Lateefah Williams

Strengthening our Creative Community CREATE THE
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
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
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
What revenue sources will you support or create or
use to increase the city’s financial investment in the creative
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.