Lynette Wendel // Democrat // Utah House District 39 (A)
How have the arts, culture, and/or humanities impacted your life?
- Though I am not an artist or performer myself, my life has been greatly enhanced by the Arts and Humanities. I have been a season ticket holder at various venues in Salt Lake County and enjoy many of our facilities. Equally important, I believe in supporting the talent in our community. I have seen first-hand that an individual’s identity, joy and purpose can be directly influenced with opportunity in the arts. Recently, I served on the art selection committee for the Midvalley Performing Arts Center being built in my community, Taylorsville. I was the only non-artist on the panel yet my contributions were significant and well-received. Understanding what the art needs to express and what the individual needs to experience while engaging with it was something I could offer. It was a phenomenal experience to be part of that process.
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:
- I spend a lot of time in our schools and am disappointed in the lack of resources and arts education for our young people. It is hard to preserve a culture that values our art community if it is not supported at a young age. I would like to see greater investment there. I also agree that partnering investment with multiple industries that can support each other is prudent like Tourism and Humanities. Fiscally responsible is “not spending a dime to save a nickel” and making appropriate, sensible investments.
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.
- 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 the above-mentioned programs. I am concerned they are not enough. I also serve on the Salt Lake County Parks and Rec Advisory Board so I know budgetary priorities are tough to establish. I am committed to learning more about the Arts and Humanities budget to feel better qualified to answer questions regarding budgetary decisions. I also answered NA for the question regarding lessening regulation. I have not had the opportunity to review all regulation related to the arts community nor have conversations with affected parties. I appreciate the work UCA does. I look forward to meeting with you soon.
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