City: Beverly Hills
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.
I grew up with the arts, including the cinema which historically has played an important role in our City. I’ve enjoyed our cultural venues from the Hollywood Bowl to some of our historic movie theaters to our museums, including LACMA, for as long as I can remember. As a high school student, I had a student subscription to the LA Philharmonic in the glory days of Carlo Maria Giulini. Having lived in Europe for two decades, including in Vienna, where I had a double subscription to the Staatsoper, I’m happy that LA finally has an opera of its own; hopefully, one day it will be able to be considered world-class. Arts in its various forms continues to enrich my life and I am happy and lucky to share it with my nine-year-old son, including taking him to the Hollywood Bowl, LA Opera and local museums.
Question 2: What do you believe the role of City Council should be in developing and supporting the region’s arts and cultural infrastructure?
We should encourage and support the arts however and wherever we can. Our City is a founder and supporter of the Wallis Annenberg Center of the Performing Arts, which has so enriched our City and continues to grow. We should encourage our youth to get involved in the arts. My mother was one of the founders of the California Summer School of the Arts and I share her values.
Our City has a Fine Arts Commission and has built up an impressive collection of public art, but I have agendized a proposal to expand the commission’s brief to include other art forms, such as the theater and music. The re-tooled commission would be an Arts and Culture Commission which would seek to promote various forms of arts and culture throughout the City.
Question 3: What’s your vision for the city? What role, if any, does art and culture play in advancing that vision?
We need to continue to build our public art collection, displayed throughout the City, as well as to support the cultural institutions we have, such as the Wallis and Theater 40. In looking to revitalize our Southeast part of town, I have proposed creating an Arts and Theater district, which would include our historic Saban Theater. Architectural and historic preservation is important, and I created our City’s Cultural Heritage Commission, which raised our grade by the LA Conservancy from an F to A+. I would like to see more funding dedicated to supporting and expanding our local cultural institutions and hope that an Arts and Culture Commission can focus on finding ways to expand the arts throughout our City. Beverly Hills has always been a creative City, much of it in connection with the film industry. We need to build upon and expand that history. Personally, I would like to see our City become home to a world-class museum.
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?
Beverly Hills, as mentioned above, has always been a creative City. It was formed by motion picture pioneers and continues to be a haven for the creative sector, including many businesses connected with Hollywood. By focusing on our residential quality of life, we can continue to ensure that Beverly Hills remains an attractive place for creative people to live and work. The entertainment industry is our sweet spot and I have consistently advocated over the years for us to continue to try to attract businesses from various segments of the industry. Beverly Hills has long been the place where the world meets and we need to do everything in our power to continue to make it the place where the creative world meets. I plan on continuing to encourage and welcome the creative sector and economy to Beverly Hills.