James Crocker's Response to the Cape Cod Arts and Cultural Questionnaire

Arts and Culture in Your District

Cape Cod is blessed with a rich mix of arts & cultural organizations. Please name two places in the district where you have had personally significant arts and cultural experiences.

Guyer Barn, Hyannis, Cotuit Center for the Performing Arts, Hyannis Art Shantys, Beth Walsh Dance Studio Annual Event (CCCC Auditorium) and Pops by the Sea.

Arts Education and Programs for our Youth

Creativity and innovation are vital skills in a student’s education and in workforce development in our 21st century economy. How will you champion arts education? 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?

My daughter is currently attending Mass College of Art and Design in Boston and I went through her childhood education experiences with the arts enhancement. I feel the school department budget must reflect the opportunity for arts in the classroom as well as music and theater as sustainable clubs and after school activities.

I would have to understand the current enrollment trends at state universites, before I could commit to the mandatory year of arts education requirement for enrollment.

Economic Development

There are countless vacant buildings and storefronts from Falmouth to Provincetown, including the Hibel and Armory buildings in downtown Hyannis. What incentive might you use to entice landlords and/or businesses to partner up with our local artists to bring new life to vacant main street buildings?

There are state grants available for facade renovation on Main Street districts. I would love to change the standards for awarding those grants to give property owners incentive and grant preference to secure tenants from the local artist community.

Nonprofit art and cultural organizations support more than 45,000 jobs, spend $2.1 billion annually, and generate another $2.5 billion of economic activity. How will the legislature foster an environment that supports the creative community and tourism across the Commonwealth, and particularly on Cape Cod?

Legislation targeting the Cape Cod & Islands tourist industry should all be focused on the coastal economy theme. Arts and Culture have a positive monetary impact on tourism.  They are a clean and complimentary business to any coastal downtown. Local Arts and Culture should be featured in marketing brochures for the Cape & Island District. 

Addressing Cape Cod’s Socioeconomic Issues

Cape Cod faces many economic and social issues, among them homelessness, addiction, and limited services for both youth and seniors. Can you provide examples on how you would integrate the arts, culture, and creative community in solving the district’s social and economic challenges?

Solving the District's social and economical challenges needs the commitment of our society.  I did see an arts impacting homelessness special on the TV news show Chronicle. Members of the arts and cultural community had reached out to the homeless community to invite them into the studio for stress relief exercises.  The homeless depicted in the show benefited greatly from using various mediums to express their feelings, and begin discussions about reentry into a society role. The program went on to show success of a few, which included housing and a job. The individuals kept up with their art work even after success in their daily lives.  There were few Chronicle specials where I've experienced more positive expressions, and success for the outreach. There is a place for art and culture in assisting to solving our social and economic challenges.

Do you like this page?

Community Impact

The Drama Studio is one of a handful of youth theatres in the United States that offers quality, range, and depth in its acting training programs. For Springfield-area youth, the Studio's conservatory program offers an unusual opportunity for training that prepares its graduates (all of whom are college bound) to...