Andrew Couture Response to Arts, Culture, & Creative Economy Questionnaire

What personal experience with arts, culture, or creativity has had an impact on your life and your view of our community?

  • My parents are two fantastic artists. I grew up not only on a farm but also immersed in arts. My mother was a painter, quilter and an all-around crafter. My father not only worked at Simplex for 40 years but also spent his spare time in his home wood shop. My family did not have a lot of money and as such had to either make do with what they had or make what they needed. This taught me the value of hard work and working for what you want.

  • The arts in Fitchburg are an important piece of the community. With one of the jewels of the city being the Fitchburg Art Museum we have a unique opportunity to expand business through arts. As a graduate of Fitchburg State, I was able to expand my knowledge of the arts in the community.

Fitchburg is fortunate to have maintained arts instruction and programs in the public schools. As mayor, how will you help support and expand the arts in our schools, to keep S.T.E.A.M. in S.T.E.M (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics)?

  • There are children who learn in different ways. Not every child learns the best by sitting and reading. As one of these type of people myself, I used my knowledge of the arts as an advantage in school. My artistic talents provided me with a way to excel in Science, Technology, Arts and Mathematics. I will help support the arts in the school as not only a way to teach and learn but also to provide a creative outlet.

As mayor, how would you address the city's permitting process to help enable a viable downtown cultural district, alive with galleries, cafes, restaurants, and retail?

  • The cultural district in Fitchburg will benefit from my business plan. One of the problems within the city is the complexity of starting your own business. By streamlining the process and ending the bureaucracy in City Hall and conducting business within the city will help enable a viable downtown.

As mayor, how will you support the transformation of the B.F. Brown Building and adjacent properties into a campus of apartments and workspaces for creative professionals and entrepreneurs, to help stabilize the Elm Street neighborhood and revitalize the downtown?

  • The B.F. Brown project is a fantastic addition to the city. It will encourage further development of downtown, provide support for the Fitchburg Art Museum and create a tourist feature, which will fiscally help the city. In addition it will take a vacant eyesore that is currently the B.F. Brown School and transform it into a viable building and increase the neighborhood watch in the area to increase safety.

  • I will support the B.F. Brown project by listening to the needs of the committee and addressing them. I will also be happy to promote the B.F. Brown community and streamline the process of community activities for the project.

Many cities in Massachusetts benefit from direct cultural leadership in municipal government. In your new administration, will you commit to establishing a position to coordinate and promote the arts, culture, creative economy initiatives, and signature city festivals (Civic Days, Blacksmith Arts and Music Festival, The Longsjo Classic)?

  • I will promote the arts and creative economic initiatives and City festivals. In addition to this I will also expand the amount of city festivals to attract tourists to the city. Many of the city residents have spoken to me about how important family-friendly events are to the city and how we need more activities within the city. This will be a concern to me not only as mayor of the city but also as a father.
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