City: Santa Clarita

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 was in the 4th grade when I was first introduced to the magical world of live theatre. I was cast as Wally in an a amazing production of Thornton Wilder’s Our Town. This began a lifelong love and appreciation for the performing arts, especially theatre, dance and the incredible authentic American Art form of Musical Theatre. Since then I have become the Artistic Executive Director of a thriving non-profit live theatre, producing a season of 10 full scale shows each year, including Broadway musicals, comedy, family shows and dramas. Hundreds of children are introduced to the same magic of live theatre through our workshops. Our youth workshops produce 10 additional shows each year for children ages 5-18. Local school children also benefit as they are able to attend the productions on field trips. 10% of all our students receive scholarships based on need. Even our hallway has been dedicated as a gallery for local artists to display their art a rotating basis. All this goes to support the mission statement of the Canyon Theatre Guild which is to Make the world a better place by entertaining, educating, enlightening, and enriching our community through quality live theatre.

Question 2: What do you believe the role of City Council should be in developing and supporting the region’s arts and cultural infrastructure?

Because of the benefits of cultural enrichment to at a society as well as the economic benefits of cultural tourism, I believe city resources should be used to develop facilities, both performing and visual. Before becoming a city council person I was one of the founding members of the first Arts Alliance which was a group of artists’ organizations and the city. Eventually, through advocacy we were able to convince the city that there should be an arts commission. As a city councilman I have been successful in increasing the amount of resources used for arts events, arts facilities and arts grants. Additionally, I was instrumental in creating a new arts master plan for the city which was completed this year.

Question 3: What’s your vision for the city? What role, if any, does art and culture play in advancing that vision?

My vision for our city is to create a large performance space which can be used by local arts organization as well as touring productions. Also I believe that we need to create a visual arts gallery along with space for arts education classes. I also believe the city should actively collaborate with our local school districts to integrate the arts in the curriculum in our local schools.

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 reelected I will continue to support our film friendly policies in Santa Clarita. In addition I will work to create venues which will allow artists to create art that will to add jobs and economic activity that the local economy.