Jacquelyn Orton // Democratic // Utah House of Representatives District 24 (A+)
1. Should government invest in funding the arts and humanities at fiscally responsible levels?
2. Do you support investing money into K-12 arts and humanities education at fiscally responsible levels?
3. Do you believe that arts and humanities education should be required in the k-12 curriculum?
4. Do you consider the arts and culture sector to be an economic driver in Utah?
5. Do you support Utah's Percent-for-Art Act, which designates 1% of public building costs for public art?
6. Do you support preserving the Utah Historic Preservation Tax Credit?
7. Do you support policy that positively impacts tourism, such as the creation of historic and cultural districts?
8. Have you had a personal experience with arts, culture, or humanities that has had an impact on your life? Please explain. (responses to this question were not graded)
Answer: When I was growing up in a Circa 1850 historic home in Gadsden Alabama, my entire life revolved around the Arts. From dance lessons 6 days a week, to weekly piano and voice lessons, to performing in Community Theatre Productions and television commercials, to singing in choirs all over the country, Performing Arts were my favorite activity, my passion and, as it turned out, my ticket to college.
When I entered the University of Alabama, I was allowed to create the first Fine Arts management major ever at the University. The Fine Arts management major I created has since become a part of the University's offered curriculum. My sophomore year in college, I danced my way into selection as the youngest Miss University of Alabama in school history. That title brought with it a full tuition scholarship, which was quite difficult for female students to secure at that time.
In addition, I completed two senior theses-- one on Chinese Export Porcelain, and the other on the proper restoration and preservation of historic homes in the Tuscaloosa County area of Alabama. I also won the Most Outstanding Independent Study Award at the University's graduation ceremony in 1988 for my internship with Horizon Arts magazine and Antique Monthly newspaper, the latter of which resulted in my securing I paid position after graduation.
In Washington DC, I served on boards and young benefactor's committees for several museums and arts organizations. I have also served hundreds of hours as a volunteer in several of Utah's Arts related organizations, including with Ballet West's Nutcracker season for five years. I am a proud member of The Creative Coalition, and was featured along with my sons in Barry Levinson's 2009 documentary "Poliwood", about The Creative Coalition's lobbying efforts at the 2008 DNC and RNC.
Finally, as an enthusiast for and lifelong resident of historic homes, I have purchased, restored, and preserved a half dozen historic homes. These homes included 411 Constitution Avenue on DCs Capitol Hill, my late husband's old family Homestead in Weber County, ca. 1853, a Circa 1911 home in Salt Lake City's Federal Heights neighborhood, and the newest home I have ever lived in in my life, a ca. 1925 home I recently purchased, also in Federal Heights.
I have passed my legacy of love of the arts to both of my sons, who are passionate artists of music and the stage, with the latter being a 3rd year Theater major at the University of Virginia.