Michael Heylin's Response to the Cape Cod Arts and Cultural Questionnaire

Arts and Culture in Your District

Cape Cod is blessed with a rich mix of arts & cultural organizations. Please name two places in the district where you have had personally significant arts and cultural experiences.

Just naming 2 places where I have had the privilege of witnessing arts and culture in our district is nowhere near enough.  I have volunteered for and worked with groups in my district to both preserve art and culture in all its forms as well as to promote arts and culture.  I recently taped and edited promotional videos for Highfield Hall and Gardens in order to spread the word on their Spring/Summer offerings.  I volunteered for The Falmouth Theatre Guild and videotaped their latest musical Shrek, so that cast, crew, family and friends can cherish it forever.

I have worked with the Falmouth Village Association to promote their events like scaredy crow, movies at Peg Noonan and Jazz Stroll where I videotaped Bart Weisman at the Falmouth Museums on the Green to videotape and broadcast Bart’s discussion on the history of Jazz on Cape Cod.

I have also worked with local bars and concert venues such as Grumpy’s and the Woods Hole Community Center to showcase such bands as Crooked Coast, Lord scum vs. Pond scum, and a Cello concert by Mike Block being hosted by Nikki Patton’s Chappaquoit Cello Studio in West Falmouth

I have also worked with Erika Szuplat and Wisha Studios at the Cataumet Arts Center where we focused on showing the beauty of still photography, painting, yarn work and so much more.

My family has been involved with the Mashpee Pops and I recall attending the first event at the Commons, and how beuitful and magical a night it was.

There are so many amazing Arts and Cultures places, people and moments to remember.

Arts Education and Programs for our Youth

Creativity and innovation are vital skills in a student’s education and in workforce development in our 21st century economy. How will you champion arts education? 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?

Currently I run a non-profit Media Arts Center.  I train students from 5th grade through college on how to use digital media and technology to make artwork in several mediums.  I have had students make audio songs, video productions, cartoons, 3D art, photographs, etc. under my tutelage.  Last year, two of my High School students won a national and went to nationals.  This past year, one of my college interns won an award for best video game nationwide.  It has been, and will continue to be, my goal to ensure every student understands technology and art and how the two coexist to make amazing things, with the help of the student.

Nationally, I was the Vice Chair of the Alliance for Community media, as well as the Foundation for the Alliance for Community Media.  As the Vice Chair we put on a number of youth media summits from San Jose to Philadelphia. “The Alliance for Community Media is a national, non-profit membership organization committed to ensuring access to electronic media for all people.  The Alliance for Community Media carries forth its mission by educating, advocating and acting as a resource for the more than 3,000 Public, Educational and Governmental (PEG) cable channels nationwide.”

Economic Development

There are countless vacant buildings and storefronts from Falmouth to Provincetown, including the Hibel and Armory buildings in downtown Hyannis. What incentive might you use to entice landlords and/or businesses to partner up with our local artists to bring new life to vacant main street buildings?

Recently, on one of my trips to Nantucket, I had the pleasure of sitting down with a group of young creatives.  They wanted to form an artist community, but the staggering rent and slim availability of housing made it difficult to do.  I researched and found that there are state organizations which will fund cultural endeavors on a rather large scale.  It would be great o see us, as a community, band together and fill some of these open storefronts with culture and arts using state funding, to start, and hard work and community resources to keep these cultural and arts facilities open. http://www.massculturalcouncil.org/facilities/facilities.htm

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 environment that supports the creative community and tourism across the Commonwealth, and particularly on Cape Cod?

Addressing Cape Cod’s Socioeconomic Issues

Cape Cod faces many economic and social issues, among them homelessness, addiction, and limited services for both youth and seniors. Can you provide examples on how you would integrate the arts, culture, and creative community in solving the district’s social and economic challenges?

I have mentioned previously that I mentor High School students, and have for many years.  These students come from various socioeconomic backgrounds, but most are coming from a background that may not include both parents, or there may be drugs or poverty present.  I have found that my program has driven these students to stay in school, do better with their other classes, and work harder in order to ensure they get to college to continue their passion.  My program has enabled students, who otherwise may not have had the chance, to use state of the art technology in order to create artwork they are passionate about.  I have had a 100% success rate in students coming through my program and moving on to the next year of schooling.  If you give youth something they are passionate about, music art videography photography painting, they will work harder in all other aspects of their lives to continue doing what drives them.

Here is a youtube playlist of just some of the work I have done to help promote Arts and Culture on Cape Cod, and also preserve such great performances:


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commented 2016-08-01 19:21:44 -0400 · Flag
Michael, I know your family and how they are respected in our community. I can clearly see by your well thought out answers that you are of the same caliber. Being an artist myself, I am pleased to learn more about your thoughts in answering the questions posed to you, especially regarding the Cape’s socioeconomic issues. I believe you have the right idea that we need to reach out and engage our youth. You have earned my vote, not because of your family but because of who you are.

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