It was great to get some different questions from the arts community. These were my written answers to questions posed verbally at the forum. I am sure my answers varied from what is written here. Here is a video link to the forum.
Why is Art important and what has been the impact of the Arts on your life, personally?
Art became important to me in high school when an inspiring teacher helped me discover ceramics. I went to CU where I earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree. An additional bonus was that I met my wife of 36 years , Jill, in drawing class. She continues to be an artist and I enjoy critiquing her work -- when she asks me to. So the arts have played a significant role in my life. Just as a side light, I have brought my resume from 1983 when I was showing with some success. Yes, art is personal for me.
What role, if any, do you believe Arts & Culture plays in general policy making at the local level?
The arts, general creativity, storytelling and story listening need to be part of good governance. While facts and data are a foundation for our decision making and we must not ignore them, we must also acknowledge that our lives are so much more than measurable metrics. That is why we have liberal arts education as a foundation of our society. I am in favor of broad liberal arts as a foundation for governing.
What does a “culturally vibrant city” look like to you?
It looks a lot like Boulder plus a bunch more diversity. And by diversity, I mean social, racial, and economic diversity. Our measurable levels of diversity, especially racially and economically, are declining. We need to reverse these trends through housing policy, land use policy, and the ways we collect money and the ways we spend money.
Who is the focus of Boulder’s Arts policy – the artists or audiences? Even as the City increases funding for the Arts, it’s not enough; many worthy projects and organizations are unfunded and the artists themselves often cannot afford to live in Boulder. Please talk about affordability and the Arts.
There’s a saying that if you want to know where the next best deal in real estate is - follow the artists.
Well, I don’t want to see us follow the artist right out of Boulder. As I just said, we need real policies, not just goal setting, that promote economic diversity, because economic diversity is required for social, racial, cultural, and artistic diversity.
How will you use Arts and Culture to address the pressing concerns of our city – equity, inclusion, justice, climate, homelessness, to name a few? How do you see Arts & Culture fitting into your overarching goals for the city?
The arts are essential for our minds to assimilate concepts that become central to our way of being. Think about reading To Kill a Mockingbird and how that changed your life. It changed mine.
Another great example of this is the show on display at the CU Art Museum It’s Honor Is Hereby Pledged, by Gina Adams. These are pledges, made on our honor and in our name, to Native Americans made into quilts.
It’s a powerful, beautiful, moving and effective way of portraying injustice. We should all see this show.
(If there’s time) What piece of public art do you feel best represents the city of Boulder, and why? You can tell us about a piece that exists, or a piece that you think should exist here.
The Broadway and Baseline underpass“Triangulation” art project. It’s my favorite because it involves sculpture, design, graphics, and Boulder geography, the 40th parallel and science, and history rolled up into one beautiful project. It’s very Boulder.