Vote 1190034 960 720

Candidate Survey 2018

Oct. 04, 2018 | Arts Council Napa Valley

Attention Artists, Creative Professionals and Arts Fans, find out what local candidates have to say about their arts and culture platform!  As part of our work to promote dialogue around issues related to arts and culture, we have asked municipal candidates in this November’s election to respond to a nonpartisan arts and culture survey for our over 6,000 followers to see.

Responses will be posted on a rolling basis, within 48 hours of receiving them, through November 6th. Responses are never be edited and are published as submitted. So check out the candidate views at ArtsCouncilNapaValley.org!

Our mission to unite, support and enhance Napa County’s exceptional local arts and culture community.  Arts Council Napa Valley network of over 6,000 followers include local nonprofit administrators, creative professionals, educators, small business owners, philanthropists and community leaders. The voice of the creative community matters!

Don't see a candidates response? All candidates were contacted through the email addresses provided on the public Qualified Candidates list.  If you would like to encourage a candidate to respond, please ask them to reply to Olivia Dodd at olivia@artscouncilnv.org. Read the FAQs for more details.

 

American Canyon

City of Napa

Yountville

St Helena

Calistoga

 


American Canyon Candidates

Mark Joseph

 

Q: Please briefly share an example of how arts and culture has impacted you, personally or professionally (including visual, dance, drama, music, craft, media arts, history and heritage preservation).

A: "My experience on both the American Canyon Arts Foundation (ACAF) and as a board member for the Arts Council Napa Valley (ACNV) has made the biggest impacts on me, from a “community volunteer” perspective.  ACAF has produced art shows and music events for years, giving an opportunity for young and old alike to pursue their artistic potential and passions.  The ACNV has used their community influence and limited financial resources to mobilize the entire Valley to engage in artistic efforts, from Arts in Education, to the Napa Artwalk, to Arts in April.

At a personal level, I have always enjoyed viewing good art (never being particularly artistic myself!), and perhaps the most exciting was viewing the Impressionist Exhibit at the De Young Museum some 30+ years ago!"

 

Q: What are the best examples you have seen of municipalities utilizing arts and culture to advance local goals (such as jobs, economy, quality of life, health and safety, transportation or housing)?

A: "Locally, I think the City of Napa (Napa Artwalk) and the Town of Yountville (particularly their Art, Sip & Stroll event) have done a great job invigorating their downtown areas using sculpture and art.  I believe the artwork certainly enhances their quality of life and indirectly benefits them economically."

 

Q: What do you believe the role of City Council should be in developing and supporting the city’s arts and cultural offerings and infrastructure?

A: "The City should offer matching grant dollars to support the arts in American Canyon, particularly public art.  We have already taken a good first step by adopting a Resolution identifying areas for public art and establishing a process if and when funds are available.

In addition, the City should partner whenever possible with local and regional arts organizations to further the recreational, economic and cultural benefits of the arts."

 

Q: What role, if any, does arts and culture play in advancing your vision for the city?

A: "Similar to Napa City or Yountville, I want to see public art become an integral part of our new development as well as the streetscape of our community, especially in our Broadway District (Highway 29 Corridor) and the future Napa Valley Ruins & Gardens.

I also want to encourage local groups to promote the various cultures in our community, including art, dress, dance, music and food.  This enhances the quality of life for our residents and also generates a level of pride within our many ethnic communities."

 

Pierre Washington

Awaiting response.

 

Jason Kishineff

Q: Please briefly share an example of how arts and culture has impacted you, personally or professionally (including, visual, dance, drama, music, craft, media arts, history and heritage preservation).

A: "I could write a novel in response to this question, and still not fully answer it. I have always been involved in the arts and culture. I am a student of history, admire European architecture, particularly churches and the Parliament Buildings in Budapest and London. I have played several instruments, over the course of my life, including baritone, clarinet, piano and guitar. As far as listening to music, my tastes range from classic rock to Swedish folk music to oldies to Bhangra to Reggae. I was in 3 stage productions at NVC in the 1990's, including a starring role in The Odyssey. I love to paint. I wish I could include an image of one of my paintings."

 

Q: What are the best examples you have seen of municipalities utilizing arts and culture to advance local goals (such as jobs, economy, quality of life, health and safety, transportation, or housing)?

A: "The best examples I can think of are songs that have influenced the minds of people, like Buffalo Springfield's "For What It's Worth". A less obvious answer to this question, at least regarding the economy and jobs, would be going to a major production in a big city, like seeing "Hamilton" in SF. Many people get to these events using public transport, like BART. There is a mural, on a wall in Berkeley, of a lot of people from different cultures, that makes people feel peaceful. I believe that is the best example of art improving quality of life I can think of, although, I strongly support the Capitol Stairs project, in Vallejo, which should have an identical effect." 

 

Q: What do you believe the role of City Council should be in developing and supporting the city’s arts and cultural offerings and infrastructure?

A: "Absolutely!"

 

Q: What role, if any, does arts and culture play in advancing your vision for the city?

A: "My vision is for Napa to be a happy, vibrant, safe, and healthy community that feels like home to its residents, while also being the best place our visitors have ever been. The arts play a large role in creating a community that is vibrant, welcoming, and desirable. Arts-focused businesses also help to diversify our economy, and new artists and artisans are able to positively leverage and expand the Napa brand. Cultural events attract not only tourists, but local families and businesses. The arts positively impact our local economy and quality of life." 

 

Robert Vega

Awaiting response.

 

David Oro

Awaiting response.

 


City of Napa Candidates

James Hinton

Awaiting response.

 

Liz Allesio

Awaiting response.

 

Mary Luros

Q: Please briefly share an example of how arts and culture has impacted you, personally or professionally (including, visual, dance, drama, music, craft, media arts, history and heritage preservation).

A: "When I first opened my law firm in 2008, one of my very first clients was the Napa Valley Film Festival. It’s hard to believe now, but when the idea came forth to start a major film festival in Napa with all of the celebrities and excitement that entails, many people said it wasn’t possible. I personally took a chance on the festival because I believed that Napa deserved to have an immersive and transformative festival experience, that we could support the art of storytelling through film, and that we can and should provide educational opportunities for local students interested in this art. Over the five plus years I worked with the festival, I saw it grow into a beautiful community experience. I observed the crowds of thousands of people who came to experience Napa who wouldn’t have visited us otherwise. I witnessed first-hand as we brought a new kind of arts experience to the valley, and most importantly—I learned that Napa deserves a myriad of arts and culture opportunities and that we can and should support these activities."

 

Q: What are the best examples you have seen of municipalities utilizing arts and culture to advance local goals (such as jobs, economy, quality of life, health and safety, transportation, or housing)?

A: "Several years ago, I had the opportunity to travel to a few European capitals with my husband, and we enjoyed several unique art experiences. One was in Vienna, at the Wiener Staatsoper (the State Opera House), where they have something called the Vienna State Opera Live Project. Under this program, the Opera House projects select opera and ballet performances from the opera house live on a giant LED video screen outside the opera house. Anyone outside can enjoy the performances in a relaxed atmosphere with free admission. Through this program, the performances reach a much wider audience, and people can experience opera and ballet for the first time. My husband and I stumbled upon the event one evening while walking back to our hotel, and we were amazed to see families enjoying a picnic dinner and opera at the same time. Young children, who really can’t sit through an opera or ballet, were able to experience these incredible arts in an accessible, comfortable, and fun environment. It was an amazing example of how the local government could provide an arts and culture experience to a wide array of people who might not otherwise be able to experience it. (For more info: https://www.wiener-staatsoper.at/en/your-visit/service/opera-live-outdoors/) We also had the opportunity to experience “Sculpture by the Sea” in Aarhus, Denmark. This internationally acclaimed sculpture exhibition turns two miles of ocean coastline into a giant sculpture park. Artists from 24 different countries show unique sculptures near the shore and even in the water. More than half a million visitors visit the exhibit over the course of three weeks. The project began in Aarhus when the Crown Prince and Princess of Denmark visited a similar very successful project near Sydney, Australia. They enjoyed it so much, they sponsored the entire concept in Denmark. Sculpture by the Sea is an incredible example of what happens when government sees the opportunity that art can bring to a community—and they fund it accordingly. (For more information and to see the exhibits: https://en.aros.dk/visit-aros/the-collection/sculpture-by-the-sea/)." 

 

Q: What do you believe the role of City Council should be in developing and supporting the city’s arts and cultural offerings and infrastructure?

A: "Arts and culture are important to every member of our community, and the City Council should support and promote artistic endeavors. Municipal governments often look first at arts spending as the first item to be cut during lean times. It is the City Council’s job to balance our spending and defend the arts as a legitimate and critical need in our community. A strong arts sector will stimulate our economy by attracting tourism, creating jobs, and expanding our tax base. In addition, the arts are beneficial to our community members’ physical, mental and emotional health." 

 

Q: What role, if any, does arts and culture play in advancing your vision for the city?

A: "My vision is for Napa to be a happy, vibrant, safe, and healthy community that feels like home to its residents, while also being the best place our visitors have ever been. The arts play a large role in creating a community that is vibrant, welcoming, and desirable. Arts-focused businesses also help to diversify our economy, and new artists and artisans are able to positively leverage and expand the Napa brand. Cultural events attract not only tourists, but local families and businesses. The arts positively impact our local economy and quality of life."

 

Peter Mott

Awaiting response.

 

Ricky Hurtado

Q: Please briefly share an example of how arts and culture has impacted you, personally or professionally (including, visual, dance, drama, music, craft, media arts, history and heritage preservation).

A. Through my humble upbringing in our community, and not having much while growing up, it was the arts that I would always turn to - whether directly or indirectly, which ultimately helped shape and form the person I am today. From dancing Ballet Folklorico (Mexican folk dance), to playing the violin, or singing in Chamber Choir while in high school, I know how crucial and important it is to have such opportunities available to our children, youth, families, and community as a whole. The arts helped me further connect with my culture and background of who I am and understand where my family comes from. It has also helped me understand other people, cultures, traditions, and therefore be more connected with the world we live in today and our community. I believe that It’s through the arts and culture that helps us come together as one community – all while history and heritage helps us have a conversation with our past about our future.

 

Q: What are the best examples you have seen of municipalities utilizing arts and culture to advance local goals (such as jobs, economy, quality of life, health and safety, transportation, or housing)?

A. As a community, we have improved by not only having a Community Cultural Plan, but by continuing to implement it through public policy in our municipalities. It helps set the course for today and our future. I believe that as a city, we need to continue providing funding to promote and support arts and culture for everyone in our community. Although there is a Community Cultural Plan at the County level, I would make sure that our city, county, and other municipalities within the county are continuing to collaborate to accomplish all of the Cultural Plan’s mission and goals. It will be crucial to include arts and cultural competency in our General Plan, which will help set the course for the next 20 years – this can include providing zoning and looking at other developer incentives to further encourage for artists to create and display their work.

 

Q: What do you believe the role of City Council should be in developing and supporting the city’s arts and cultural offerings and infrastructure?

A. The Arts and culture is not only a part of beautification, it involves members of community, adds to the quality of life, and it’s also an economic driver of our community. In the County of Napa, it generates $32 million in our local economy. Therefore, it is imperative that City Council support City’s arts and cultural offerings. As someone who has benefited from the arts, which led me to be the person I am today, I know how crucial and important it is for our future generations, and bring forth skilled professionals of such sectors like the arts into our community – or providing the opportunity to local professionals and local people interested in this sector. In general, art and culture are essential for continuing to build community. I believe that the arts bring promise of hope, quality of life, innovativeness, economic vitality, and a community of diverse backgrounds together into one. Furthermore, it can help to foster well-being, healing, and trauma recovery of our community.

 

Q: What role, if any, does arts and culture play in advancing your vision for the city?

A. My humble upbringing in our community, which helped inspire me to work hard, has led me for it to be my life’s goal to support those in need and strive for a more welcome and engaging community. That’s what I’ve been doing over the past several years by being involved in several boards and committees in our community and by working in the nonprofit field, and now running for City Council. In part, to continue making a more welcome and engaging community, I believe that we need to continue advancing the arts, especially because it not only gives us the opportunity to market ourselves as an ideal location and a cultural destination for tourist and locals. In the multi cultural society that we live in today, culture stimulates pride, personal development, self fulfillment for all members of our community, all while having a common language and bridge between different groups while preserving the balance between locals and visitors. In order to accomplish this, we would need to make sure we have “Smart Growth” economic development.

 

Bernie Navarez

Q: Please briefly share an example of how arts and culture has impacted you, personally or professionally (including, visual, dance, drama, music, craft, media arts, history and heritage preservation).

A. "My Mexican culture is rich with Music, often that music is used to celebrate milestones and has brought my family together. Preserving, celebrating, and sharing my heritage is important and critical so I can share that with my daughters. Music helped me get by some hardest time while I was serving in the military, specifically in Iraq. Being away from family and friends was hard, but music often helped."

 

Q: What are the best examples you have seen of municipalities utilizing arts and culture to advance local goals (such as jobs, economy, quality of life, health and safety, transportation, or housing)?

A: "I love how the Vine trail has incorporated art. We can use more art in high traffic pedestrian areas. I would like to see more art in parks and parking structures. Less visible concrete and more art. I would like to see the Oxbow commons incorporate a flood proof art element."

 

Q: What do you believe the role of City Council should be in developing and supporting the city’s arts and cultural offerings and infrastructure?

A: "Increase funding for Parks and Recreation to increase art and music in public areas. Our leadership to be willing to participate in events that celebrate the arts and improve creative elements we develop commercial and residential structures."

 

Q: What role, if any, does arts and culture play in advancing your vision for the city?

A: "I envision our city to incorporate art that reflect our diverse culture. More murals, art pieces displaying our history and resilience of natural disasters. More color and creativity to fill our daily lives. Art, color, and music helps foster a healthy environment and helps us express joy and overcome struggle."


Yountville Candidates

John Dunbar (Mayor)

Awaiting response.

 

Kerri Dorman

Awaiting response.

 

Marita Dorenbecher

Q: Please briefly share an example of how arts and culture has impacted you, personally or professionally (including, visual, dance, drama, music, craft, media arts, history and heritage preservation).

A. I have had the privilege to work in the arts in my career spanning 30 some years as I started at KKHI AM and FM Radio in 1976 and was with them with various gaps through 1998. I worked with the San Francisco Symphony, San Francisco Opera, I produced the 60 th Birthday Party for the San Francisco Ballet and put on private showings at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. I interviewed on air, artists, conductors and authors as well. I have also been a host family for Artists with the FestivalNapa Valley and the Writers Conference.

 

Q. What are the best examples you have seen of municipalities utilizing arts and culture to advance local goals (such as jobs, economy, quality of life, health and safety, transportation, or housing)?

A. Yountville created an official Arts Commission a few years ago and I served on the original Arts Committee for a time. Arts have definitely impacted the Town of Yountville with the Art Walk, The Museum, the Lincoln Theatre, Art, Sip and Stroll etc.

 

Q: What do you believe the role of City Council should be in developing and supporting the city’s arts and cultural offerings and infrastructure?

A: Through the Town Council, we approved the formation of the official Arts Commission in Yountville and have funded the Yountville  arts to some extent through our annual budget process.

 

Q: What role, if any, does arts and culture play in advancing your vision for the city?

Yountville is becoming recognized for the street art and the Museum around the country and the world and is the third most popular reason for visitors coming to Town

 

 


St. Helena Candidates

Alan Galbraith (Mayor)

Q:  Please briefly share an example of how arts and culture has impacted you, personally or professionally (including, visual, dance, drama, music, craft, media arts, history and heritage preservation).

A: Saint Helena is so fortunate. Programs in arts and culture abound. I attend as many as I can, across the wide spectrum of offerings in our City. I would not want to single out one art as more important to me than another. They all bring great joy.

 

Q: What are the best examples you have seen of municipalities utilizing arts and culture to advance local goals (such as jobs, economy, quality of life, health and safety, transportation, or housing)?

A: Older cities have great histories. They effectively use those histories as inspirations for both residents and visitors. Over the years I have visited many cities, large and small. My special interest is in cities that effectively illustrate their histories through guided walking trails. This is a great way to get to know a city.

 

Q: What do you believe the role of City Council should be in developing and supporting the city’s arts and cultural offerings and infrastructure?

A: City Councils can promote arts and culture in different ways. Our City does so through the remarkable array of programs offered by our Public Library. These
programs attract not just our residents but also residents of surrounding communities. Our City also supports the arts through its annual grant awards for specific programs sponsored by non-profit organizations in our City. This includes, for example, the Robert Louis Stevenson Museum

 

Q: What role, if any, does arts and culture play in advancing your vision for the city?

A: Our City Mission Statement provides that we are to provide cultural opportunities. The programs supported by the City do just that. We are proud of them.

 

Geoff Ellesworth (Mayor)

Awaiting response.

 

Anna Chouteau

Q:  Please briefly share an example of how arts and culture has impacted you, personally or professionally (including, visual, dance, drama, music, craft, media arts, history and heritage preservation).

A: "All of it! Art and culture have had a big impact on my life. My grandmother would take me to musicals and ballet in San Francisco when I was little and I loved it all; the costumes, the dialogue, the singing, dancing and sets. It put words to feelings I didn't know how to express myself yet. Those experiences are some of my strongest memories and they felt special and were something that spoke to my heart as much as my mind. My mom and dad would take my brother and me to art museums. My dad would talk to us about the history and stories within each piece. Those memories and learning stuck in mind much more than what I would read in a text book at school. More recently I saw a Rene Magritte special exhibit and was moved by his mastery of making art and conveying his ideas in such unexpected and different ways. My young daughter and I read a book on Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera from the library. She was jumping for joy when we saw their portrait in that same museum. History and heritage preservation are important to give us all a sense of what has come before and to maintain the collective memories and beauty of spaces that transcend generations and time."

 

Q: What are the best examples you have seen of municipalities utilizing arts and culture to advance local goals (such as jobs, economy, quality of life, health and safety, transportation, or housing)?

A: "Having access to art and culture has enhanced my quality of life in every city in which I have lived. Growing up we had Shakespeare plays at a winery and Los Lobos and Blondie concerts and a mid-night movie series at the Raven Theater in Healdsburg gave teenagers and adults something fun to do together. Mosaic tile benches and surprise art in public spaces in Saint Helena, Santa Barbara and Napa and bigger parks filled with art and sculpture in Dallas have delighted me as an adult and made those cities more desirable places to live. I am so grateful for the experiences offered at Nimbus Arts, Lincoln Theater, Cameo Cinemas, performances with Cafeteria Kids at Napa College, and at the White Barn, SHHS Performance Center, St. Helena Library, and the Napa Valley Film Festival. Nimbus Arts is a great example of how art makes our community better on many levels. They employee people, they engage the community in philanthropy, and they offer incredible classes, workshops and camps all year long in addition to community projects. Cafeteria Kids came to St. Helena Primary School to volunteer with kids after they were impacted by the Yountville shooting last year. I watched a class and saw the kids transformed by joy and laughter as they stood in a circle together. Our community is better with art and culture in it. We are more creative, connected, and challenged to use all parts of our brain."

 

Q: What do you believe the role of City Council should be in developing and supporting the city’s arts and cultural offerings and infrastructure?

A: "We should be an advocate and leader for supporting the city's and community partners' arts and culture offerings and infrastructure. Additionally, the city can bring arts and cultural offerings directly through services at the library and Park and Rec programming and city run events."

 

Q: What role, if any, does arts and culture play in advancing your vision for the city?

A: "Art and culture are a part of the vision I see for Saint Helena. Art and culture bring new ideas to our lives and provide shared experiences that bring us together. The city is looking at multiple city owned buildings and deciding what to invest in and what to do with each space. Bringing in more art and culture could be a draw for visitors and locals both. I have heard multiple ideas I am excited about. For example, fixing up Lyman Park to be a better venue for coming together for enjoying the park and each other, musical performance and plays, building an outdoor theater at the library and re-imagining the library space for the future to provide all the wonderful community and cultural events they provide in an even better space. Also, looking at creating a community space for rotating art and historical exhibits and experiences as well as providing a really nice and affordable meeting place for larger groups of people somewhere in town. All of these ideas have a culture and arts component that is worthy of more thought. Our Main Street needs our attention right now as we deal with retail changing and too many empty storefronts. The city is going to be investing in public bathrooms, better sidewalks and looking at our alleys and the small park off of Main Street on Oak Avenue to make those spaces more attractive, interesting and visitor friendly. Considering the look, design and function of each space will elevate the overall look and feel of Saint Helena and keep us a desirable place to live and to visit."

 

Paul Dohring

Awaiting response.

 


Calistoga Candidates

Chris Canning (Mayor)

Awaiting response.

 

James Barnes

Awaiting response.

 

Donald Williams

Awaiting response.

 

Gary Kraus

Awaiting response.

 

 

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Arts Council Napa Valley 501(c)3 is funded in part by the California Arts Council, a state agency, and the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency.

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