Scott Bell // Democrat // Utah House District 47 (A)
How have the arts, culture, and/or humanities impacted your life?
- I have zero talent in music, singing, painting or sculpture! But I do love to write. I've written one full-length novel, three screenplays, a children's book, travel memoir, several short stories and many newspaper pieces. My experience as an author gives me a great appreciation for the hard work, passion, commitment and intellectual rigor required of everyone involved in the Arts and Humanities.
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 consider myself a fiscally responsible candidate (and person). Fiscally responsible means not spending money on projects or initiatives that we're not willing to pay for and subsequently support. Unless we (as citizens) are willing to support capital spending and ongoing operations through operations, grants, taxation, donations or other means, we should not be demanding them.
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?
- Yes! First, COVID19 is going to cause incredible strain on national, state, and local budgets. I support the Arts and Humanities, but our first priority is to people! Tough decisions will have to be made in the 2021 legislature; with respect to A&H, our budget choices need to focus on the people and businesses in A&H, not on capital projects, public art, etc. Second, your survey offers only black & white choices, with little room for nuance. I am not a black & white person... I see most things in shades of gray. For example, one question asks, Do you support reductions in regulations on creative projects? This real answer is, I don't know! I haven't seen either the regulations or the projects! I believe A&H are important in education, communities and society in general. But not every question, proposal, regulation or legislative question is black and white. Third, I wish the survey questions gave some room for Neutral or I don't know. For example, I marked Support in the question on increased exposure to A&H for grades 7-12. I was conflicted by this, mainly because I don't know how much exposure those students currently have. I would have preferred a Neutral choice. Third, a 1/10 of 1% RAP tax is not one penny on $1,000 as stated in the survey. It is $1 on $1000, or 1 penny on $10. I'm not very artistic, but I'm pretty good at math. Thank you for the opportunity to comment!
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