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Question 1:

Metro Graph

Question 2:

The Fund for the Arts, along with the Mayor’s office, Convention & Visitors Bureau, GLI, and other community partners are working on an Arts Master Plan to develop a shared vision for how the arts can help move Louisville forward as a more competitive city. What strategies do you think need to be explored and implemented?

Responses:

S Brandon Coan, District 8

As one of only three trustees of the Norton Foundation and, also, a board member of the Kentucky College of Art and Design at Spalding University, I am a strong supporter of the arts. Three top strategies I think need to be explored and implemented are: 1) elevating and integrating our culinary arts scene into our performing and visual arts scenes; 2) nurturing and promoting our music scene; and 3) bringing together our arts and urban planning and design communities to better combine form and function in our public spaces. Strategy #1 goes hand-in-hand with our food and beverage sector economic development and tourism strategies, and should model California and other “wine countries.” Strategy #2 should – among other things – reclaim bluegrass as Louisville and Kentucky’s rightful brand of music (just like we’ve staked our claim on bourbon), peeling the genre away from contemporary Nashville’s brand of industry-pop country; it should also celebrate all of Louisville’s diverse musical heritage and really focus on supporting musicians – Seattle’s Music Commission should be a model. Finally, strategy #3 is important not merely to beautify the city but, also, to educate policy makers and other community leaders that design matters in every aspect of our community (road design and pedestrian safety or lighting and crime prevention, for example).

Chris Kolb, District 8

We must integrate the arts into the fabric of city life. Among other benefits, exposure to the arts increases academic achievement, reduces social stress among adults and children, makes people healthier, supports job growth, sustains neighborhoods by stabilizing property values, leads to more civic engagement, generates higher income for local businesses, increases tourism, and improves child welfare. We especially must support the arts in low-income neighborhoods and take advantage of our urban setting to lift up artistic forms such as hip hop, street art, and artistic activism. Not only do urban art forms have much to offer us socially and intellectually, they also help bring people together across lines that too frequently divide us as we have seen through the phenomenal impact of the musical Hamilton. Hamilton not only entertains, it promotes historical awareness, leads to a critical discussion of democracy, race, and gender, and brings together a highly diverse group of people.

Terra Long, District 8

I believe that appreciation for the Arts is best ingrained when it starts at a young age. That being said, I would like to explore strategies that pursue that, such as creative arts programs in our community centers and libraries (possibly run by local arts non-profits), integration of the existing arts curriculum in JCPS and private schools with arts programs in community centers and libraries to create a comprehensive Arts Curriculum for young people in Louisville.

Lynnie Meyer, District 8

Arts create a vibrant city, spur redevelopment, lead economic development, help local residents make a living, attract a new creative class and unite a community. I would work with the Fund and Community partners to develop a shared language and understanding of what the arts and culture can do for a community and facilitate residents of Metro 8 feeling a part of community planning efforts. I support outreach programs in the city promoting our arts in the city.. as well as expanding community productions at the neighborhood level and integration of the arts into healthcare.

Barbara Sexton Smith, District 4

First and foremost we need more public/private partnerships. Arts improve the livability of our community and cultivate a culture of collaboration. When business values the Arts – communities thrive. We must also expand the reach of the Arts to our young people. We continue to have a powerful impact on elementary aged children through 5×5. Programs like 5×5 and teacher arts grants need to be extended through middle school and increase after school programming. We are losing the battle at that critical age and the Arts will play a pivotal role in the winning of this war for our children’s future.

Charles Terry Wooden, District 8

I believe getting into the various cultures in our city and allowing them to express their talents and gifts involving the arts and sharing these gifts with the rest of Louisville. I created the “Festival of World Cultures… Peoples of the Earth Building Cultural Bridges.” We awarded participants in the Scenes and Dreams program for their successful entries of Photographs, Poems, Short Stories and Essays. I also developed a program called Music in Motion where we taught children about dance and music during the summer camp programs. In order to support our arts programs we must make them available to children so they will be familiar with them as adults. I would work with art groups to make the arts available to children and adults so they will be familiar and support the arts in the future.

Question 3:

Public funding is critical to maximizing the impact of the arts and culture in our community, and to providing access to these assets for all residents. In a recent survey by Americans for the Arts, Americans approve of government arts funding by a 2:1 margin. Metro Louisville currently allocates funds to arts and cultural organizations through External Agency Fund ($516,200), to Commission on Public Art ($109,100), and additional money from Metro Council members through Neighborhood Development Funds ($156,817.46). Would you consider increasing, decreasing, or keeping the allocations flat?

Brandon Coan, District 8

Response: Increase

Comment: As a trustee of the Norton Foundation, I take very seriously my responsibility to fund organizations and programs based on the results they produce; I will take the same approach when considering how we spend public tax dollars on art or anything else.

Chris Kolb, District 8

Response: Increase

Comment: Unfortunately, short-sighted politicians like Matt Bevin often threaten to cut funding for the arts. As your Metro Councilperson, I will not allow this to happen. Instead, I will fight to increase funding for the arts. The arts are one of the best investments we can make in our neighborhoods, our people, and our city.

Lynnie Meyer, District 8

Response: Increase

Barbara Sexton Smith, District 4

Response: Increase

Comment: Over the last decade government funding for the Arts has continued to decline. We must reverse that trend. The Arts unite communities and create jobs. The Arts are not a luxury, they are an absolute necessity for a vibrant, healthy and growing community.

Charles Terry Wooden, District 8

Response: Increase

Comment: I have always been a big support of the arts and would continue to do so in a greater capacity as the 8th District Metro Council.

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