Candidate Questionnaire

Questions for 1st Hampden & Hampshire Senate Candidates

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?

Arts & Culture in Springfield

Art and culture play a role in Springfield in numerous ways, ranging from public education to safety and economic development.  Please provide us with a story of the impact a local arts or cultural institution brings to your district.

Addressing District-wide Issues

Just as any other part of the state, we face many economic and social issues here in Springfield. Can you provide examples on how you would integrate the arts, culture, and creative community in solving social problems? How would you use our cultural community to drive economic development in the district?

Arts Education and Programs for our Youth

Art instruction such as that at the Community Music School and Springfield Libraries increase 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.

How will you champion arts education for our youth both in our schools and in our communities? How will you balance the importance of arts education with the constant pull to “teach to the test”? Would you support joining ten other states to make one year of arts education in high school a requirement for admission to the state university system? Do you support adding ‘arts’ into the Commonwealth’s STEM program to transform it to STEAM? 

The Commonwealth’s Support and Role in the Creative Community

  • This year, Massachusetts invested $14 million in organizational support through the Massachusetts Cultural Council (MCC) for the creative community, ranking it ninth in the country. 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?
  • In FY14 and FY15, then-Governor Patrick allocated $15 million in matching grants through the Massachusetts Cultural Facilities Fund to support the maintenance, repair, and rebuilding of the Commonwealth’s cultural facilities. In FY16 and FY17, Governor Baker allocated $10 million to the Fund. At what level do you suggest the Commonwealth fund this program?
  • Would you develop or dedicate a revenue stream to provide a sustainable and stable funding stream for the arts, cultural, and creative community?
  • Do you support creation of funding for marketing and economic development efforts in MCC-designated Cultural Districts, such as the Springfield Central Cultural District?

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 rest of New England and 22 other states have a Percent for Art Program, which establishes that 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. What will you do this session to help get the Percent for Art Program to the finish line?

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