Dave Rosa Response

Your Personal Connection

We've all had defining moments in our lives. What personal experience with arts, culture, or creativity had an impact on your life and your view of the community?

My daughter, Sarah Rosa, builds AAA video games and is a top-notch cosplayer.  She lives in Texas with her fiancée.  She most recently worked on Bioshock Infinite and even got (uncredited) voice work!  She has an undeniable gift from God that I can only marvel at.  We must support these gifted individuals morally and if necessary, financially.

Arts and Culture in Your District

Art and culture plays a role in the Commonwealth from Boston and the Gateway Cities and our rural and suburban towns.  Please provide us with a story of the impact a local arts or cultural institution brings to your district.

I have a friend named Barbara N. who is famous for reproduction Dedham pottery, who supported her family from her home studio and shop for thirty years.  She struggled then, but she made it through a combination of hard work and creative spark.  This ought to be a viable path for every aspiring artist.

She is retired now, and lives and works in Greece.  She recently came back to the States to visit family and friends and to visit doctors.  It’s inspiring to see someone follow her dream and succeed.

 Artists are workers and producers.  They deserve to live in a Commonwealth that supports entrepreneurship and work, whether it’s through the arts, trades or sciences.  On my website, www.DaveRosa2014.com, you can read about my plan to bring Opportunity Centers to the Commonwealth, so every artist (and other potential worker) can realize their dream.


Arts Education and Programs for our Youth

Creativity and innovation are vital skills in a student’s education. While many communities have access to quality arts education, many youth are still being left out of the creative community. How will you champion arts education for our youth both in our schools and in our communities? How will you balance the importance of arts education with the constant pull to “teach to the test”? Would you support joining ten other states to make one year of arts education in high school a requirement for admission to the state university system? Do you support adding ‘arts’ into the Commonwealth’s STEM program to transform it to STEAM?

Our current education system is utterly broken.  Feeding more tax dollars into it won’t change that; however, cutting tax dollars is unlikely to help, either. 

My plan is to allow every family the choice to send their children to the school, which best serves his or her needs.  That means that K-12 schools for the Arts will have the opportunity to compete for tax dollars that go with the student, not with the geographical area.

Economic Development

Nonprofit art and cultural organizations support more than 45,000 jobs, spend $2.1 billion annually and generate another $2.5 billion of economic activity. How will the legislature foster an ecosystem which supports the creative community and industry across the Commonwealth?

Politics are the process by which we come together and decide how to allocate scarce resources.  Emphasis on “scarce,” but also on “together.”  I’m willing to listen to any plan, which promises economic development.

 Addressing the Commonwealth’s Socioeconomic Issues

Massachusetts faces many economic and social issues, among them workforce development, public safety, and health care. Can you provide examples on how you would utilize the arts, cultural, and creative community to address the Commonwealth’s social and economic challenges?

 There are countless community festivals in local cities and towns which foster those ideals which that locality cares most about.  I am interested in seeing local cultural events of this kind continue.

One important way that we can support the arts, while at the same time enhancing local communities, is to support groups like children’s theaters and dance troupes.  These activities are just as important to the health of a community as sports, for instance. 

However: It is not government’s job to nudge people in one direction or another in their beliefs and culture.  These kinds of initiatives should come from the local level, rather than the State Legislature.

The Commonwealth’s Support and Role in the Creative Community

  • Last year, Massachusetts invested $12 million in organizational support through the Massachusetts Cultural Council (MCC) for the creative community, ranking it ninth in the country. In 1988, the MCC gave out more than $27 million in grants, more than twice what we do now. At what level would you fund the MCC?
  • For the past two years, Governor Patrick allocated $15 million in matching grants through the Massachusetts Cultural Facilities Fund to support the maintenance, repair, and rebuilding of the Commonwealth’s cultural facilities. At what level do you suggest the Commonwealth fund this program?
  • Would you develop or dedicate a revenue stream to provide a sustainable and stable funding stream for the arts, cultural, and creative community?

We are in dire economic straits here in the Commonwealth, and there are many unfunded liabilities we must address.  If we can find areas to cut spending – real cuts, not reductions in the rate of increase of spending – then all options will be on the table.

I believe that the very best way to support the arts is to keep the taxpayer’s money in her pocket, so she can vote with her own money on what art is valuable to her.

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