Jaime Figueroa's Response to the Arts & Culture Questionnaire

Your Personal Connection
1. We've all had defining moments in our lives. What personal experience with arts, culture, or creativity has affected your life and your view of the Lynn community?

The arts and culture in Lynn is the catalyst of the diversity in our city. This is a platform where all races and ethnic backgrounds come together to enjoy and participate in. I believe this was most evident with the Beyond Walls movement. That initiative was perfectly executed and a true testament to the power that the creative community plays in unifying all its people.

Arts and Culture in the City
2. Lynn is blessed with a rich mix of arts and cultural organizations. What are two places where you have had personally significant arts and/or cultural experiences in our city?

Where haven’t I come across some type of art in Lynn. Most significant spaces in Lynn have been the Lynn museum / Lynn arts spaces and the White Rose café.

Addressing Citywide Issues
3. Lynn’s current challenges include a recent increase in violence, the opioid epidemic, and city finances. How would you integrate the arts, culture, and creative community in solving these challenges? Please give one or two specific examples.  

I would piggyback off of Raw Art Works art therapist and the program we run at Lynn public schools. It starts with our youth, if we can deter them from falling into the “cycle” we will be that much more successful as a city. If we can use arts to unlock a youth’s potential and use it to open their minds, we begin to change the fabric of our City. Lastly, art can be a great revenue generating aspect for Lynn. There is a section in Miami, FL named Wynwood, and a perfect model of the potential tax revenue for a municipality.

4. How would you use Lynn’s arts and culture community to revitalize the city so that businesses and customers flock to it? Please give one or two specific examples.

We must make the arts and creative economy the focal piece for the future. I envision welcoming maker space, as well as integrate the arts to beautify our open spaces. Lynn is the biggest city on the North Shore and should be flowing with innovation through arts and the creative community.

The City Council’s Role in the Creative Community
At a time when the Trump administration proposed dismantling the National Endowment for the Arts and the State Legislature chose not to increase investment in the Mass Cultural Council, we need local leadership and support for arts and culture here in the city—now more than ever. Describe how you will address these funding concerns in the following areas:

5. What three revenue sources will you consider creating or using to increase the city’s financial investment in the creative community?

Three areas of potential revenue sources would be:

  • Take advantage of Lynn’s history as a tourist destination for historic trolley rides
  • Art supply stores and potential construction of a theatre for the downtown
  • Bring in maker, incubator, and shared work spaces

 6. What are your program priorities and where will the funds be allocated?

I would work tirelessly with our leaders in the arts community to verify the priorities with them and get the funding needed to run these programs.

An Arts Destination
7. While Lynn is growing as a community, the city has yet to fully leverage the strength of our arts, culture, and creative community as a means for branding and attracting residents, employees, and visitors. How would you integrate the arts into your plan to make Lynn a place where people want to live, work, play, and visit?

Use our rich history as a tourist attraction and if we can combine it with the arts and cultural district and build around that it could be the start of a vibrant downtown. Secondly, we are an arts mecca without an art supply store. I have heard numerous times of artists having to train into Beverly or Cambridge to find a decent art supply, we should change that. Lastly, would be to make our creative economy more innovative and work with Autodesk or the artisan asylum and create a Lynn maker space.

8. The Downtown Lynn Cultural District is a core driver of DTL’s revitalization—yet it currently lacks the infrastructure, budget, or city leadership advocacy it needs to thrive. What would you do to significantly support the District?

I have been an avid supporter of the Cultural district since I was first introduced to it when I managed a coffee shop in the downtown. I still support it and as councilor and I will aggressively work to bridge the gaps and invest in it.

Arts Education and Programs for our Youth
9. Studies indicate that art instruction should be a critical part of education across all academic disciplines, as it develops the whole child. The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) has pledged to update the Commonwealth’s arts education curriculum and report on arts education in schools and districts. What will you do as Councilor-At-Large to support arts education in the city’s schools and our community?

I remember going to arts and craft classes in school, I hope they still have them. I value arts, it enhances a child’s imagination and their creative thinking. With today’s societal problems it is more important to keep your child away from as much TV and electronic distractions as possible. We must start the conversation with the school department to see what more can be done. How will we involve our youth to participate in the arts community and keep them engaged?


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...