City: Long Beach City
Position Seeking: Councilmember
Question 1: Please share the most meaningful arts and cultural experience you had growing up.
We were extremely poor growing up. Therefor, I cherished my Nikon SLR camera. Viewing the world through my camera lens and in the images produced in a darkroom gave me the confidence to be and do more than even my mother thought possible. I was 16 when I moved out of my mother‚Äôs home, on the very day my stepfather destroyed all my camera equipment. The next week I started my first job as a photography assistant. I went to community college and continued photography. I know firsthand the power of the arts to build confidence, community, and engagement.
Question 2: What do you think should be the role of City Council in the development and support of the region’s arts and cultural infrastructure?
Government is the best advocate for the arts, as it can be an unbiased source of continuing revenue free from the pressures of the market. Government also has the most to gain from supporting the arts, as the arts helps to build community and break down the barriers.
It is critical that we allocate funds to support our Arts Council, artist development, public art, and education.The arts creates jobs, community engagement, revitalizes neighborhoods , and builds a more expansive creative local economy. The arts also cultivates young people, creates new opportunities and facilitates academic achievement, while helping to revitalize neighborhoods.
Question 3: What’s your vision for the city? What role, if any, does art and culture play in achieving that vision?
Locally I see the arts as playing a key role in revitalizing neighborhoods working with our at risk youth and bringing innovation and creativity into our local economy. We can do a better job of educating residents young and old through the arts as well as a better job of connecting local artist to economic and educational opportunities. We can also use the arts to connect people to their local government in new ways with the goal of ensuring everyone has a voice in solving our everyday problems.
Questions 4: A recent report by the Otis College of Design found that 1 in every 7 jobs in LA County is supports the creative sector and economy in Los Angeles County. What strategies, if any, would you pursue to enhance the region’s creative economy (i.e. cultural tourism, indirect and direct jobs, nonprofit and for profit organizations)?
I support bringing back the 1% for the Arts and ensuring that revenue is spent on local artists. This new dedicated funding source would help to enrich the local arts community and build a new opportunities for creative sector development. I will work to link our art‚Äôs community with the many tourist assets we have in Long Beach, like the Queen Mary, our museums, and our coastline. I also want to invest in the Creative Intern Program, which connects LB City College and local artists into our K-12 classrooms.