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

  • Candidate Name: Sophia Hawes-Tingey 
  • Your Municipality: Midvale
  • 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.
I have found that in performing art in various forms and assisting others in their projects, it has helped express things in a way that was educational and transformative to those people I shared it with. It helped educate and win over allies for transgender causes and feminist causes. It also transformed me, by giving me a place to express myself, so that I felt empowered to be a change agent. It also gave me many of the skills in connecting with people that I use to expand my advocacy into politics and public service.

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.
Pass through donations help give organizations the capability to keep their programs alive, while also showing support from the municipal leadership in promoting the arts.

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.
It makes sense. Art as a form of expression helps emphasize diversity and identity. Art being included in public structures adds to the sense of welcomeness and aesthetics to place, reducing an overall sense of austerity, and fostering a sense of inclusion.

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

5b // Optional, explain why or why not.
Midvale has a burgeoning arts community. It is not, however, on display enough.

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

6b // Optional, explain why or why not.

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. 

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 best way to reinvigorate Midvale Main Street is to promote the idea of converting it to an Arts and Cultural district while maintaining the look and feel of the old Main Street, USA charm. To that end, I am supporting the expansion of the Old City Hall into a more definitive Performing Arts Center, encouraging the Utah Film Commission to open a museum on Main Street, and invite alternative cultural dining to open up on Main Street. I would love to see an annual Midvale Main Street Multicultural Arts Festival on Main Street.

I have tested this message with residents of Midvale, and am finding a overwhelmingly positive response.

Thank you for having the opportunity to fill out your survey, and considering me for an endorsement. If there is anything I can do to help the Utah Cultural Alliance, please don't hesitate to ask.

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