Thomas Wright // Republican // State: Governor (A)
1. How have the arts, culture, and/or humanities impacted your life?
Some of my fondest and most profound memories are tied to an artistic experience. The arts have drawn my family together as we've enjoyed our children's concerts and the shared experience of attending performances in the community. My wife and I are season ticket holders at the Utah Opera, and I try to prioritize supporting the arts with my business. Last year Summit Sotheby’s sponsored the Ballet West production of The Nutcracker. I’m also currently serving on the board of the Utah Symphony, which has been a meaningful connection to the local arts community.
2. 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?
3. I support...
-Grants to be used for operations (jobs) as soon as possible
-Keeping emergency loans open to nonprofits
-Increasing availability of loans to cultural businesses (nonprofit and for-profit)
-Fiscally responsible government investment in arts and humanities organizations
-Facilitating partnerships between tourism and culture
-Reducing regulations of creative businesses
-Capital investment (in museums, performance/concert halls, studios, galleries, nonprofit office space, etc.)
-The RAP tax
-The RAP taxes which are decided by voters
-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
-The Beverley Taylor Sorenson Arts Learning Program which puts one arts specialist in most elementary schools
-The POPS (Professional Outreach Program in the Schools) which sends 13 professional arts organizations to all UT school districts
-The iSEE (Informal Science Educational Enhancement) which sends 10 professional science, zoological, and natural history organizations to all UT school districts
4. I will...
-Ensure existing fund balances are preserved for recreation, cultural organizations, and parks
5. Fiscally responsible government investment in the arts and humanities (including humanities and arts education) means to me:
I have always supported the arts and I believe it creates a beneficial quality of life.