City: Culver City
Position Seeking: Councilmember
Question 1: Please share the most meaningful arts and cultural experience you had growing up.
I earned my undergraduate degree at UC Irvine in the early 70s. The School of Fine Arts was a hotbed of scholarly work, great teachers and great artists. I was from a small California town and knew nothing when I arrived. The faculty included such luminaries as Tony DeLap, John Paul Jones, Phil Leider, Moira Roth, Barbara Rose, Edward Moses and Frank Roth. Chris Burden was a student and bought my roommates motorcycle (not the one he used in The Big Wheel) By most meaningful single experience was the Art History Class taught by Phil Leider. Best teacher ever.
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?
As a city, Culver City has been encouraging the growth of our Arts District along East Washington Blvd. and La Cienaga, and we can continue to do so with support of the annual Art Walk. The city also supports such events as the IndieCade Festival, various film festivals, and can encourage the use of the newly renovated Veterans’ Auditorium as a venue for music and dance performance. Our two theaters (Actors’ Gang and Kirk Douglas) enjoy enthusiastic support from the populace and the city administration alike.
Question 3: What’s your vision for the city? What role, if any, does art and culture play in achieving that vision?
As I walk the city seeking votes I am struck by how the vast majority of Culver City residents are delighted with the current state of the city and the direction they see it heading Our new downtown Parcel B development will include a dedicated outdoor performance space and our Arts Commission will certainly be ready to attract events to that venue The city already has an art-in-public places ordinance which encourages the ongoing arts dialog in the city The new downtown east that’s springing up around our Metro station offers even more room for performance and arts venues.
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)?
Our economy in Culver City is already primarily based on the creative sector (Culver Studios, Sony Pictures Studios, the new internet and creative companies occupying the Hayden and Blackwelder Tracts, along with hundreds of home-based recording studios, architects, designers and internet entrepreneurs). One of my primary campaign platforms is to make sure that those creative businesses and non-profits have what they need to thrive — including the high speed fiber optic network we are building to tie all the disparate parts of our economy together — including our schools. Our future is very bright.