Danny Rourke’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 try to attend events that are held in the city and promote and share through social media such as the Kinetic Sculpture Race just last month and obviously the Lowell Folk Festival this past summer. 
2. How will you work to support and grow the creative economy in Lowell?
I will continue to support the various events held throughout the year. I will support investments in city marketing of events through our cultural affairs office. I will support efforts to continue to attract artists to live and work in the city. 
3. How can the city incorporate arts into the city design and planning process?
One of our biggest assets in the city is our cultural and arts community and ensuring that they remain part of our city fabric should be part of the planning process. I feel that it is critical to include representatives from the cultural community as we hold discussions around things such as master plan etc.
4. How can the city support more public art initiatives?    
Simple answer is marketing and partnerships. The Council has filed and supported multiple motions concerning cultural events over the past four years. 
City Investment in the Arts
5.  Do you believe the art and creative community positively impacts our local economy? How?
Yes, the art and creative community attract many visitors to our city each year. A visitor may come for a particular show or installation or event but they are then usually eating at a restaurant or exploring other parts of the community. Many times these visitors will make return trips. 
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?

The are and cultural community are part the fabric of our city and an important asset. Therefore, I feel that it is important for the city to approach investments in that area as we approach investments in all areas of our community.  It is important that we make investments in a meaningful way and that we provide adequate support to departments such as the cultural affairs office so that we can have the most impact.  

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 feel that for the most part there are arts and cultural opportunities for everyone in the city. As always though, there is room to grow and be better. I feel that finding ways to help people know that there are arts and cultural opportunities for everyone in city regardless backgrounds. I think some people feel that you have to have a certain income level or educational background to participate, however we know that isn't the case, in particular in a city such as Lowell that has such a variety of cultural events and programs. I think we should explore ways to dispel that notion. 

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 things this city excels at is our ability to develop partnerships between city agencies, the school department, the arts community and community organizations. Bringing various partners to the table to work on programming opportunities is critical in integrating the arts and cultural community. Recognizing events and organizations at city council meetings to provide exposure is important.  
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...