Ewell Hopkins' 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.

As a parent, my children have been engaged in theater, music and drama programs throughout the region. I have witnessed firsthand the value of their arts and cultural experiences. My children have developed into accomplished individuals through their art and cultural pursuits.

Our family has enjoyed programs at the Yard in Chilmark, at the Martha’s Vineyard Playhouse, performances by the Martha’s Vineyard Chamber Society.

My children’s accomplishments include school productions at the Performing Arts Center, the all Cape and Island chorus, roles in productions at the Playhouse, gold key award winning photography.

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?

I believe in the philosophy of theologian, Howard Thurman who said: Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.

I am hesitant to make art education mandatory as it may undermine the joy of art and the process of creation. I would rather increase funding of arts in schools so that more students are attracted to art and cultural programs.

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?

Landlords and businesses may not be aware of the art and cultural resources and people in their communities. The first step would be to create a forum for the arts and business communities to meet each other, and to exchange ideas. The forum would:

Identify a collective vision
Capitalize on local trends
ID stakeholders

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?

The Arts and the Economy report by the National Governor’s Association states: “Most economic studies underestimate the actual footprint of the creative sector on state economies”

I would apply my efforts to establishing accurate measurements of the economic benefit of investments in the creative sector. The case for investment in the creative sector is strong, and it must be more broadly understood.

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 would model our efforts on the successes of the Adams Arts Program for the Creative Economy. This model shows that much can be accomplished.

As I have said before, the first step is to create forums for conversation and exchange of ideas among the art world and the world of business and economics. The creative community will be able to respond with fresh ideas to the challenges of the business community.

By supporting collaborative economic development efforts among cultural organizations; private for-profit businesses; and municipal, state, and federal agencies such as this model, much can be accomplished.

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...