Ask the Candidates

Keep the conversation going by asking the candidates questions about arts and culture. Raise your hand at events, tweet at the candidates, email them, and pose questions on their Facebook pages about their positions on arts, culture, and creativity. 

You can pull a question from Create the Vote Questionnaires, or use one from below.

Sample questions to ask in person:

What are your priority issues? What role can the creative community play in addressing these challenges?

What will you do to champion arts education for our youth both in our schools and in our community?

How would you grow the arts budget across the Commonwealth, and particularly in the district?

How will you support the Massachusetts Public Art Program for the Commonwealth and creative placemaking in the district?

Sample posts for social media:

.[candidate handle], how have arts and culture impacted your life? #CreateTheVote

.[candidate handle], what are your priority issues? What role can the creative community play in addressing these challenges? #CreateTheVote

.[candidate handle], what will you do to champion #artsed for youth both in schools & in communities? #CreateTheVote

.[candidate handle], how will you grow the arts budget for Massachusetts? #CreateTheVote

.[candidate handle], how will support the Massachusetts Public Art Program? #CreateTheVote

What others are asking:

At our summertime Create the Vote Launch Parties, we asked attendees what questions they'll be asking the candidates. Here's what they came up with:

Arts & Education

  • How can you use your position to give every child creative experiences in the public schools?
  • Do you believe that art can have a major effect on students’ grades and turn schools around, as proven by many schools?
  • The study of music has been shown to help students’ learning abilities in all subjects, especially STEM. What will you do to ensure that music education will thrive? Are you committed?
  • Will you secure more funding for the arts in public schools?
  • How can we encourage and support after school vacation and weekend arts programs for enrichment?
  • Do you see the value in arts education, and if so, how will you make sure all kids get an arts education?
  • Have you experienced joy in learning? Have you observed students learning in and through the arts? The two are inextricably linked.
  • How will you ensure support of art and art education from preschool through age 18?
    • It’s proven to be advantageous for creative thinking, mental health, etc.)
  • How will you support the arts in education?
  • The arts help young people develop voices, empathy, connection, and confidence. What will you do to support arts in education?
  • When you envision education for young people what role do the arts play?
  • How will you ensure all students—regardless of where they live or go to school—have access to consistent, quality, arts education?
  • Do you support an arts requirement to attend a MA public university?
  • Are there creative ways to bring more arts into the classroom without being cost prohibitive?
  • What will you do to expand services for professional development for teachers in arts integration techniques—to help teachers engage their students?
  • How will you ensure that students aren’t denied arts opportunities because of where they live or how much their parents earn?
  • What role have arts and education played in your life?

Arts & the Economy

  • How will you support the creative economy?
  • How can we use arts as an economic development tool?
  • How are you fighting for the NEA?
  • How can you help create the economic engine of an arts district?
  • How would you help fund art events in neighborhoods, like those on the greenway?
  • How will you incorporate job training programs for creative disciplines into your economic policy thinking?
  • How do we keep the cost of participating in arts events low?
  • Will you promote more public art interactions (like the Greenway)?
  • What are you doing to bring more cultural organizations to the city to enliven the community in different areas?
  • Do you believe the arts are an economic driver in a city or town?
  • Will you use the funding stream from the tax on Airbnbs on the arts?
  • Will you increase funding for the arts in Massachusetts if elected?
  • Do you understand the impact of the arts on our local economy?
  • How will you work to overcome a line-item governor veto to arts funding?

Arts & Community

  • How will you champion economic development through the arts? Will you help fund innovative ideas to help artists and communities prosper from their creativity? How?
  • How will your policies help support/advance arts education, arts and economic development, and arts in the community?
  • How will you make arts and cultural experiences accessible to all and inclusive?
    • For example, with the influx of luxury housing and bridging the economic disparities of Boston
  • How are the arts any less important than any other discipline?
  • Will you commit to increased funding for the Arts Capital Investment Trust?
  • What will you do to support capital investment in arts-focused buildings and organizations that need a permanent space for their arts enterprises?
  • How does your support of the arts differ from your opponents’?
  • How can we create more paid opportunities for artists to engage with community and help solve municipal problems?
  • How will you work to acknowledge the important role that arts and culture play in creating the quality of life we enjoy in our communities?
  • How will you expand the role of government to acknowledge and support the role of arts and culture that impacts the heart and mind of individuals beyond their daily work, health, and legal needs?
  • Do you believe in and support the existence of a community center in every town or city?
  • Can you or do you have an arts experience that impacted your life? What was it and what made you value it?
  • How will you keep the rising costs of living affordable for artists and arts nonprofits who bring vitality to our communities?
  • How will you use your visible position to promote art and culture in Massachusetts?
  • How can we provide low cost after-school arts programming? For example, can there be more support for arts organizations that partner with local community centers?
  • At what level will you support public funding for the arts at the state and federal levels?
  • How do you think we can build community if not for art centers?
  • How do you define equity in the arts?

Arts & Public Health/Safety

  • Do you respect the research that demonstrates the link between arts programs and reduced recidivism? What will you do to support these efforts?
  • What role do you see the arts playing in a community in regards to public safety?
  • Do you support funding for art therapy for people suffering from addiction?
  • How will you encourage more public art and participatory art to activate public spaces and consciousness?
  • How will you fund more public art to make our communities safer?
  • How will you support arts education for those who are incarcerated?What connections do you see between creative arts and addiction treatment?Can we guarantee that all schools will have active arts programs to help all aspects of personal development
  • How can we use art and collaborate with artists to solve issues with infrastructure and create new solutions?
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