Answers from the Mayoral candidates and Council candidates about their support for the arts.
Thank you for participating in the public officials arts questionnaire. The following questions are intended to gain personal views and/or platforms of elected officials and current candidates for public office in the District of Columbia on arts-related issues. Responses will be published without comment to the general public.
District of Columbia Public Officials Arts Questionnaire 2006
LINDA W. CROPP Date: 5/8/06
1. The DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities will make more than $7.9 million available in FY 2006 for arts grants and arts education programs. Additionally, recent funding initiatives in the District have 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 would you continue to provide and increase funding to DC Arts Commission for local arts grants and arts education funding?
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 arts in DC, what plans do you have to continue revitalizing neighborhoods and commercial districts with an infusion of the arts.
I strongly support significant District government funding to the Arts Building Communities Competitive Grants program which annually allocates several million dollars to support cultural activities and facilities improvements in underserved communities; the DC Creates Public Art program which provides arts installation services for major public arts projects in geographically challenged areas of the District; the Neighborhood Public Art Projects to meet popular demand for murals and other public art; the Community Public Arts Initiatives which allow community groups to nominate sites for placement of public art in their neighborhoods; funding to support the continued revitalization of Downtown through the installation of sculptures murals in public spaces; capital dollars that support the Arts Bank program and Cultural Facilities grants, and capital funding for the Anacostia Stadium Art project to as a one-time opportunity to integrate artwork into the construction of the new ballpark.
3. Question: What benefits do you believe the arts can bring to DC residents and their neighborhoods?
The arts cultivate a vibrant, culturally diverse community; often pave the way for educational opportunities for our youth, and help revitalize our neighborhoods--breathing new life into our city and making it a better place to live, work and visit. And, the arts have a positive economic impact as well.
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 alongside 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 of Planning efforts to include Arts and Culture as a separate component of the city’s overall Comprehensive Plan for the future?
I support it and will urge Council adoption when the Comprehensive Plan is submitted for consideration later this year.
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 and strengthen the policy to assist in the growth of citywide and neighborhood cultural facilities. I will continue to support tax increment and other District government-assisted financing for the new construction, renovation and expansion of cultural facilities throughout the District. I have supported among others, the Dance Place in Ward 5; the GALA Hispanic Theater at the Tivoli in Ward 1; and the ARC in Ward 8 that provides the finest in art instruction led by artists from The Washington Ballet, the Levine School of Music and the Corcoran School of Art where for adults and children of all ages discover, thrive and enjoy live theater.
I am committed to implementing the requirement that one percent of the capital budget for new buildings and other major capital projects be devoted to incorporating art into the public spaces of these projects.
6. Question: What arts and cultural activities have you personally attended, participated in, and/or supported in the last year.
In addition to the examples cited in previous answer, I have supported District government financial assistance during the past year to the Studio Theater, the Arena Stage, the Shakespeare Theater, the Corcoran School of Art, the Atlas Performing Arts Center, the New Sewell Music Conservatory, and the Avalon Theater. I have also supported funding to such valuable arts educational organizations targeted to residents East of the River such as the “Life Pieces to Masterpieces” program in Ward 7 as well as arts instruction, job training and career development by the ARCH Development Corporation in Ward 8.
I have supported funding for and participated in events sponsored by Cultural Tourism DC and the African American Heritage Trail, as well as the National Building Museum.
I personally attended exhibits by Peter Robinson and Russell Simmons and at the Phillips Gallery, enjoyed performances at the Arena Stage, and was warmed by performances by the DC Boy’s Choir and the Washington Performing Arts Society.