Karen Kwan // Democrat // Utah House District 34 (A+)
How have the arts, culture, and/or humanities impacted your life?
- Arts, culture and humanities are a representation of our humanness that persists through time. When I experience a piece of artwork or hear music from a long ago time period, I become connected to the artist in transformative ways. What emotions were they feeling? What were their everyday joys and problems? Who did they love? The artwork contains these lived experiences. It carries their humanness through time so that I may celebrate, weep, or laugh alongside the artist. That connection, that experience of meeting the artist and interpreting their work through my own life, changes me.
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?
Fiscally responsible government investment in the arts and humanities (including humanities and arts education) means to me:
- That partnerships are created/maintained that allow artists and art communities to thrive while not overburdening the budget.
I support the following legislative items:
- 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 (non-profit and for-profit)
- Fiscally responsible government investment in arts and humanities organizations.
- Development of cultural districts
- Facilitating partnerships between tourism and culture.
- Reducing regulations of creative businesses.
- 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
- I support the Beverley Taylor Sorenson Arts Learning Program which puts one arts specialist in most elementary schools
- I support the POPS (Professional Outreach Program in the Schools) which sends 13 professional arts organizations to all UT school districts
- I support the iSEE (Informal Science Educational Enhancement) which sends 10 professional science, zoological, and natural history organizations to all UT school districts
Anything else we should know about you?
- I support elevating artists of color and other marginalized art communities who might not have the access to resources due to language barriers or lack of information. I support the elevation of diversity and cultural competency in the arts communities. I appreciate UCA for standing for these principles as well.
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