Jessica Egbert // Mapleton City Council // Grade: A-

Jessica Egbert // Mapleton City Council // Grade: A-

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

Answer: “Jan loves Judy somethin’ fierce.” is the sentence engraved on the inner ring of the record produced by my father Jan’s college band, The Sons of Mosiah. My mother worked tirelessly to complete a piano performance degree, balancing four children and multiple moves as the wife of an Air Force officer. How have the arts, culture, and humanities impacted my life? They, like the very sculpture Himself, have shaped who I am.

 

My parents introduced me to the arts as a child, encouraging us to participate in creative and artistic experiences. I took piano lessons, sang in choirs, completed mixed media art classes, marveled at The Smithsonian, and attended arts-related events. Growing up in the military, I was not among the wealthiest of children. Yet, my parents were dedicated to creating memories and experiences that would broaden our minds and fill our souls. In addition to appreciating live music, some of my fondest memories were attending with my family the Kennedy Center (Washington DC) production of Les Miserable and the Ahmanson Theatre (Los Angeles) production of Phantom of the Opera.

 

My childhood experiences shaped my patronage as an adult and my values as a parent. We are fortunate to live within a rich arts community! I believe in supporting local theater, such as the Hale and Scera, or where nature and arts collide at Sundance and Tuacahn. I believe in investing in original artwork and have filled my home with pieces from family members, friends, and inspired artists. At two years old, I enrolled my son in his first music class and it has helped his development – plus, he loves it! My love of art, photography, music, graphic design, literature, language, and theater has resulted in thoughtful introspection, rewarding encounters, and equally-valuable and welcomed tears.

 

One element of my youth that has impacted my appreciation of the arts, culture, and humanities is connected to my Air Force childhood. While it is challenging to relocate every three years, the value of experiencing the diversity of culture has instilled in me a commitment to love. By recognizing as a child the good in the people, cultures, and even in the landscape of each new community, it translated into adulthood in doing the same in my own community and career. As such, I would note that for me the arts, culture, and humanities have elevated my sense of gratitude and compassion. I cannot claim to be a million dollar patron of the arts, but the contribution to my own life is worth far more than dollars.

 

On a personal policy side, the arts are essential for our K-16 curricula. The “STEAM” concept (versus “STEM”) gives our next generation a well-rounded experience with psychological benefits. Although also essential elements of curricula, technology and science rarely elevate personal expression and empathy. Like mathematics, art communicates across cultural, language, and geographic boundaries. Funding for arts programs must be advocated and sustained.

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: Support

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: Support

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

Answer: Strongly support

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

Answer: Strongly support

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

Answer: Support

Artistinresident at my city or county.

Answer: Support

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: An budget line item approved within each municipality that anticipates and plans for increased arts investments.

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: My city or county has not yet passed a RAP tax.

I support the RAP tax.

Answer: N/A

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

Answer: N/A

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

Answer: Strongly support

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

Answer: Strongly support

Optional: explain your answers.

Answer: Mapleton is such a small town that I worry this isn't yet relevant, but we're doing a good job starting the process (e.g., city-sponsored concert series). I'd certainly love to see our arts community develop - we have many artists and are next to Art City!

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

Answer: Support

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

Answer: Support

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

Answer: Support

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

Answer: Strongly support

Design standards.

Answer: Neutral

Friendly ordinances that encourage public and private mural creation.

Answer: Support

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

Answer: N/A

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

Answer: Yes

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

Answer: Yes

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: My answers for this last section might not reflect what I wanted to say in that, for example, support design and aesthetic standards, but wouldn't want them to be too prohibitive or make everything look exactly the same. In Mapleton, the percentages might be unrealistic as we do not have much "extra" to invest in arts. However, there are creative strategies with art ordinances that would be useful as we grow beyond the bedroom community. I love the art-lined streets in Springville and the presence of a museum that showcases arts. Mapleton is currently building a historic town square, which will be a cultural and artistic representation - a step in the right direction! Thank you for the opportunity to participate!

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