Lauren Abell // Democrat // State House-District 5 (A)
1. How have the arts, culture, and/or humanities impacted your life?
I have participated in arts and humanities almost my entire life. I have multiple archaeology and psychology degrees. I participated in theatre productions throughout high school and college. More recently I have been participating in ceramics classes at the Cache Arts center and take my daughter to art camp there every summer. Cultural education makes us more deeply developed as humans. It teaches empathy, connects us, provides outlet for expression, embraces beauty as a value in and of itself and fosters creativity. Arts, culture and humanities connect us to the natural world, whether you’re literally digging in the dirt, playing with clay, or exploring the boundaries of the mind. They connect us with our human past and allow us to consider different futures and different ways of being.
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.)
-The RAP tax
-Existing fund balances that will be preserved for recreation, cultural organizations, and parks
-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:
Government investment here provides access and opportunity for all Utahns, and refuses to label these critical cultural elements as “luxuries.” As the arts and humanities enrich our lives, they should be available to all Utahns.