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.
As you boy I was having trouble with math. My dad had read that music and math were very similar so he sent me for guitar lessons. As I learned the guitar and picked up music, math suddenly became much easier for me. It was as if music had open another part of my brain. I grew up and became of designer of internal combustion engines and a leader in camshaft design. Camshaft design is all about high level calculus, physics and chemistry and if not for music I would not have become good at math, to this day I credit music. This is why its so vital to have music in schools I feel. I am fortunate now in that my love of music has lead me to form a side business, Echobox Music, with Bruce Witkin a member of the super group the Hollywood Vampires (with Johnny Depp, Joe Perry, Alice Cooper, Matt Sorum) that provides shows for up and coming bands and artist. We put on shows and invite industry people to come and hear the bands, give them tons of exposure for free. We don’t charge the bands and its free to watch. The only pre-req is all music must be original! It’s a passion for us to give back.
Question 2: What do you believe the role of City Council should be in developing and supporting the region’s arts and cultural infrastructure?
I believe that the city council should foster creativity through after school programs and arts projects. As a planning commissioner I want each new development to allow for an arts project for locals to work on. It could be sculpture on the grounds or paintings in the building, it could be mosaics on the side walk that school kids work on. There are many things I would institute that both spur the creativity of the children, support local arts and even more important get the local citizenry off the couch and out into their own city and get involved
Question 3: What’s your vision for the city? What role, if any, does art and culture play in advancing that vision?
One of my main goals is to use my connections to have monthly artist engagements where someone like Bruce & Matt Sorum hold a class in the civic center for the youth, talk about what music means to them etc. Give some tips, have a real conversation then play a bit and have fun. The kids would come and learn and be inspired. We will have musicians, actors, artists, dancers etc. I think it would be invaluable to the community and also attract grants so we can provide tools to kids to be able to express themselves be it music gear or supplies. I also think the arts can bring a community together, it helps us to see past differences and how alike we all really are. My vision is to have an art show where we reward participants with scholarships for kids/high-school & college ages and gift certs for supplies for older people. Also I would like to see a talent show once a year and all these events will be sponsored by the city, local business and gov grants.
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?
I would make sure we keep giving tax breaks to production companies to keep jobs here in Los Angeles County. I would like to see more effort between business and the artistic community. A better synergy would be wonderful and mutually beneficial for both. Actively trying to get more grants and starting more programs is vital for growth, we also need to find some big benefactors. In my city, we have two casinos and we are actively looking for companies to use them as locations and us locals as extras. We are very production friendly.