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Andrew “Andy” Hughes, write-in candidate for Assembly Area Wide, on the arts

Andrew “Andy” Hughes, Write-in Candidate for Assembly Area-Wide

Questions for the 2017 October Municipal Election Assembly Candidates

Describe your involvement/participation in the arts and cultural activities in

Juneau.

I am recently retired and look forward to opportunities to attend more arts and cultural events.

  1. How many times per year do you attend an arts and cultural event?

I’ve been to several at THMS and UAS. The last was a school play “Beauty and the Beast” at THMS.

  1. What types of events do you attend?

I attend a wide variety. Depending on time and convenience, I attend events ranging from symphony, concerts, plays, sports and school events.

  1. Are you a current member of any Juneau arts organizations? Whichone(s)? no
  2. The Council recently adopted a resolution on diversity, equity, and inclusion, as did the Assembly. How can the arts and culture sector help address social issuesto help make Juneau a healthy and vibrant community?

Apply this policy to selection of performances that you invite/bring to Juneau. Incorporate this policy in selection of both content and performers of staged arts and cultural activities in Juneau

  1. The Council is embarked on building a facility dedicated to the arts and culture to replace the existing JACC: The New JACC. How familiar are you with this project? What role does the Assembly have in this effort?

I have reviewed information on the website. I believe the Assembly has appropriated $1 million for early project development. Recently the Assembly considered placing a temporary 1% Hotel tax on the ballot, which became controversial. JACC requested the request be dropped from ballot consideration.

  1. Juneau was recently named one of the top 10 Culturally Vibrant small towns in the United States by the Southern Methodist University National Center for Arts Research. How can this be leveraged to advantage for our community? What can the Assembly do to support the continued growth of the arts industry here?

Continue to provide the fine program your organization currently provides. Use the recognition to solicit donations in support of arts and cultural events and the construction of a new JACC. Host performances and events that further the growth of the arts industry in Juneaus.

  1. Other thoughts or comments?

The state is in a recession and Juneau will likely have less revenue in the future to fully fund essential infrastructure and services. Juneau depends on two primary revenue streams: property taxes and sales taxes. Sales tax revenue is now in decline. The true extent of the decline is likely masked by eliminating the Senior Sales Tax Exemption. I believe Juneau and local businesses, along with communities across the nation, are confronted with a new paradigm – look on-line first versus look local first. The Assembly has two years running used our savings to fund an imbalance in an unsustainable budget. This cannot continue. As does the state, the borough will be entering next year’s budget process with an unsustainable budget and confronted with declining sales tax revenue.

I recommend not beginning demolition of the old JACC until construction of the new JACC is fully funded, including provision for construction contingency.

Keep up the good work carried out by the Juneau Arts & Humanities Council; it is appreciated.

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