Kera Birkeland // Republican // Utah House District 53 (A)
How have the arts, culture, and/or humanities impacted your life?
- I grew up in a house as one of six children. I was the least athletic child in a house full of athletes. The piano was my place to shine. I started playing at the ag of eight. My husband and I have also adopted a child (and soon another) with a different cultural background. It's important to us that he has the most exposure in the most positive and real ways possible.
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:
- Ensuring the investment will come at a profit for the tax payers. If we are using their funds, we need to be careful how we spend it.
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 hesitate to support our local RAP tax, due to my community’s high tax rate. We are a bedroom community and residents are tired of constant increases. Also, I don't see it being implemented in a proper way within my county.
Do you like this post?