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

  • Candidate Name: Hunter Phillips
  • Your Municipality: Provo
  • Elected office for which you are running: City Council

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.
I'm a filmmaker by trade, and the arts have had an impact on my life from an extremely young age. I benefitted from community theater and music classes as a child, and I continued my arts education in high school and college. Since then, I've been an outspoken advocate for government funding of the arts — as a person from rural America, federal funding was an absolute necessity, and for that I'm grateful.

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.

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. 
I'm not currently aware if Provo is one of those 8 municipalities, but if it is not, this is the kind of program I'd readily support.

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

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

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

6b // Optional, explain why or why not. 
Absolutely — we've got a local culture that's particularly artistically-minded, especially when it comes to children and teens. I'd love to see that emphasis broadened and extended to adult education, which hopefully would spur an economy with an even stronger arts sector. I believe fans and practitioners of a craft are its best patrons, so education seems like the best first step.

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. 
Provo does have a RAP tax which has been utilized for parks and rec, but less so for arts. I'd like to see that spending pushed more towards the arts.

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. 

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. 
Provo's downtown already operates as a de facto cultural district — I'd love to see that made official