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 a child, I wanted to be an actress, a dream so far away now as to bring tears to my eyes! But I digress… The summer before I entered high school, I took a chance and auditioned for a Los Angeles Parks and Recreation Department production of The Pajama Game. And I made it into the chorus! The summer was a whirlwind of rehearsals nearly every night, memorizing all the lyrics to the wonderful songs, and even accidentally learning the lines of the speaking parts simply by being in the auditorium at rehearsals and hearing them over and over. I hardly remember the performances but I remember the excitement and gratification of being part of live theater. I will never forget those songs and the words of wisdom from the show’s director. Although I never became an actress in real life, for one summer I lived my dream.
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 should make sure that some funding for arts programs is always included in the City’s budget. In lean years, this may mean relying on more volunteers than paid staff. Council members can also support the arts organizations by recognizing their efforts through proclamations and by patronizing their presentations. Council can also make sure that our City participates as fully as possible with other regional cities and organizations that support the arts in the region. Finally, whenever possible, Council members can advocate for significant investment in our region's arts and cultural infrastructure by supporting investment in arts-related capital projects and multi-year programs to enhance opportunities for emerging artists as well as professional artists in our area.
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 a diverse community of reasonable size, in which City government helps residents realize their goals and dreams, as much as possible. To that end, programs that support local artists (visual and otherwise) are very important. This doesn’t have to be expensive! It’s all about attitude and willingness to find a way. One very good example has been Glendale’s Arts and Culture Commission grants for urban art. This very cost-effective program has resulted in vibrant art throughout the city decorating otherwise drab objects, amusing people and hopefully also inspiring them. Art can be an extremely effective educational tool. Additionally, my vision for Glendale includes growing the next generation of community leaders and artists. I would like to lead by example, deploying creative thinking to solve challenges and infusing my comments with my own literary flair.
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?
We must ensure that our region continues to participate in the international arts “industry.” This may entail adjusting our approach in order to compete effectively as emerging nations continue to become more prominent as consumers and producers of artistic content. Throwing money at the problem is not enough; we must be open-minded, sophisticated and nimble in our efforts. To that end, as a council member I would support existing programs that work while also looking for additional ways to support artistic professionals in an evolving world.