Carol Schwartz for Mayor Committee
1005 Seventh Street, NW
Washington, DC 20001
(202) 393-7300 - Fax (202) 639-8738
Web Page: http://www.carol98.com E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
BRING IT HOME
Schwartz on Arts and Culture in the District of Columbia
The second leading moneymaking industry of the city is arts and culture. Each year
this industry has a $1.4 billion impact on the local economy. This industry is the driving
force for tourism, and employs thousands of residents in ancillary industries. People from
all over the world come to Washington to view shows organized by the John F. Kennedy
Center for the Performing Arts, the National Symphony Orchestra, the National Gallery of
Art, and the revitalized historic Lincoln Theater. The District of Columbia is home to
nearly l 50 arts institutions and thousands more individual artists.
Recently, the District of Columbia was declared the most livable city on the East Coast
due largely to its cultural offerings. While we do not have a Broadway, we do have the
14"' Street Theater Corridor -- and Broadway comes to us. The District is home to the
second leading theater community in the country. We do not have to travel abroad for an
international experience; our city is one of the most internationally and culturally
diverse cities in the world. We can experience the rich culture of the world in our
District artists do not live and create separate and apart from the rest of us. They
live side by side with us, in every quadrant of the city. But, if we do not find ways to
help them live, create and produce in the District, we will continue to see the mass
exodus of artists to the more welcoming suburbs
Our city stands on the brink of an economic and cultural renaissance. We have balanced
our budget two years in a row. We are taking steps to improve our damaged infrastructure.
Yet the industry which provides the city with such extraordinary character is gasping for
breath. The District Government must find new and innovative ways to help nurture the
arts. While we have much to be proud of, we still have much to do. As mayor, I will lead
the charge to help this vital industry grow.
My arts and cultural enhancement program will address the following areas:
- The budget of the D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities does not
reflect the potent impact the arts and culture have on our lives and local economy. As the
sole source of public funding for the arts in the District of Columbia, the Commission is
an essential catalyst for private financial support. Recent figures show that for every
one dollar invested in the arts, six dollars is realized as a result. But try to imagine
what life would be like if we opened our newspapers to plan the weekend and the music,
theater, and gallery sections were gone. Additional funding for the Commission is
important whether it comes from the general treasury, corporate America, or philanthropic
patrons. The Commission has responsibility for developing and supporting arts-related
matters and providing funds, services and information to artists, educational
institutions, community organizations, art organizations and the District community
at-large. With an appropriated budget of only $1.8 million, it is difficult for the
Commission to fulfill its mission. As mayor, I will make certain that the enterprise fund
legislation already in place is facilitated.
- Education is one of my key concerns. The arts are at the very heart of
the development of our young people. We must once again make certain that the arts are an
integral part of the school curricula. I applaud and support the strong efforts of the
D.C. Public School System's Arts and Humanities Steering Committee, made up of
representatives from the arts organizations, artists, educators, and the Commission, to
make the arts basic to learning for young people. As a result, new standards are being
developed to incorporate the arts into the base curricula. I also support the development
of the Commission's East of the River Cultural Program and Arts for Every Student program,
which provides a quality learning experience to every third and fifth grader in the D.C.
Public Schools. I chair the Education Task Force for the Community and Friends Board of
the Kennedy Center. In that position, I have brought our young people to the Kennedy
Center and the Kennedy Center to them. As mayor, I will make certain that we expand
programs like these so that young people throughout the city, regardless of their social
or economic challenges, are allowed to experience a wholesome learning experience, which
includes the arts and cultural awareness. If the arts are to survive at the neighborhood
level, we must begin now to develop new audiences for all the artistic disciplines. I want
to make our young people appreciate Shakespeare, and I think our young people should
understand that Langston Hughes put the "R" in rap.
- Economic development is a vital element of my plan to revitalize
our city's neighborhoods The arts are a key component of this plan. We must envision the
arts and culture as an integral part of the economic prosperity in the District, as well
as an enrichment to the lives of our people. I view the arts as an essential ingredient in
neighborhood development and revitalization. The 14th Street Theater Corridor, the U
Street Corridor, Georgia Avenue and the Downtown Arts District exemplify how the arts aid
in the uplifting of communities. But more can be done. When I am mayor, I will work with
our artists and cultural organizations to bring the arts to every community in our city.
As mayor, I will assist and encourage artists and arts organizations to find and renovate
city-owned property for use as friendly dwellings and workplaces. I will continue my
support of the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities' efforts to augment the city's
appropriations by promoting public and private partnerships with the Commission through
the Arts Enterprise Fund. I will insist on, and monitor to assure, that the arts are an
integral component in all phases of the planning and development of any city-driven
construction project. Individual artists and the cities in which they live have a
symbiotic relationship. But individual artists pay a high price for choosing to live in
our city. In order to keep and attract artists in our city, I pledge to take a serious
look at ways to lower personal income taxes on artists who live and create in the
District. We can look to Mayor Vincent Cianci's revitalization efforts in Providence,
Rhode Island, which established cultural districts and gave individual artists a tax break
for inspiration and guidance. And just as a visionary, pro-artistic climate was created in
New York's SOHO district and San Francisco's Haight Street area, we can do the same thing
right here in our city. As mayor, I will create a welcoming environment for the arts to
flourish in our city.
Paid for by the Carol Schwartz for Mayor Committee. Richard A.
1005 Seventh Street, NW, Washington, D C. 20001.
A Copy of our report is on file with the Director of the Office of Campaign Finance.