Vesna Nuon'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 have served on the board of the Angkor Dance Troupe (and continue to attend the group’s performances) been advisor to the Clemente Park Committee (hosting annual Cambodian New Year Celebration), and others Cambodian/Hispanic/Burmese/African cultural events throughout the City of Lowell.

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

Lowell has many assets in the world of art and culture. I would advocate improving access to one of those, Western Art Studios, by striving to find a way to link it to the Downtown.

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

If we are true to our Complete Streets promise, incorporating the work of local artists into our landscape will make walking a more frequent and enriching experience.

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

Because of the huge fiscal responsibilities facing the city right now I cannot promise more municipal funding in the near future. However, I would work to find state funding and foster partnerships between our arts and business communities.

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

The arts and creative community is growing in Lowell, and the stronger these communities are the more other artists and visitors will be drawn to the City. More people in the city equals more people shopping, dining, and otherwise spending money in the city.

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?

As I stated above, the City is facing fiscal challenges in the near future because of the new high school and other infrastructure improvements that must be made. But I would support finding other funding and fostering partnerships with the local business community.

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?

The recent increase in cultural and artistic activities in the City puts us on the path to becoming a destination city. One of the best things to happen in Lowell recently is the founding of Lowell Makes, a unique collaboration between artists, engineers, and thinkers. And when the members also volunteer to teach classes to other members of the community, it is a double win for the City and its residents. I would encourage more of these types of activities to keep us relevant year-round, not just during Folk Festival and other annual events.

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?

One of the main reasons I am running for City Council is my belief that our government, our boards, our neighborhood groups, and the employees of our local businesses should reflect the diverse population of Lowell. By bringing together the many perspectives that make this city such a unique and remarkable place we can reach our highest potential. This also applies to the artistic and cultural communities. As a councilor I will work to create and strengthen diversity in every aspect of our city.

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