1. Arts and Humanities programs and activities take place in many areas of Ward 6, and many residents take advantage of them. Having been nurtured in the arts from an early age, I support the arts and would be in favor of providing adequate funding for area programs.
2. D.C. lacks an incubator that encourages artistic expression as does the Torpedo Factory in Old Town Alexandria. As we consolidate unused city owned space, for example, I would like to see some of the space reused in whole or in part for arts and humanities related purposes. Also, public art with different themes, such as the cows, allows for the public to experience different forms of expression. I would encourage the private sector to sponsor artistic commissions throughout
the city so that we see more than statutes and memorials.
3. The arts in their various forms can provide a means for people to participate in the work itself. For example, a dance company performance on a street or public park can draw in curious passersby to participate and learn about the dance. On holidays, a dramatic performance and/or reading can inform and uplift the listener, and provide a broader context for the observance of the holiday itself. Lastly, in neighborhoods that lack artistic outlets, outreach in those neighborhoods could inspire a future singer, writer, or philosopher, and make arts and culture more inclusionary.
4. I think the Office of Planning is on the right track in recognizing the role of arts and culture in everyday life. It is important that D.C. not only have clean, safe, and viable places for people to live and work, we must also insist on making those places stimulating and rich with activity. Unlike New York City, which utilizes Central Park as a location to serve the masses, the District should ensure that current neighborhoods, and those being created by new development, are not distanced from the civilizing effects of arts and culture. Ideally we should bring arts and culture to the people where they live. It's a quality of life improvement.
5. I see no reason not to support the continuation of the budget for new buildings and capital projects. An idea that that I would like to see happen in the District is to increase the ability for a mobile performance and/or exhibit space to visit various parts of the city. I grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio, and every summer a mobile stage would visit the neighborhood several times and musical performances would take place. The Department of Recreation could be involved in making this happen.
6. In the past year I recall attending musical performances at Wolf Trap, and theatrical performances the Kennedy Center. I am regular attendee of "Jazz Night" in Southwest D.C., I attended events at the Museum of Women in the Arts, and as a steering committee member of the Stanton Park Neighborhood Association, we co-sponsored a local production of "Seussical."
Best Regards, Leo Pinson
Pinson 2006 Committee
P.O. Box 15497
Washington, D.C. 20003