Strengthening our Creative Community CREATE THE VOTE CANDIDATE SURVEY 2014 Candidate Name: Lateefah Williams Ward/At-Large: Attorney General Candidate 1. DC is home to over 300 non-profit and for-profit arts organizations (music, theater, dance, etc.) that provide access to the arts and support quality of life in every corner of this city. While providing over 112,000 jobs, arts organizations with the creative economy industries, make up $14.1 billion to the District Gross State Product (GSP) and an estimated $200 million to the District’s tax base annually. Question: Is there a specific arts organization/s in your part of the state that you or your family particularly enjoy? Organization name: John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the Atlas Performing Arts Center, Smithsonian Museums (and many more) 2.Many arts organizations – big and small – provide the foundation for arts education in DC’s public schools. The arts are an important priority for the Chancellor and we know from longitudinal studies, that children who are exposed to the arts and who practice and participate in the arts have an academic advantage. Question: Do you support the sustained presence of arts education in our schools? Agree. Yes, I support the sustained presence of Arts education. 3. While DC is known for its politics, monuments and museums, the city has yet to fully leverage the strength of our arts, culture and creative community as a means for tourism and branding. Tourists are a strong source of revenue to DC. Yet, it seems that many still do not take advantage of activities "beyond the Mall." Question: Will you take steps to both support and use the creative community to attract tourists to diverse neighborhoods across the city? Enthusiastically Support. 4. Some in the creative community1 are concerned about the city’s administrative capacity to program, support, and promote activities. Describe how you will address these concerns in the following areas: What revenue sources will you support or create or use to increase the city’s financial investment in the creative community? Do you believe the city’s current administrative structure should grow to support the creative community by adding a cabinet level art and cultural leader? What are your arts program priorities and where will the funds be allocated? 1 For purposes of this question, Creative Community is defined as artists and non-profit arts organizations that are funded by the DC Commission on Arts and Humanities (DCCAH). As the District of Columbia’s first elected Attorney General, I will support both private and city donations, as well as grants to further elevate the presence of the arts in our city. I support arts and culture being a priority in the city government. The current leadership needs to operate more efficiently to better represent the needs of the constituents and ease the current budget strains. My arts program priorities would start with programs aimed towards our youth and arts education within the school curriculum. We want our children to achieve academically, have equitable opportunities to be engaged in civic matters, and have emotional and social development. Many studies have shown that the arts are a major link to the aforementioned results and as Attorney General one of my goals is to divert youth from the juvenile justice system. Ensuring that all youth have ample opportunities for arts education is one way to keep youth on a productive path. Arts programs also increase tourism, which will then create more jobs for unemployed residents and enrich the lives of our constituency at large. As Attorney General, I will use my bully pulpit to support increased arts funding and will advocate for an assessment to be completed to determine where the need exists so that funds can be appropriated accordingly.