Win Farwell's Response to the Arts & Culture Questionnaire?

1.Your personal connection
How has your personal experience with arts, culture, or creativity had an impact on your life and your view of the community?

During my high school years I was involved in both sports programs and drama club activities. These experiences solidified my belief that communication between individuals and groups, and fostering understanding between individuals and groups, is greatly enhanced through the participation in programs rooted in art, music, and theatre. 

2. Arts & Culture in Brockton
Brockton is home to a mix of arts and cultural organizations.  What is your story about the impact of a local arts or cultural institution in our city?

The cultural and arts-based programs in the city have not had the full impact which they otherwise might contribute. This may be due to (a) city residents are time constrained because their employment or family responsibilities, or (b) the city could and should do a better job of emphasizing the many cultural and artistic achievements or our residents and available programs in which residents might participate. 

3. Addressing City-wide Issues
What are specific examples of how the arts, culture, and creative community can help solve social problems?  What are your ideas about how the creative community can drive economic development in Brockton?

By their nature, social problems in any community are usually complex, with multiple causation factors and limited time for city officials to truly engage in problem-solving. That said, those individuals who participate in art, music and especially the performing arts, come away with a degree of socialization and better understanding of others who are from a different cultural, social, or economic background. The participants find a certain commonality with each other about many of life's challenges. 

4. Arts Education and Programs for Our Youth
What is your stance on the importance of arts education in schools? Do you support funding of the Creative Challenge Index? The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) has pledged to update the Commonwealth's art education curriculum (last updated in 1999) as well as report on access and participation in arts education in school districts. How will you support arts education in the Brockton Public Schools, in the face of never-ending underfunding?

Put succinctly, arts education and related programs for our youth are lacking. Not every child will be a star athlete but many have underdeveloped talents which, if given instruction and encouragement, can carry them through their entire life. What I would hope to see but not likely in my lifetime, is a "Regional Center for the Arts" based preferably in Brockton. Children from schools in our region could take advanced classes in music, art, drama, and related subject areas such as screenwriting, directing, stage management, makeup, or other courses. A significant state of the art facility could be built with some MA Department of Education funding, private grants and hopefully private donations from supporting institutions. During the day, make the facility open to school children. At night make it available for adult education programs in the arts. The latter could be fee-based. Tremendous advancements in architecture for construction of facilities designed for art, music and the performing arts are evident at UMASS Boston.

I hold the opinion that private corporations would support this initiative. All stake-holders should be consulted to determine if this proposal has merit and funding is reasonably attainable. 

5. Partnerships with the Creative Community
How would you promote public-private partnerships to support the Brockton creative community?\

With respect to this question, I would want to sit and interact with those who are active in the city's Creative Community, listen, learn, and then offer suggestions as to how we can effectively work together to promote public-private partnerships and support our arts community.


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