Position Seeking: City Council
Question 1: Please share a meaningful experience you had with art (visual, dance, drama, music, media arts) while growing up and its impact on you.
Thinking back to my youth, just a few years ago, the music of the Beach Boys and The Four Seasons truly had an impact on me. It was something about the way they harmonized and the lyrics in their songs that could take me away to somewhere else; somewhere away from my homework and my football or track practice. There was something different about them that put me in a good mood and you could even say, lifted my spirits.
My current appreciation of music is directly attributed to listening to those two groups on the radio and on vinyl. More recently, I have been able to see the musical, Jersey Boys, which provided me with an even better understanding of The Four Seasons, and boy was it great to hear those songs again. (We have since gone back to see it two additional times!)
Question 2: What do you believe the role of City Council should be in developing and supporting the region’s arts and cultural infrastructure?
The City Council should absolutely take an active role in developing and supporting the region’s arts and cultural infrastructure. In the words of the Burbank Arts for All Foundation, “we do this work because it is right for the kids and our community”. I believe the city has already taken an active role in doing so, but we can do better in the coming years.
Burbank, as the “Media Capital of the World”, is most definitely contributing to the region’s arts and cultural infrastructure. To date, the local major studios are global leaders in film and television production, and on a smaller scale, the city council oversees the Starlight Bowl, The Colony Theatre and the Creative Arts Center down at George Izay Park. I believe these three venues are vital components to the local arts and cultural infrastructure, however, I also feel that we as a city council should continue to look for private, county, state and federal Grants and matching funds that can be used to enhance these venues, increase their utilization and broaden the exposure that they can have on our community. The city council also needs to encourage and promote our Arts in Public Places Committee and the Cultural Arts Commission. These two groups have the ability to introduce residents to local events and new art installations being installed using Art in Public Places funds.
Question 3: What’s your vision for the city? What role, if any, does art and culture play in advancing that vision?
I believe that the City of Burbank has and will continue to be a major player in the arts, media industry and with media related businesses. My vision is one of a well-rounded Burbank that continues to flourish with jobs for our residents, affordable housing for our local workers and social and cultural opportunities for all who live, work and play in Burbank. This vision does have some hurdles though. Our current and looming budget deficit will potentially have an impact on our community.
As your Mayor and council member, I have and will continue to work to balance the budget and to ensure that your quality of life will not be affected. It might be time to pursue Public-Private-Partnerships to adequately fund and utilize (to their highest potential) venues such as the Starlight Bowl. I feel that we need to keep the Creative Arts Center and the Colony Theatre as viable venues, because of the exposure it provides to the public with differing forms of art. I will continue to encourage the placement of art pieces throughout the city with Art in Public Places funds.
Questions 4: A recent report by the Otis College of Design found that 1 in every 6 jobs in LA County supports the creative sector and economy in Los Angeles County. If elected, how will you aim to ensure the continued vitality and growth of the creative economy and the artistic community that it supports?
If re-elected, I will continue to work to encourage and support all economically feasible avenues that can stimulate growth and vitality of the artistic community and creative economy. Our budgetary and infrastructure deficits will be hurdles that will need to be assessed and addressed. I am a proud supporter and participant in the Burbank Arts For All Secret Art Show, that serves a dual purpose of introducing people to local artists while raising funds to further the BAFA Foundation’s mission.
The City of Burbank is currently host to several events that I believe will only continue to grow in attendance and popularity, and will ultimately ensure the continued success of the creative economy and artistic community. As your Mayor I will continue to promote these events because they provide essential exposure to the arts as well as creative sector jobs while allowing local businesses to enjoy the increased foot traffic and spending by the attendees. The Burbank Film Festival allows film makers from all over the world the chance to have their productions to be seen by an audience, to be critically evaluated and to gain notoriety through awards and publicity; the Downtown Burbank Fine Arts Festival allows local artisans the chance to show off their talents and art to onlookers and shoppers alike on a “closed” San Fernando Blvd; the ever popular Animation Expo allows animators, fans and future artists the opportunity to meet and greet industry icons, studio representatives and even characters in costume.