District of Columbia
Public Officials Arts Questionnaire
Bill Rice for Ward 3 Date: June 9, 2006
1. The DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities will make more than $7.9 million available in FY 2006 for art grants and arts education programs. Additionally, recent funding initiatives in the District have been targeted at improving arts and cultural facilities in local neighborhoods and supporting arts outreach projects and youth programs. Many of these efforts have been spearheaded by Mayor Williams and supported by the DC City Council.
Question: As Mayor (or City Council Member) would you continue to provide and increase funding to the DC Arts Commission for local arts grants and arts education programs?
Yes, I will continue to provide and increase funding for the DC Arts Commission. I believe it is a most worthwhile public investment.
2. In 2000, the Cultural Alliance of Greater Washington completed an economic impact study and found that arts in the District generate $1.4 billion and support more than 7,900 full-time equivalent jobs each year.
Question: Now knowing that there is a major economic return on investing in the arts in DC, what plans do you have to continue revitalizing neighborhoods and commercial districts with an infusion of the arts?
In addition to money for the Arts Commission, I support integrating the visual and performing arts into all of the city’s neighborhoods through direct grants from the Arts Commission and assistance from economic development agencies and organizations and promotion through DC Government land use decisions.
3. Question: What benefits do you believe the arts can bring to DC residents and neighborhoods?
Arts bring neighborhood based economic development, increased pride and sense of correction with the past. I was involved with District Department of Transportation’s program to reclaim formerly abandoned fire and police call boxes to turn them over to communities as neighborhood icons.
4. For the first time in the District's history, the DC Office of Planning will include Arts and Culture as a separate component of the District of Columbia's Comprehensive Plan elevating its status in the city government along side other essential city services and activities such as economic development, youth initiatives, affordable housing, crime prevention, education, human services, governance, and infrastructure and land usages.
Question: What is your position on the DC Office Planning efforts to include Arts and Culture as a separate component of the city's overall Comprehensive Plan for the future?
I favor the efforts. Please refer back to my answers for questions 2 and 3.
5. In recent years, over $140 million have been made available to arts organizations through the District's budget for new buildings and other capital projects.
Question: Will you continue this policy to assist in the growth of citywide and neighborhood cultural facilities? What other specific steps would you take to continue improving cultural facilities in DC Neighborhoods?
Yes, I will continue the policy to assist in the growth of citywide and neighborhood cultural facilities. Through my personal and official actions I will promote arts activities, local cultural institutions and all kinds of individual and collective arts endeavors (e.g. galleries, performances, theatre, film, fine arts, historical districts).
6. Question: What arts and cultural activities have you personally attended, participated in, and/or supported in the last year?
My wife, Myrna Sislen owns Middle C Music, the only full service music store in the District. She often has musical performances at the store, which I attend. My personal favorite from this year is Tappers with Attitude. I have also been to art galleries, local movie houses, art shows around town, community art fairs, and so on.