• Candidate Name: Mary Khalaf
  • Your Municipality: Ogden
  • Elected office for which you are running: City Council Seat B

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 earned a scholarship to the College of Eastern Utah drawing the art of extinct or indigenous populations as well as a Friendship Scholarship for helping integrate foreigner exchange students traverse American Society. I majored in Art & Anthropology as Culture has been a major factor in my life. My husband & I operate a business where we teach Cultural Awareness & help immigrants integrate into society. We give away free Arabic Translation Cards to the police & refugees with a focus on helping use communication & Cultural Understanding to help these 2 groups connect better. My class, "Empathy & Inclusivity through Gardening", a class designed to foster community inclusion, has been adopted by Student International Development Engagement. My work will be taught in California & Cameroon to gardening students. The purpose of my husbands & I work is to create a safe space for others while fostering the advancement of Civilization. I also am heavily involved in the Utah Film & Music Industry. My campaign is the sponsor & host of the Pre-Party at the Utah Music Awards this year. We know how important our entertainment & artists are to our community. We support them.

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.
It's very important to have program that foster Art & Humanitarian causes & especially ones that help the disadvantaged community. A community that doesn't foster these programs can fall into societal decline. We should invest in our community with these programs. 

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 think it's a great program & is not a heavy impact cost upon individuals. A building should invest in raising its creativity level as art leads to a happier & more industrious people. It's responsible emotional building.

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

5b // Optional, explain why or why not.
If we don't invest in raising the mind of our youth than we are doing a disservice to our community. We must foster an atmosphere where people are encouraged to create.

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

6b // Optional, explain why or why not.
I have worked in the music, film & entertainment industry. I know that one person or production team brings untold prosperity to our area. It is an industry that stimulates from the bottom up. Our creative community drive is one of the reasons we attracted the Olympics & many other important venues. I have been endorsed by Film Buzz & the series Proper Manors because of my service to helping the emotional needs of this important community. I am the on-set emotional adviser at Proper Manors. 

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.
The community must invest in itself through these programs to sustain vibrancy.

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. 
Tourism is very important to Ogden's economy. It's one of the ways we turned our community around from having a poor reputation to being listed on numerous Top 5 lists is through tourism. I would like to foster a bustling downtown region where people come to experience the feel of a growing community which helps the anchor businesses in Ogden's downtown region. We need to foster our healthy mountainous tourism industry as well. We are young, fit & healthy in Ogden which is attractive to tourists. We are also cultured with a focus on Art. Ogden is an Art city with the potential to be even more prosperous than Sadona if we plan well.  

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.