Matthew Wally's Response to the Arts & Culture Questionnaire

  1. How would you engage the creative community to drive economic development and build social capital in our neighborhoods and throughout the city?

    I will advocate to have organizations from the creative community at the table when discussions on economic development are occurring. I will also promote to have the creative community work in partnership with existing small businesses located in our commercial corridors in order to beautify streetscapes and buildings.
  2. What revenue sources will you create or use to increase the city’s investment in the creative community?

    Similar to most activities that require funding from the city, budgetary constraints are always an issue. It will be important for the council to implement policies that grow the tax base in order to increase investments in the creative community. But the city should also look for opportunities to make non-monetary investments in the creative community. Examples include the utilization of city-owned public spaces for art exhibits, concert, and artistic performances.
  3. What will you do to support arts education in the city’s schools and in our community?

    I will fight for line items in the budget that are used for art education in the public schools. I will also promote public/private partnerships in order to ensure the city’s most vulnerable population have access to art education.
  4. Worcester is fortunate to have leadership in its administration that supports public art throughout the city. Would you support a Percent for Art program for state and local development projects?

    I would support the implementation of a Percent for Art program or the implementation of a similar requirement that encourages the developer to include their own art as part of any development project
  5. How would you use the arts and culture community to build connections that maintain and support the ethnic and socioeconomic diversity that makes Worcester a truly creative city for all?

    The existence of a vibrant arts and culture community benefits every neighborhood and all socioeconomic levels. Fortunately, one of Worcester’s assets is the existence of a very experienced nonprofit sector that assists culturally-diverse neighborhoods and families of all income levels. I would encourage the development of strong relationships between Worcester’s cultural community and the numerous neighborhood revitalization nonprofits in order to increase the accessibility of the arts to those who may typically lack such access.
  6. What will you do to provide more affordable housing and work spaces for artists?

    I will encourage the rehabilitation of abandoned and underutilized historic properties to be used for affordable housing and work space for artists.
  7. The Worcester Cultural Coalition Needs Assessment demonstrates the current supply of space does not meet the demand of the arts community. What steps will you take to address this problem?

    I will encourage the rehabilitation of abandoned and underutilized historic properties to be used to meet the demand for space from the arts community.
  8. What personal experience with arts, culture and creativity have your participated in over the last year?

    I served on the Planning Committee for The Family Health Center of Worcester’s 19th annual Art in the City Gala. The gala raises money to be used for affordable health care for low-income families through the auction of art that is donated from dozens of Worcester artists. This experience gave me a new perspective on the arts community and its dedication to improving the lives of all of Worcester’s residents.


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