CANDIDATE: Vivian Song Maritz, Seattle School Board District 4 Candidate — 2021 General Election
- Website: https://vivian.school/
- Twitter: www.twitter.com/viviansong
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/vivianforseattleschools
Halfway through 3rd grade, my music teacher invited my classmates and I to pick a string instrument. We would spend music class time learning to play our instruments for the rest of the school year. My music teacher must have seen the hesitation on my face. She walked over to me and thrust a violin case into my hands. She said, “Vivian, you can pick any instrument you’d like. I suggest the violin. You hold it up with your chin, close to your ear. You’ll do just fine with it.”
Earlier in the school year, my classroom teacher referred me to a hearing screening and within a matter of weeks, an audiologist confirmed that I am hard of hearing. My music teacher must have understood that I wasn’t sure I’d be able to learn how to play an instrument with my disability. I’m grateful she pushed me. I’m grateful to have had this opportunity and to have played in my school and my city’s youth orchestras for the following 9 years.
As a school board director, I am committed to supporting arts education for all Seattle Public School students. Seattle is well-known for its arts culture, from its world-renowned musicians, to Black Hole Sun in Volunteer Park. Our own public schools should continue this tradition and have visual arts and music teachers in every school building. Our students should have access to stage productions, be it watching a performance or creating their own. My vision is that an arts education is just as valued and prioritized as all other subjects.
Answers to the questions:
o Tell us about your personal involvement in Seattle’s art and cultural life. How do you make art a part of your life?
My family and I thoroughly enjoy and benefit from Seattle’s vibrant art and cultural life. We are subscribers to Seattle Rep and members to Seattle Art Museum. We regularly take our children to productions at Seattle Children’s Theater and have made financial contributions to that organization. We have enjoyed productions at PacificNorthwest Ballet, Seattle Opera, and Benaroya Hall. We have enrolled our children in extracurricular activities in dance, youth theater, and choir to foster a lifelong love for the arts, like that of their parents.
o This survey from ArtsFund shows that the Seattle arts and cultural community has seen significant declines (over 50%) in income due to Covid. The arts already operate on a razor’s edge and many organizations may not be able to afford the cost of reopening. How will you support Seattle’s arts and culture sector in its reopening and revitalization?
I will use my position as a school board director to advocate for greater city resources in support of the arts and culture sector’s reopening and revitalization. Our children should grow up in a community that values the arts and I am committed to partnerships between our schools the arts community. I believe a thoroughly supported arts and culture sector will play an important role in the healing and revitalization of the entire community of Seattle. The arts that we are able to consume will help us process and heal from the trauma and bring us great joy and hope