Nicole McDermott // Republican // Granite School Board District 4
How have the arts, culture, and/or humanities impacted your life?
- I am an arts teacher of 20 years. I know, first hand, how arts can be an outlet for all of us to deal with crisis, help lift us up or just create a connection. It is a powerful language that we can use to build unity.
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:
- We don't just invest in the economy on the business side but we also help support the economy by supporting the arts. It is something that draws people here and makes Utah a great place to live.
Items of Business I support:
- Credit requirements for participation in the arts and humanities should be increased
- 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
- I support working to increase funding for arts and humanities education.
How would you expand participation in the arts and humanities amongst all students?
- Arts should be a required part of the curriculum through 8th grade as it is in high school. That is the time for students to be exposed to a variety of options and where they can find a passion. If we wait too long, we take so many opportunities away from kids and the possibility of who and what they can become.
Anything else we should know about you?
- I completely support putting more time and money on arts education. While raising property taxes is certainly a possibility, we need to get more kids involved to justify that first. Part of this is that we need a cultural shift for some people and their thinking. We take for granted so much in this state. We also need to embrace the emerging cultural diversity in this state to tap into our communities and get more kids involved.
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