Erika Larsen // Democrat // State Senate-District 6 (A)
1. How have the arts, culture, and/or humanities impacted your life?
The arts have been a major staple in my life for as long as I can remember. For high school, I attended Tuacahn High School for the Performing Arts where I dedicated much of my life to classical and musical theatre acting, as well as vocal and instrumental performance. Frankly, arts saved my life during this critical time in my life, and provided a foundation upon which I leaned to love education and felt supported by a family. In college, I received a degree in English Literature from the ca college of humanities, and during that time, I also actively participated in the college's theatre program. Since graduating from school, I feel it is imperative to support and promote the arts and humanities in our culture to provide the same vital and beneficial resource I did in my youth.
2. Utah's humanities and arts employ 123,000 Utahns, provide $4.4 billion in earnings, and $13.2 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?
3. I support...
-Grants to be used for operations (jobs) as soon as possible
-Keeping emergency loans open to nonprofits
-Protecting the RAP taxes so that money granted to cultural organizations doesn't get repurposed
-Increasing availability of loans to cultural businesses (nonprofit and for-profit)
-Fiscally responsible government investment in arts and humanities organizations
-Facilitating partnerships between tourism and culture
-Capital investment (in museums, performance/concert halls, studios, galleries, nonprofit office space, etc.)
-Percent for public art programs, which optionally designate 1% of government capital costs for public art
-Allowing municipalities to set design standards
-K-6 Students should have increased exposure to arts and humanities education
-7-12 Students should have increased exposure to arts and humanities education
-The Beverley Taylor Sorenson Arts Learning Program which puts one arts specialist in most elementary schools
-The POPS (Professional Outreach Program in the Schools) which sends 13 professional arts organizations to all UT school districts
-The iSEE (Informal Science Educational Enhancement) which sends 10 professional science, zoological, and natural history organizations to all UT school districts
4. Fiscally responsible government investment in the arts and humanities (including humanities and arts education) means to me:
It means putting just as much if not more resources into investing in our local arts programs and business as we are investing in other corporations and for-profit businesses.