CANDIDATE: Rustin Jessen (Kaysville City: MAYOR)

Utah Cultural Advocacy Alliance Grade: A (93.75%)

  • Candidate Name: Rustin Jessen
  • Your Municipality: Kaysville City
  • Elected office for which you are running: Mayor

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.
As a young man, I was influenced greatly by my time in community theater, community show choirs, school theater, choir, band and any number of creative outlets. Later in life, I made my living as a studio & live musician for a short time, and moved into event & entertainment production. My life would be drastically different, and I would not make my living in entertainment were it not for the influence provided by my music & arts teachers.

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.
I'm not terribly picky about the financial mechanism in place to grant money to the arts. I do care that the decision makers in that supply chain are active in the arts community (as creators or patrons) to be sure funds are allocated equitably and efficiently.

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.
If we can reserve money in budgets for landscaping and walkways, we can surely make sure Art is a priority.

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.
The direct economic impact of the arts is immediate in the form of increased visits, tourism, and local business traffic during events, shows, openings and other exhibition and education opportunities. In addition, creative arts fosters an environment of innovation. Having creative innovators reside in a community spurs high-quality involvement in local programs, busineses, and government.

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.
Depends (explain in the next question)

7b // Optional, explain your experience.
I would support this effort. Unfortunately, my city is faced with some serious operational shortfalls already. I couldn't support a RAP tax until we have our basic necessities well in hand.

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. 
The Parks & Rec department in Kaysville is already working with the University of Utah to explore some new and exciting performing arts venues. We would be hard pressed to fund anything with tourism (as we don't even have a hotel yet), but I would love to look forward to a time we could help increase the frequency and quality of arts & cultural activities in Kaysville

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