As our city grows, we must act with urgency to stabilize families, artists, and small businesses because without them we lose one of the very things that has made us such a special city. We must invest in the culture of Seattle that has given us our unique identity and strength.
Seattle is the entertainment and cultural center of the Pacific Northwest. Creativity is in the water and in our blood. From musicians, to painters, to dancers, to writers and filmmakers, and many more—artists have given us voice and spirit. To make sure we don’t lose this valuable distinction in a skyrocketing economy, I am proposing to increase arts and culture spending.
Specifically, we should increase the allocation of the city’s existing admissions tax revenue dedicated to the arts from the 75% it is today to 80% in 2016, 90% in 2017, and 100% in 2018. This increase means millions of additional dollars dedicated to supporting artists and arts organizations all over the city, including more arts education in our public schools.
More funding for arts education in our schools is crucial. I want to do all I can to make sure our children are creative, critical thinkers, prepared with a solid education that includes the arts. That’s why I believe arts education should be expanded to every public school in Seattle.
Great cities support a thriving arts, music and nightlife sector. As a result in 2010 I was a vocal proponent of the Seattle Nightlife Initiative and was a leader in turning the City’s oppressive stance toward nightlife into one of support. I recognize the value of music in our city. With that in mind I co-sponsored legislation in 2009 that waived the admissions tax on small live-music venues to encourage small business development and promote our renowned local music scene. Twelve new, live music venues opened in the two years following passage of the legislation by the City Council.
Creativity is a valuable cultural and economic human resource for Seattle’s people and neighborhoods. Let’s make certain we provide strong public support of this vital artistic sector of our economy.