Solomon Goldstein-Rose Response

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?

Perhaps unusual for a politician, but aside from politics, arts are my life. I’ve been a cellist since I was 8, and school and regional orchestras defined my friends growing up. In college I got very much into theater and made my best friends through that community. Most recently, I got to assistant-direct a summer children’s theater in Pelham: this was a wonderful example of the impact arts can have in people’s lives. The show brought together kids age 5-15 from multiple towns, formed new friendships, developed speaking, singing, and communication skills, and gave children the fun, meaning, and confidence that they needed. 

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.

Our local public high school, Amherst Regional High School, is known in our community for offering a wide variety of elective classes. From string orchestra to ceramics to dance to wood tech, we value creative and hands-on learning as an essential part of a student’s school experience. See question 1. 

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?

Our district is primarily formed around education, both preK-12 and higher ed. Funding, highlighting, and promoting arts in our schools will attract families to the area and improve people’s lives who live here. We also just received a Cultural District designation for Amherst Downtown.

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?

Yes though I’d like to hear more about the details of this proposed policy/area. Arts are an enriching part of education in their own right, but also have been shown again and again to help with children’s development of reading and math skills, emotional/social skills, etc.

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?

As much as is practical in the budget process – I don’t think we can get back to the $27 million immediately but I would support increasing the current funding level and certainly overriding if Governor Baker vetoes any again.

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?



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