STEVE NAPOLITANO

LA County: Fourth District

Position seeking: Supervisor

Question 1: What do you believe the role of the County Board of Supervisors should be in the development of the region’s cultural infrastructure? 

To lead! The County has done a great job in supporting and developing the arts and I want to build on that foundation and increase accessibility and education in the arts to an even wider audience than we've been able to reach in the past. 

I support an expanded internship program to provide students with real world experience in working in the arts field. 

I will work with school districts to expand our Arts for All program so that all students throughout the 81 school districts in LA County benefit from this great program.

I believe we need more civic art in our communities to inspire and beautify and provoke thought.

I will work to expand and upgrade our aging facilities to make them more accessible to underserved communities, including bringing more performances to areas which lack cultural resources.

I will continue to improve and rebuild our libraries as centers of learning and culture, and to include meeting rooms for readings.

The arts has made a difference in my life and I want to make sure it's available to all so they can experience that difference as well. The Arts makes life better, and I'm committed to supporting them at the highest level.

Question 2: The County Board of Supervisors has a history of supporting Arts Education through its Arts for All initiative. As Supervisor, how would you address the need of all public school students to receive a well-rounded education that includes quality arts education instruction?

The County currently funds Arts for All to cover the needs of 62 of the 81 school districts in LA County, plus three charter school districts. The program needs more funding to support expanding the program to all 81 schools and additional charter schools that sign up.

I will fully fund Arts for All to cover any schools it can partner with. I will also continue the 4th District's Arts Education Partnership Program, which has given grants to nonprofits and schools to provide additional arts education programs.

Question 3: In light of the County’s Cultural Equity and Inclusion Initiative, how would you address issues of inclusion, equity, and diversity in the region’s nonprofit cultural arts sector?

The Cultural Equity and Inclusion Initiative is currently in progress, and we have a great panel of folks working together and listening and taking input, so I don't want to prejudge anything until I see their report and recommendations. That said, I fully support increased access and participation in the arts from the many different communities that make up LA County. I also support greater outreach and satellite performances and exhibitions that go beyond the usual downtown venues and puts arts directly in communities. 

Question 4: As Supervisor, how would you approach the development of a regional approach to cultural tourism?

We have so many great arts venues in LA County, which are individually visited by millions of tourists a year. I'd like to see more collaboration and nontraditional approaches that turns our individual venues into connected events. "Pacific Standard Time" is a good example of this, but I believe we can develop and expand it more and make multiple venues part of the same performance, exhibit, etc so that LA County as a whole becomes a destination for cultural tourism and is known for these types of interconnected events. Imagine closing down several streets in different parts of the County at the same time to music, dance or drama performances. Or having the Getty, LACMA, Norton Simon and other galleries host exhibits in nontraditional gallery spaces. We have so many great arts events going on in LA County, but we need to break out of the little boxes they're always done in and think bigger.