Doug Solstad // St. George City Council // Grade: C+

Doug Solstad // St. George City Council // Grade: C+

How have the arts, culture, and/or humanities impacted your life?

Answer: Wow, this is a deep question.

As a child I had wanted to learn to play an instrument, but in my family situation it never really worked out. I did participate in choirs, and my love of singing continues.

As a father, I am grateful that all five of my children have taken or are taking piano lessons. My oldest (Eleanor) also plays the violin. My second daughter (Abigail) is a wonderful pianist, taking lessons until her piano teacher said there was nothing left she could teach. Through high school and now at Dixie State University she has been passionate about percussion, volunteering for jazz and pep bands, and also learned to play the ukelele. This same daughter, dealing with 65% hearing loss and wearing hearing aids, loves music so much she wants to be a band teacher, and is majoring in music education. My oldest son (Spencer), at Dixie High, has also taken to percussion, participating in jazz and pep bands. My second son (Nikolas) continues piano lessons and is learning the French horn. My youngest (Quentin) is seven, and inspired by his siblings has amazed us with his piano technique and precision.

My wife's uncle recently retired after 30 years as the drama teacher at Dixie High. We loved going to watch his productions every semester (certain that his were better than any other school's!), and our bias only increased when our children were old enough to participate. Our three oldest children got to participate as youth when Dixie High put on shows such as Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and Tarzan. Eleanor, Abigail, and Spencer were and have been very active in high school theater productions, whether playing music in the pit, participating on stage, or working behind the scenes. Abigail even enjoyed the opportunity to be Stage Manager for several plays. After graduation Eleanor was in Bonnie and Clyde at the Kayenta Outdoor Theater, and helped as a dresser for Peter and the Star Catcher at Dixie State University. In addition to supporting family, we have loved supporting friends that have participated in productions at Brigham's Playhouse, St. George Musical Theater, and Tuacahn.

My wife and I have been season ticket holders for the Celebrity Concert Series at Dixie State University for several years. We have loved it so much that this year we decided to buy season tickets for two more seats, so we can invite friends or family with us to enjoy the amazing events. We also recently became season ticket holders for the Southwest Symphony, and we wonder why we didn't do it sooner. We have donated to both CCS and the Symphony.

What I love about the arts is being able to partake of the beauty created by someone who has practiced and mastered their craft. I appreciate that they have recognized their talents, and are willing to share them with all of us.

So how have the arts impacted my life? I frankly can't imagine my life without the arts.

Would you like to be considered for endorsement by Utah Cultural Alliance?

Answer: Yes

Utah's humanities and arts employ 112,000 Utahns, provide $4 billion in earnings, and $16 billion in sales. This is a larger economic impact than agriculture, mining, and real estate. Do you consider the arts and cultural sector an economic driver in Utah?

Answer: Yes

Government investment in arts and humanities organizations at fiscally responsible levels.

Answer: Strongly support

Government investment in my local arts council at fiscally responsible levels.

Answer: Strongly support

Cultural Districts (gov't can designate, fund, and create incentives/zoning ordinances to attract creative businesses to a district).

Answer: Neutral

Low rent housing and studio space for artists.

Answer: Support

Facilitating partnerships between tourism and culture.

Answer: Strongly support

Facilitating partnerships between businesses and culture.

Answer: Strongly support

Reducing regulations of creative businesses.

Answer: Strongly support

Capital investment (in museums, performance/concert halls, studios, galleries, nonprofit office space, etc.).

Answer: Support

Increased investment in public art projects to encourage murals, sculptures, utility wraps, and more.

Answer: Support

Reduced fees (land/building use, garbage, utilities, etc) for festivals and special events.

Answer: Support

Artistinresident at my city or county.

Answer: Opposed

Fiscally responsible government investment in the arts and humanities means to me (could be the right $ amount for the local arts council and/or its grants, etc.).

Answer: Fiscally responsible government investment in the arts to me means looking at what has been invested historically, looking at current requests and needs in the arts community, and then determining if a change in the budget is appropriate, understanding that budget funds come from taxes collected from citizen taxpayers and tourists.

7 counties and 33 cities have passed a RAP (recreation, arts, parks) tax. They are:

Counties: Cache (RAPZ); Duchesne (RAP); Salt Lake (ZAP); Summit (RAP); Uintah (RAP); Washington (RAP); Weber (RAMP)

Cities (all are RAPs unless otherwise designated): American Fork, Aurora, Blanding, Bountiful, Brian Head, Cedar City, Cedar Hills, Centerfield, Centerville, Clearfield, Fairview, Farmington, Green River, Gunnison, Helper, Layton, Lindon, Mayfield, Monticello, North Salt Lake, Orem (CARE), Payson, Price, Provo, Redmond, Richfield, Roosevelt, Salina, Syracuse, Spanish Fork, Tooele City (PAR), West Bountiful, Woods Cross.

I am: Running for office in one of these cities or counties.

I support the RAP tax.

Answer: Strongly support

I make sure that the arts and humanities receive at least a 1/3 of RAP revenues.

Answer: Neutral

I will support putting a RAP tax on the ballot to be decided by voters.

Answer: N/A

I will make sure that the arts and humanities receive at least a 1/3 of RAP revenues.

Answer: N/A

Optional: explain your answers.

Answer: Cultural Districts: In general I strongly support the arts and the benefits they bring to communities. I would need more information about a Cultural District, how it would work, and it's effects before I could say whether I support or oppose it.

Low rent housing: In general I strongly support the arts and the benefits they bring to communities. What is the question here? Yes, I think it low rent housing is desirable for all individuals/families in need. Should it be offered only to artists? Should it be provided by the organization offering work to the artist? (For example, should a theater be responsible to offer/arrange housing for actors?) Should it be subsidized by the government?

Increased investment in public art projects: In general I strongly support the arts and the benefits they bring to communities. I do not know enough about current investment levels to decide whether an investment is appropriate.

Reduced fees for festivals and special events: In general I strongly support the arts and the benefits they bring to communities. I am also in favor of having the lowest possible fees, for everyone. If current fees only cover actual costs, then a reduction for festivals would mean an increase is required somewhere else. With the desire to be fiscally responsible, I am open to considering a reduction in fees, but would have to determine the effects and what increase, if any, would be required to offset the "discount."

Artist in residence: In general I strongly support the arts and the benefits they bring to communities. For something like this, however, I would be more in favor of hiring an artist to do work/projects needed as an employee or contractor.

I make sure that the arts and humanities receive at least a 1/3 of RAP revenues: In general I strongly support the arts and the benefits they bring to communities. I would need more information about current requirements and allocations before I could say whether I support or oppose this.

Percent for public art programs, which optionally designate 1-2% of government capital costs for public art.

Answer: Opposed

I support increasing my percent for art ordinance by .25-.5% to cover maintenance (vandalism, weather, etc.).

Answer: Neutral

(if applicable) My municipality's redevelopment authority should have a public art ordinance.

Answer: Opposed

Incentives (such as tax breaks) to encourage private developers add public art to projects.

Answer: Support

Design standards.

Answer: Neutral

Friendly ordinances that encourage public and private mural creation.

Answer: Neutral

Increased investment in public art projects to encourage murals, sculptures, utility wraps, and more.

Answer: Support

I believe percent for art ordinances should apply to:-Public buildings.

Answer: Yes

I believe percent for art ordinances should apply to:-Transportation.

Answer: No

I believe percent for art ordinances should apply to:-Utilities.

Answer: Yes

I believe percent for art ordinances should apply to:-Private developments.

Answer: No

I believe percent for art ordinances should apply to:-All government capital projects.

Answer: Yes

Anything else you'd like us to know about you?

Answer: Percent for public art programs: I strongly support public art, but we already have a local nonprofit (Art Around the Corner, or AAC) that does an amazing job of recruiting artists and pieces to be displayed throughout our downtown area. After being displayed for a year the pieces are sold, and new art is brought in. This has exposed our citizens to a variety of sculpture art through the years, eliminating the need for our city to be directly involved. So, I would not support a government percent for art program because I believe it would be redundant to what is already being accomplished by AAC.

I support increasing my percent for art ordinance: I strongly support ensuring existing public art is appropriately maintained. I do not know how maintenance costs are covered for sculptures displayed by AAC, but I believe the city budget already adequately funds maintenance costs for any city owned art. However, I would need to have more information about current spending and requests/needs to decide if I support a budget change for maintenance.

My municipality's redevelopment authority should have a public art ordinance: I strongly support public art. However, I believe in smaller government, and letting private individuals and industry resolve issues as much as possible (i.e., without government telling them what to do). Our city strongly supports the arts, and financially supports organizations that support the arts. I don't know that any new ordinances are required.

Incentives to encourage private developers add public art to projects: As a proponent of public art, I am open to considering fiscally appropriate incentives for doing things that benefit our city.

Design standards: Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I appreciate the idea of ensuring public art is family appropriate and non-offensive, but ultimately those are opinions. A famous artist might splatter paint on a canvas and it wins awards, but I might see just spilled paint. Who are we to tell an artist what they should design?

Ordinances encouraging murals: I support public art, but as a proponent of small government I am not in favor of creating new ordinances unless deemed absolutely necessary.

Increased investment in public art projects: I believe our city already does a good job, but I like the idea of utility wraps to add variety and beauty to our city.

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