City: La Canada
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.
While attending Carnegie Mellon University I took a class called the Arts in Pittsburgh that required each week I experience the arts in Pittsburgh a different way. One week was visiting the opera, another the Andy Warhol museum, and so on. My favorite week was when I visited Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater. The elegant architecture of a house built around and over a creek showed me that design can have many purposes. The delicate balance and harmony of the residence with nature around it was undeniable. My appreciation for the outdoors and architecture to live in harmony with the outdoors have been a constant ever since.
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’s role should be that of support. Our town has some wonderful developments including Descanso Gardens, Laterman Auditorium and Memorial Park (for music in the park), among many others. The city council’s role should help enable those facilities to be used to maximize local art education, productions and experiences.
Question 3: What’s your vision for the city? What role, if any, does art and culture play in advancing that vision?
My vision is to focus on infrastructure and engagement. While at first glance these may not seem to intersect with art and culture, I would argue that they need to! Infrastructure like sidewalks and parks need to be harmonious with the environment around them – adding value and charm. Engagement with city services shouldn’t just be efficient for the city staff but needs to create an experience that is effective for it’s constituents using both design principles and technology.
I believe the arts should be woven into the fabric of our community starting with the youth and not just reserved for the weekends. We should consider starting an “Arts Day” where we highlight some of the great initiatives coming from our schools, like the Art Docent program, as well as in the community – from our creative enterprises.
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?
Part of being a City Councilperson is listening to our constituents. I promise to continue listening and supporting ideas that have merit. One of the opportunities we have in the near future is the new City Hall at the former Sports Chalet Corporate Offices. The new building will have almost double the space as compared to the old City Hall; and what to do with that extra space needs diligent deliberation. Perhaps some of that space will be setup to help new start-ups in the entertainment & creative industries.
Our city should be friendly when it comes to production in our town. We have a great legacy of filming, including the classic It’s A Wonderful Life, and by providing support for these endeavors we will benefit not only in generating permit fees and tax revenues but also by creating stories in our neighborhoods which can be shared for years to come.