Candidate: Dan Strauss, Candidate for District 6
- Website: https://www.seattlefordanstrauss.org/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/seattleforstrauss/
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/seattle4strauss
We need to increase and expand arts programming and funding in Seattle, and I will lead the way. The arts have been an important part of my life since I was a child – my first play, the Nail in the Sole, was in 3rd grade, and theater was an integral part of my life for 9 years. I will ensure they are well-funded and able to thrive in Seattle.
I strongly support the 1% for Art public art program and will push to ensure the entire allotment is spent every year. I will also work to make arts more accessible through the creation of mobile arts programs which meet people in their communities. I will increase grants and funding for the arts – particularly with a recent decline in corporate sponsorships, we need to make sure our cultural centers have the resources they need. I have a strong and established relationship with the Director of the Office of Arts and Culture and can hit the ground running to get things done for the arts in Seattle.
The arts are an integral element of Seattle’s culture. They hold an intrinsic value which inspires us, stokes our creativity, entertains us, and makes Seattle a better place to live. This is borne out by experience, and also in data – ArtsFund’s recent survey found 79% of respondents believe arts benefit their personal wellbeing.
Critically, the arts also serve as a tool for improving social outcomes, addressing equity concerns, and creating economic development opportunities. ArtsFund’s Social Impact of the Arts Study found students from low-income families with high involvement in the arts were more civically engaged, and at-risk youth with high arts involvement were considerably more likely to attend college. Low-income neighborhoods with cultural resources also had less crime.
Through the arts, we can elevate voices in our community. In District 6, the Seattle Public Theatre specifically aims to create socially relevant and inclusive productions. Abbey Arts in Fremont promotes access to art for people of all income levels and specializes in locally produced art, from music to dances to spoken word. These organizations and others like them create value, economic and otherwise, for their communities, and they need to be well-funded.
Artists are also under the same pressures as everyone else. Housing affordability is a major issue in the city, and many artists are being forced to leave Seattle because of cost of living. Creating more affordable housing is a central part of my campaign. I support duplexes and triplexes across the city, more multi-family homes in transit corridors, and more income-restricted housing. Everyone deserves to live close to their job, and everyone deserves to live in our city.
Thank you for the opportunity to share my arts platform. The arts are an important element of my life and of Seattle. I will be an ally for the arts on the Council.