Ofa Matagi // Democrat // Utah House District 33 (A)
How have the arts, culture, and/or humanities impacted your life?
- The arts and humanities have a impacted me in every facet of my life. As an adolescent child I was first exposed to my love of classical music. When most kids my age dreaded listening to the classic composers of centuries past, I absolutely enveloped myself within it. I started to play the flute at the age of 8 and after a few years upon entering junior high, started private lessons off and on until the age of 18. I believe I appreciated music so much more once I learned how to read and essentially understand the beautiful nuances of the composer’s pieces. From playing in a brass band, to a jazz band I began to follow different orchestras in Utah and abroad. I then began to bring others with me to enjoy the beautiful music of the Utah Symphony's many concerts. I never took advantage of spending quality time with my family and closets friends listening to the likes of Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky. After taking Intro to Arts in my undergraduate degree, my love for humanities grew to encompass other forms of art and culture: ballet, art history and subsequently attending galleries as well as exhibits. The many disciplines of humanities continue to shape who I am today and anxiously look forward to expanding my knowledge and active participation within it.
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:
- Fiscally responsible government investment in the arts and humanities would be to help support this industry flourish. I was not aware of the fact above that 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. Utah would do well to invest in that which brings not only a rich culture to Utah, wherein people travel if not eventually settle to make this place their home. Why wouldn't we fiscally budget appropriately to sustain those that help this community thrive and in turn continue to see the revenue from supporting the humanities grow.
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 truly believe that without the arts, culture and humanities we would live a life unfulfilled. Humanities undoubtedly enhances our perspective to learn and think in different ways. To have a diversified thought and opinions. I owe much of who I am to the world of Humanities and as I was originally a Communications major in my undergraduate years, I had the honor of being the Senator of the College of Humanities at the University of Utah (2008-200)9. Which is the largest college on campus. I fondly remember my time serving the student body and the many disciplines within that college: from philosophy, to linguistics and anthropology. I enjoy attending the exhibits at the UMOCA (Utah Museum of Contemporary Arts), to UMFA (Utah Museum of Fine Arts), Natural Museum of History, Utah Symphony's many concerts (John Williams in the summer time is a family favorite at Thanksgiving Point or their Halloween Concert and dressing up in costumes), family Christmas tradition to see Ballet West perform Nutcracker as well as Swan Lake and the list goes on and on. I will undoubtedly protect the humanities. Thank You for the work you all do to maintain these Utah treasures!
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