Joe Boyle’s Response to the Arts & Culture Questionnaire

Personal Connection
1. In what personal manner are you currently supporting the creative community?  Can you list the last two cultural events you attended that were not a campaign opportunity?

I wish to make no representations of being a significant patron or supporter of the arts. Most, but not all, of my support for the creative community consists of my daughter’s dance lessons. The last two cultural events I attended were seeing Royale for my birthday at the MRT, and volunteering behind the scenes at the Kinetic Sculpture Race. I worked hard that day, and felt good about it.

2. How will you work to support and grow the creative economy in Lowell?

I will seek to incorporate arts funding into city functions in a collaborative and supportive manner. This principle expresses itself in a number of policy areas discussed in my answers to questions below. In particular, I am interested in pursuing grant funding to hire local artists to go into the public schools and team-teach units alongside Lowell Public Schools arts teachers in that artist’s medium or style.

3. How can the city incorporate arts into the city design and planning process?

City design planners should work with local artists and neighborhood agents to develop their capacity to promote effective public participation in the planning process. Creative depiction of concepts is a powerful tool for public engagement.

4. How can the city support more public art initiatives? 

I will seek to incorporate art line items as appropriate in city building, roadway, and park projects, and encourage UMass to look to Lowell artists.

City Investment in the Arts
5.  Do you believe the art and creative community positively impacts our local economy? How?

I understand the connection between arts and Lowell’s urban revitalization. My old boss Colin McNiece created the original arts overlay district in Lowell’s zoning ordinance, and created the artist live-work space as a land use. I understand how the creative economy works in two major ways for Lowell. First, it is a real economic sector, generating sales, jobs, and taxes. This is a growing sector of the local economy, and the City has made the right choice in treating it as a serious economic development priority. Support for COOL is treated as a smart investment in growing local business.

Second, the presence of the creative economy has always been crucial to the success of the downtown residential sector, which provides demand for downtown commercial space. Living in DTL is fun and cool, and the arts and performance sectors drive that. By utilizing downtown commercial and institutional space for economically productive uses, and by driving the surge in residential units that support downtown businesses, the creative economy is particularly crucial for the success of Lowell’s downtown. 

6.  Will you commit to increasing the investment in the arts and cultural community in Lowell by supporting motions that increase funding to that community?

Yes. I hope to be making such motions. My priority will be to incorporate arts line items into city projects.

Diversity & Inclusion in Arts & Culture
7.  What is your opinion about the current cultural landscape in Lowell and how can we make it more inclusive?

I wish to increase the scale of interaction between the downtown arts community and the city’s diverse populations, and applaud the initiatives that do exist to build that bridge.

8. Can you provide examples of how you do and would integrate the arts, culture, and creative community in ways that would support the racial, ethnic, socioeconomic diversity and youth?

I feel that my proposal to bring local artists into schools could be a tool to awaken local students’ interest in the arts, and bring them into the local arts community.
I hope that these answers give you some insight into my approach to the arts and cultural economy. 
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