Adriane​ ​Musgrave's Response to the Arts & Culture Questionnaire

Your​ ​Personal​ ​Connection
We’ve all had defining moments in our lives. What personal connections with the arts and
creative expression have had an impact on your life and views of the community?

I am continually in awe of artists and their ability to poignantly convey the human experience, explain complicated feelings and situations, and bring delight to diverse audiences. Art can be a strong force to bring people together. I have always sought out performances and exhibits to broaden my horizons and think about the world in a new way. In many ways, the arts can tell our history better than our nonfiction books. While I had the opportunity to attend an arts middle school as a trumpet player, today my love of the arts remains as an attendee and supporter.

City​ ​Investment​ ​in​ ​the​ ​Arts
As a City Councilor, how would you ensure Cambridge arts and creative community receives the funding it needs to fully realize its potential as a driving force in the community? While city investment in the Cambridge Arts Council has increased over past few years, direct support to the arts and cultural community does not meet the demand. Would you support a dedicated funding stream to provide funds for the creative community? At what financial level should the city invest in the Cambridge arts and creative sector?

The Cambridge Arts Council is a public nonprofit that works with local artists, businesses, and our universities to make connections between them, and to help make projects happen. Our city is very forward-thinking. It was established in the 1970s, and since then, whenever the city is discussing making changes to our built environment, the CCA makes sure that artists are part of the process. The group hosts Riverside Festival and Open Studios, among other events. Artists are also encouraged to bring their ideas to the Arts Council to receive funding or other support to make their idea a reality. The arts are a vibrant part of what makes Cambridge special, and we should find ways to bring more of it into the public sphere and make sure everyone in the city has full access.

Supporting​ ​a​ ​Diverse​ ​and​ ​Inclusive​ ​City
Cambridge is a diverse and thriving community. How would you use the creative community to
build connections that maintain and support the racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic diversity that
makes this city thrive?

I would like to set aside funds so that students and our low-income families can attend arts events and performances in the Boston area. We have a thriving arts scene, yet it is expensive for low and moderate income families to attend a show or regularly visit our art museums.
There are more than 90 languages spoken in Cambridge - a diversity that is likely unmatched anywhere in the country. Cambridge has a part-time Cultural Engagement Team with language capabilities that keeps communities up to date. I would like to make sure that this team is familiar with the arts opportunities so that language is not a barrier for our artists, and that all of our residents benefit from the talent that lives in the city.

Public​ ​Art​ ​and​ ​Creative​ ​Placemaking
Cambridge’s public art program is the oldest in the country. The city has a long history of supporting public art, yet caps and limits on funding have hampered artists’ abilities to fully engage and serve the communities. Would you consider expanding the program to require a percent for arts on private development projects, as well as public ones? Would you support expanding the use of % for arts funds beyond visual arts to performing arts?

There are many ways of integrating the arts into private development projects. During construction, many of the debris screens include artwork from local residents so that the site is a pleasant view for neighbors. I would also like to explore using vacant retail spaces for short, pop-up exhibits or performances. I would support allowing the % for arts funds to be used for performing arts.

Space​ ​to​ ​Rehearse,​ ​Create​ ​and​ ​Live
The lack of affordable studio space and housing makes it hard for artists to stay in Cambridge. How would you keep artists of all backgrounds in the city and provide the support necessary to thrive?

The affordable housing issue is complex and impacts many residents, including artists. I believe we should build a little denser and a little higher, particularly around areas of transit. Such strategic, incremental growth will help ensure that Cambridge continues to do its fair share of creating housing options and making the city more accessible to a wide range of residents. I would also like to ensure that art projects are brought into our buildings, not just on the outside.

Public​ ​Events
Some community institutions and artist groups have problems gaining access to public spaces in which they can gather, perform, create, and connect with the public. Would you encourage ways to allow more activity in community spaces?

Cambridge is known for its many lively, high-energy, large-scale events like the City Dance Party, Oktoberfest/Honk!, and Cambridge Carnival. That said, we have fewer pop-up or smaller-scale events. Just recently the Cambridge Common redesign was finished. The plaza,
sidewalks, and fields have all been restored. This park - and others - would be well suited for a summer series of small-scale music performances.
I have heard from artists that the licensing process can be cumbersome and overly burdensome. I’d like to explore changes we can make to improve this process, especially for live performances.

Youth Engagement
Engaging students with the arts in school and out of school is essential to educating the whole child. While the CPS arts education curricula provides access to many, we need more participation in arts education. Cambridge’s out of school youth arts organizations continue to service thousands of kids, yet struggle to raise the resources needed to meet student demand. How would you invest in arts education for students of all ages, both inside and outside of school to ensure all youth in Cambridge have a connection to the arts?

With the increased focus on academics, the arts in schools have often been diminished. I believe we need more after-school programs focused on the arts, art-making, and performing. We should allow our school facilities to be used for nonprofits that can help host these activities. One of my primary concerns is that our low-income families are not accessing after-school or summer programs for their children because they cannot afford them. With all of the resources in this community, I believe we should guarantee that all students have access to these programs, many of which can be based in the arts.
I am a strong supporter of the Community Art Center’s activities in The Port, and would like to make sure that these programs are fully supported by our city and the community. The recent “Vincent Van Go” brings out the creative potential in children and serves as a community hub. For readers who have not heard of it, “Home Port is a multi-year initiative that uses pop up events, photojournalism, public art, and story collection, to strengthen the Port community. Home Port asks that residents be directly involved in the formation and design of a neighborhood fashion brand, mobile art trailer and community gateway kiosk.” I particularly like that the fashion items are sold to the community, teaching students that art can be a career. 

Corporate​ ​and​ ​Institutional​ ​Support​ ​for​ ​Arts​ ​and​ ​Creativity
Cambridge is home to many large corporate offices and world renowned educational institutions, whose workers and students enjoy Cambridge’s cultural assets. What responsibility should these institutions have in supporting arts and creative expression in Cambridge?

Few places in the world have such high-caliber universities and corporations, with many serving as lead financial sponsors of arts programs and events. We should continue these efforts and make sure that all of our institutions and companies are actively contributing to creating stronger community connections.

Your​ ​“Go​ ​to”​ ​Places
Cambridge is blessed with a rich mix of arts and cultural organizations. Please tell us about two places where you have had personally significant connections to the arts and/or cultural experiences.

I am a devoted attendee of the American Repertory Theater (A.R.T.) and the Oberon in Harvard. Just recently I saw The Bitter Game and WarholCapote - both of which were excellent in their own ways. I also frequently attend Open Studios weekends and multiple festivals throughout the year.
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