Utah Cultural Advocacy Alliance Grade: A+ (100%)

  • Candidate Name: Erin Mendenhall
  • Your Municipality: Salt Lake City
  • Elected office for which you are running: City Council District 5

Question 1: Should government be involved in funding the arts and humanities?


Question 2: Have you had a personal experience with arts, culture, or humanities that have had an impact on your life?

3b // Optional, explain your experience.
YouthCity art programming for youth were classes I could afford to take my young child to when resources were tight. We made art together that I still cherish and created friendships that both my son and I still maintain.

Question 3: Do you support public funding for city and county arts councils who then re-grant that money to local arts and humanities organizations?

3b // Optional, explain why or why not.
Ballet West's work with local elementary school students is one such program that empowers our kids to try new things, get comfortable with being challenged, and work together. I tear up when I see their end of year performance at West High.

Question 4: Do you support Percent for Art programs, which designate 1% of public building costs for public art that are included within that building? Currently, only 8 Utah municipalities have such a program.

4b // Optional, explain why or why not.
But 1% isn't usually enough. I would support a policy discussion to increase this amount.

Question 5: Do you support having a Percent-for-Art program in your own municipality?

5b // Optional, explain why or why not.
See above.

Question 6: Do you consider the arts and cultural sector an economic driver in Utah?

6b // Optional, explain why or why not.
Absolutely. Particularly in Salt Lake City, we have both incredible local art opportunities like The Leonardo, Gallery Stroll, Poor Yorick Studio and Singing Cricket, but large-scale arts anchors like Eccles Theater, PTC, Abravenal Hall and other attractions that bring people together from all over the state and region.

Question 7: 32 municipalities have a RAP (recreation, arts, and parks) type tax to help support cultural organizations in their communities. Would you support a RAP type tax such as this in your own municipality? If your municipality already has such a local option sales RAP-type sales tax and you support it, answer yes.

7b // Optional, explain your experience.

Question 8: Municipalities can facilitate partnerships between cultural organizations and the local tourism sector to boost the local economy. Do you support this? Optional, explain why or why not. 

8b // Optional, explain why or why not. 
I am proud that our Mayor has brought Arts and Culture in to the Department of Economic Development and I support use of our city's general fund and RDA monies to advance arts and culture in projects throughout the city.

Question 9: Municipal governments can create Cultural Districts - with or without tax incentives. Governments sometimes fund these via bed or tourism taxes within the Cultural District boundaries, but it can be done within municipal budgets fairly cheaply. Is this something you would support?

9b // Optional, explain why or why not. 
I would like to learn more about your organization's thoughts on where and how this could be expanded in SLC.

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