.  I think the Beyond Walls project was an "awakening" the city needed and can build off of.  The wheels are rolling for Lynn's Arts and Cultural District and as a councilor I pledge to make sure the wheels continue to roll in the right direction. 

8. The Downtown Lynn Cultural District is a core driver of DTL’s revitalization—yet it currently lacks the infrastructure, budget, or city leadership advocacy it needs to thrive. What would you do to significantly support the District?

I believe a councilor best serves the constituents by listening.  Every creative thought should be heard and considered.  I agree that Downtown Lynn Cultural District is a core driver.  Proper funding for any project is key.  Again, as councilor I would support any program that has shown to improve the quality of life, that we all deserve, especially in areas that are the most challenged. 

 Arts Education and Programs for our Youth

9. Studies indicate that art instruction should be a critical part of education across all academic disciplines, as it develops the whole child. The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) has pledged to update the Commonwealth’s arts education curriculum and report on arts education in schools and districts. What will you do as Councilor-At-Large to support arts education in the city’s schools and our community?

Fully funding education (net school spending) is key.  I would certainly yield to those in education as to what programs they feel are most beneficial to our students.  I know what type of impact art has had on me in my career and I know how important it can be for others.

 

 

 

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