Do you know how much your local government invests in the arts? Would you commit to advocating for an increase in that cultural investment for arts, culture, and heritage in your community, within the capacity of your elected body?
Unsure of amount of investment but its known as not a priority. I absolutely commit to advocating for an increase in all of these. Absolutely!
If elected, will you take an active role on behalf of your local government in championing the growth of arts, culture and heritage in your community? Why?
Arts, culture and heritage are representations of who we are as a people and a city. They give a 'flavour' and colour to the city that enhances the quality of life of our citizens but each is also a significant draw to tourists. We should be investing in these!
Students with an education rich in the arts have better grade point averages and are three times more likely to get a degree. Will you commit to making the arts a critical component of every child’s education? If so, how?
Yes but I'd also like to see more Arts and Fine Arts at the College of the Rockies. Its not a priority there. I'd like to see the city and the school boards really promote that a well-rounded education and good mental/emotional health depend upon the arts. I'd support grants to community organizations that gave lessons, hands-on tour experiences, summer arts & music programs, and offer support in writtng or voice to promotional materials. I'd particularly give support as a Councillor to programs and experiences that could be free to children and young adults in financial need.
How will your local government maintain or grow its investment in cultural programs in your community?
This can happen by appreciating that Culture is about people -- the people who reside here and are coming here. Its about learning about others and embracing cultural ways, etc. Supporting cultural days is insufficient. The City needs a better understanding of how culture effects each of our lives, our identify and then that of the city as a whole. There are economic rewards to supporting cultural growth. Perhaps the City needs a better appreciation of/knowledge of that : that cultural customs and styles are part of our business community and consumer choices.
Will you work to ensure access to affordable, sustainable cultural spaces for artists and arts organizations? If so, how?
I will. I would like to see empty spaces taken up by the arts and culture communities, especially mixed in with the businesses Downtown. This creates a vibrancy that keeps people there. It brings tourists to that area as well. Artists and arts organization should be appreciated for that and therefore given access to spaces where community members can reach them. I'd like to see these kept affordable and sustainable so that galleries, studios and such become anchored in the Downtown to add to its vibrancy.
How do you propose to improve cultural tourism in your community?
First we have to appreciate that culture contributes to tourism. That is now well understood right now by local government. Or if it is, it certainly isn't appreciated. More than having delegations come to present at City Council meetings, I'd like councillors and the mayor to attend some of these programs (not just events) and speak with participants and leaders about their value. Then a colloration on promotion could occur, particularly through marketting locally, regionally and afar.
How do you propose to attract or retain artists and cultural workers in your community?
First, thinking needs to be changed at City Hall about the value of these people to the community as a whole. We have a very vibrant, extremely talented pool of artists, musicians, actors, singers, dancers in Cranbrook. Supporting their organizations with more grants or offering rental spaces with an Arts & Culture discount would help.
What do you feel is the single most important issue relating to arts, culture, and heritage in your community, and what action will you take to address it?
The answer is lack of a full appreciation that arts, culture and heritage are vital to who we are as a community and say alot about the community, itself. As Councillor, I hope to bring that voice!
How do you personally engage in the cultural life of the community? (e.g. involvement on committees, attending arts and culture events, etc.)
I am very involved in Cranbrook Community Theatre on the Board and as an actor, etc. I attend and sometimes participate in multicultural days, heritage days (at Fort Steele for example), Fall Fairs, and so forth. I attend live theatre and concerts at Key City Theatre. I attend music nights and musical festivals in one of our parks frequently. I try to attend the PowWow.
If you'd like to provide voters with additional information about your stance on arts, culture, and heritage issues in your community, please use the space below.
To learn more, please visit my Facebook Page, Melodie Hull or, Vote Melodie Hull. Thank you.