Matthew MacPherson // Republican // Utah House District 31
How have the arts, culture, and/or humanities impacted your life?
- I spent my junior high and high school years as a singer and have attended many of Utah's symphonies, cultural events, concerts and shows. I think they are an important part of why I am who I am today and I hope my three children find that same passion. My youngest daughter is now involved with her high school plays and my oldest is learning guitar. All three of my ids attended the dual immersion program for Spanish and the company I own has made many contributions to their school’s annual cultural celebrations.
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:
- It must be worth the investment in a tangible way (tourism, revitalization, growth etc)
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
- 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
Anything else we should know about you?
- While I believe students should have access to art and culture, I do not believe public education has a great track records for providing this to students in a balanced way. I also believe students k-12 should study religion as well, but public schools would not be the best place for it and I would not support it there either. I think these are great programs, but do not think they should be funded across the board.
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