Be an Informed Arts and Culture Voter

The Maryland gubernatorial primary race is heating up and you are probably eager to know where the candidates stand on arts and culture issues. Fortunately, Maryland Citizens for the Arts and Young Audiences Arts for Learning Maryland have both invited all candidates to answer questions about support for arts and arts education.

Maryland Citizens for the Arts received responses from Anthony Brown, Doug Gansler, Charles Lollar, and Heather Mizeur to the following questions:

1. For over 20 years, Governors and legislative leaders have shared a goal with Maryland Citizens for the Arts and the arts community throughout the state to fund the Maryland State Arts Council’s budget at a level that enables the sector to maximize its impact in the state. What is your position on public funding for the Arts and, if elected Governor, how will you express that position in the state’s budget?

2. Arts and cultural organizations in Maryland contribute immeasurably to the quality of life in our state. In addition, the arts in Maryland have a major positive impact on the state’s economy, supporting over 12,000 jobs, generating nearly $48 million in state and local taxes, and creating an overall economic impact of over $1 billion dollars. What role can the arts play in Maryland’s economic growth and vitality? How will you commit to including the arts sector in critical planning conversation about the future of Maryland?

3. The Maryland State Board of Education has adopted the goal that 100 percent of Maryland’s students will participate in fine arts programs that enable them to meet the content and achievement standards established by state standards for the arts. While Maryland has excellent arts education programs in many schools there are schools, particularly in high poverty areas, where programs are non-existent, which is in violation of State regulation (COMAR 13A,04.16.01). On September 16, 2013, the Governor’s P-20 Leadership Council established a Task Force on Arts Education in Maryland Schools and gave it the following charge: Recognizing that a task force on arts education will be a powerful conduit for conversation and action in our state, the arts education task force is an important step to maintaining the arts as a major instructional focus for creativity, imagination, and innovation. The task force will create an action plan that ensures a quality arts education for all Maryland students. Please explain your position on arts education and share your thoughts on the current P-20 Leadership Council’s Task Force on Arts Education in Maryland Schools.

Young Audiences received responses from Anthony Brown, David Craig, Doug Gansler, Ralph Jaffe, and Heather Mizeur to the following two questions:

1. The President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities made five recommendations to reinvest in arts education (included in the full report, “Reinvesting in Arts Education: Winning America’s Future Through Creative Schools”). Two of them are expanding the in-school use of teaching artists and developing the field of arts integration, the practice of using the arts as a tool to teach other academic subjects. Do you agree? If so, how would you, as governor, move these recommendations forward?”

2. We are concerned both by the cuts in arts education and that our standardized testing model does not recognize the full set of capacities needed to ensure that Maryland has a thriving workforce and a civil society. As governor, how would you address our concerns?

Be an informed arts and culture voter AND let your candidate know where you stand!

Best,
Jeannie

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