Candidates for North Carolina House of Representatives

Each candidate was provided a questionnaire to complete and share their position on arts and culture. Below are the responses we received. Responses are posted verbatim.

 

Steve Mauney

2018 candidate for NC House of Representatives, District 101

Please share a meaningful experience you have had with art (visual, dance, drama, music, media arts), sciences or history and its impact on you.
My youngest daughter is a published graphics artist.  I completely support any efforts to bring the arts to the forefront

Research has shown that arts education positively affects achievement, discipline, attendance, and graduation rates. Business leaders have indicated that North Carolina’s economy needs a workforce that is not only educated but able to excel in 21st century skills, including innovation and creativity.
Will you support legislation that requires students between grade 6 and grade 12 to complete one arts credit (music, visual art, theatre, dance)? Please explain.
Yes

According to the most recent Arts & Economic Impact Study, North Carolina’s nonprofit cultural community generated $2.1 million in economic activity during fiscal year 2015. This activity provides over $201 million in tax revenues for local and state governments and supports 72,000 NC jobs.
How will you promote the NC non-profit cultural sectors as part of the State’s economic development strategy?
I would seek guidance from recognized arts benefactors

Funding from the North Carolina Legislature supports important arts programming in Mecklenburg County. In FY17, funds distributed by the North Carolina Arts Council provided close to $1 million in support of organizations such as the Charlotte Symphony, Mint Museum, Opera Carolina, Community School of the Arts, Charlotte Ballet and Children’s Theatre, as well as funding that supported project and operating support grants awarded by ASC throughout Mecklenburg County. Currently, North Carolina invests less than $0.63 per person in arts grants.
How will you support increasing arts grants to be equal to $1 per citizen to create positive outcomes for North Carolina? What leadership will you provide to set a per capita level of funding for statewide initiatives such as this?
I would support that legislation


Carla Cunningham

2018 Candidate for NC House of Representatives, District 106

Please share a meaningful experience you have had with art (visual, dance, drama, music, media arts), sciences or history and its impact on you.
I love science, art and history. My love of science influenced my career. My African American studies class gave me a different perspective on slavery. Art and music stimulates my brain to be more creative.

Research has shown that arts education positively affects achievement, discipline, attendance, and graduation rates. Business leaders have indicated that North Carolina’s economy needs a workforce that is not only educated but able to excel in 21st century skills, including innovation and creativity.
Will you support legislation that requires students between grade 6 and grade 12 to complete one arts credit (music, visual art, theatre, dance)? Please explain.
Yes- It is an opportunity for children to be creative.

According to the most recent Arts & Economic Impact Study, North Carolina’s nonprofit cultural community generated $2.1 million in economic activity during fiscal year 2015. This activity provides over $201 million in tax revenues for local and state governments and supports 72,000 NC jobs.
How will you promote the NC non-profit cultural sectors as part of the State’s economic development strategy?
The Arts and Cultural community is important in NC, it stimulates the growth of jobs and economic development in the state.

Funding from the North Carolina Legislature supports important arts programming in Mecklenburg County. In FY17, funds distributed by the North Carolina Arts Council provided close to $1 million in support of organizations such as the Charlotte Symphony, Mint Museum, Opera Carolina, Community School of the Arts, Charlotte Ballet and Children’s Theatre, as well as funding that supported project and operating support grants awarded by ASC throughout Mecklenburg County. Currently, North Carolina invests less than $0.63 per person in arts grants.
How will you support increasing arts grants to be equal to $1 per citizen to create positive outcomes for North Carolina? What leadership will you provide to set a per capita level of funding for statewide initiatives such as this?
I will support arts grants increase per citizen.


Nasif Majeed

2018 candidate for NC House of Representatives, District 99

Please share a meaningful experience you have had with art (visual, dance, drama, music, media arts), sciences or history and its impact on you.
I participated in band activities from elementary school to college.  The experience enhanced my music IQ, interpersonal skills and ability to work together with others in a team environment.

Research has shown that arts education positively affects achievement, discipline, attendance, and graduation rates. Business leaders have indicated that North Carolina’s economy needs a workforce that is not only educated but able to excel in 21st century skills, including innovation and creativity.
Will you support legislation that requires students between grade 6 and grade 12 to complete one arts credit (music, visual art, theatre, dance)? Please explain.
Yes.  I think that arts education is one of the essential components of a well rounded academic curriculum..

According to the most recent Arts & Economic Impact Study, North Carolina’s nonprofit cultural community generated $2.1 million in economic activity during fiscal year 2015. This activity provides over $201 million in tax revenues for local and state governments and supports 72,000 NC jobs.
How will you promote the NC non-profit cultural sectors as part of the State’s economic development strategy?
I will be a positive voice for the arts community and encourage fellow legislators to support the budget for the NC Arts Council.

Funding from the North Carolina Legislature supports important arts programming in Mecklenburg County. In FY17, funds distributed by the North Carolina Arts Council provided close to $1 million in support of organizations such as the Charlotte Symphony, Mint Museum, Opera Carolina, Community School of the Arts, Charlotte Ballet and Children’s Theatre, as well as funding that supported project and operating support grants awarded by ASC throughout Mecklenburg County. Currently, North Carolina invests less than $0.63 per person in arts grants.
How will you support increasing arts grants to be equal to $1 per citizen to create positive outcomes for North Carolina? What leadership will you provide to set a per capita level of funding for statewide initiatives such as this?
I will be an advocate for increasing the  arts and cultural budget.  With input from the arts and cultural communities, I will work to raise the appropriations in the NC Legislature for the arts.


Andy Dulin

2018 candidate for NC House of Representatives, District 104

Please share a meaningful experience you have had with art (visual, dance, drama, music, media arts), sciences or history and its impact on you.
I enjoy a wide range of artful endevors and experiences. I particularly enjoy sculpure both inside and out.

Research has shown that arts education positively affects achievement, discipline, attendance, and graduation rates. Business leaders have indicated that North Carolina’s economy needs a workforce that is not only educated but able to excel in 21st century skills, including innovation and creativity.
Will you support legislation that requires students between grade 6 and grade 12 to complete one arts credit (music, visual art, theatre, dance)? Please explain.
yes. The work for one arts credit is a great way for a student to engage their brain.

According to the most recent Arts & Economic Impact Study, North Carolina’s nonprofit cultural community generated $2.1 million in economic activity during fiscal year 2015. This activity provides over $201 million in tax revenues for local and state governments and supports 72,000 NC jobs.
How will you promote the NC non-profit cultural sectors as part of the State’s economic development strategy?
I will be open minded and a well prepared Legislator as projects come our way. I know from my 8 years on the Charlotte City Council that employers want their employees to have cultural options.

Funding from the North Carolina Legislature supports important arts programming in Mecklenburg County. In FY17, funds distributed by the North Carolina Arts Council provided close to $1 million in support of organizations such as the Charlotte Symphony, Mint Museum, Opera Carolina, Community School of the Arts, Charlotte Ballet and Children’s Theatre, as well as funding that supported project and operating support grants awarded by ASC throughout Mecklenburg County. Currently, North Carolina invests less than $0.63 per person in arts grants.
How will you support increasing arts grants to be equal to $1 per citizen to create positive outcomes for North Carolina? What leadership will you provide to set a per capita level of funding for statewide initiatives such as this?
If a project is good for Charlotte and District 104 I will be very supportive. My job is to advocate and support D 104.


Carolyn Logan

2018 candidate for NC House of Representatives, District 101

Please share a meaningful experience you have had with art (visual, dance, drama, music, media arts), sciences or history and its impact on you.
One of the most impactful experiences with art was when I saw an abstract painting by my youngest daughter, Taelor. She was always quiet, withdrawn, and stayed to herself. She brought home a large painting with the colors of yellow, green and black. To me, it looked exactly like her. It showed her feelings; I could see her soul, the hurt in her eyes, the sadness in her mouth, the strength in her cheekbones, the overall determination to survive. I saw my child as the individual that she is. I knew then that art is is a way to express oneself, bringing out who a person is in a constructive way. The painting has stayed with me–literally and emotionally. It’s truly the reason I am such a proponent of the arts in schools.

Research has shown that arts education positively affects achievement, discipline, attendance, and graduation rates. Business leaders have indicated that North Carolina’s economy needs a workforce that is not only educated but able to excel in 21st century skills, including innovation and creativity.
Will you support legislation that requires students between grade 6 and grade 12 to complete one arts credit (music, visual art, theatre, dance)? Please explain.
I will absolutely support legislation that requires students to complete at the least one arts credit. The arts help a child become a wellrounded individual by opening up interests that they would otherwise not be exposed to.

According to the most recent Arts & Economic Impact Study, North Carolina’s nonprofit cultural community generated $2.1 million in economic activity during fiscal year 2015. This activity provides over $201 million in tax revenues for local and state governments and supports 72,000 NC jobs.
How will you promote the NC non-profit cultural sectors as part of the State’s economic development strategy?
I hope to support the North Carolina’s non-profit art and cultural sectors by voting in support of our arts. It is obvious to me that supporting the arts is not only the right thing to do to increase our cultural awareness, but it generates money for this state. It is a winwin.

Funding from the North Carolina Legislature supports important arts programming in Mecklenburg County. In FY17, funds distributed by the North Carolina Arts Council provided close to $1 million in support of organizations such as the Charlotte Symphony, Mint Museum, Opera Carolina, Community School of the Arts, Charlotte Ballet and Children’s Theatre, as well as funding that supported project and operating support grants awarded by ASC throughout Mecklenburg County. Currently, North Carolina invests less than $0.63 per person in arts grants.
How will you support increasing arts grants to be equal to $1 per citizen to create positive outcomes for North Carolina? What leadership will you provide to set a per capita level of funding for statewide initiatives such as this?
It would be an honor to lead or co-lead an effort to increase arts grants to be equal to $1 per citizen. North Carolina should be a leader in supporting the arts!


Chaz Beasley

2018 candidate for NC House of Representatives, District 92

Please share a meaningful experience you have had with art (visual, dance, drama, music, media arts), sciences or history and its impact on you.
As a child, one of my fondest memories was attending plays with my mom. We weren’t well-off financially, so it was a real treat to watch students at what was then known as the NC School of the Arts perform children’s classics. Seeing those plays as a child gave me an appreciation for live theater specifically, and the arts generally, that persists to this day.

Research has shown that arts education positively affects achievement, discipline, attendance, and graduation rates. Business leaders have indicated that North Carolina’s economy needs a workforce that is not only educated but able to excel in 21st century skills, including innovation and creativity.
Will you support legislation that requires students between grade 6 and grade 12 to complete one arts credit (music, visual art, theatre, dance)? Please explain.
I am a strong proponent of exposing children to a variety of academic areas. Children (particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds) may not know that their strengths lie in a particular area because they do not have in-depth experience with it. Our goal should be to allow children to explore their skill sets, and requiring a broad set of academic experience, including to the arts, is a critical way to achieve this goal.

According to the most recent Arts & Economic Impact Study, North Carolina’s nonprofit cultural community generated $2.1 million in economic activity during fiscal year 2015. This activity provides over $201 million in tax revenues for local and state governments and supports 72,000 NC jobs.
How will you promote the NC non-profit cultural sectors as part of the State’s economic development strategy?
We should promote, support, and foster the growth of the non-profit cultural sector in our state. One of the primary ways we can do so is by making cultural facilities, including museums and performing arts centers, affordable to build and maintain. These facilities often attract economic development in nearby areas. Providing spaces for the arts to thrive would help tremendously.

Funding from the North Carolina Legislature supports important arts programming in Mecklenburg County. In FY17, funds distributed by the North Carolina Arts Council provided close to $1 million in support of organizations such as the Charlotte Symphony, Mint Museum, Opera Carolina, Community School of the Arts, Charlotte Ballet and Children’s Theatre, as well as funding that supported project and operating support grants awarded by ASC throughout Mecklenburg County. Currently, North Carolina invests less than $0.63 per person in arts grants.
How will you support increasing arts grants to be equal to $1 per citizen to create positive outcomes for North Carolina? What leadership will you provide to set a per capita level of funding for statewide initiatives such as this?
As a longtime donor to the arts, I understand that funding is critical to the existence of cultural spaces. While private donations are important, public funding also helps tremendously. I will continue to advocate for a strong level of arts funding for our state.


Brandon Lofton

2018 candidate for NC House of Representatives, District 104

Please share a meaningful experience you have had with art (visual, dance, drama, music, media arts), sciences or history and its impact on you.
Throughout middle and high school, I played trombone in the concert band. I didn’t realize it at the time, but this experience ingrained in me the importance of listening and community.  I liked the trombone because it was a powerful instrument.  However, I had to learn to listen for other instruments and understand how my part fit in before I could effectively contribute to a song.  When done well, I would be part of creating something that was greater than anything I could create on my own.  Beyond giving me an appreciation for classical music, and art in general, I believe this lesson helped shape my approach to leadership and service.

Research has shown that arts education positively affects achievement, discipline, attendance, and graduation rates. Business leaders have indicated that North Carolina’s economy needs a workforce that is not only educated but able to excel in 21st century skills, including innovation and creativity.
Will you support legislation that requires students between grade 6 and grade 12 to complete one arts credit (music, visual art, theatre, dance)? Please explain.
Yes.  As previously mentioned, my experience playing in the school band not only helped strengthen my appreciation for art and creativity, it instilled important values in me.  My wife, Kellie (a dancer during her childhood), had a similar experience and is a former board member of the Charlotte Ballet.  As part of her efforts, our family supported the Charlotte Ballet’s Reach program to help more students get access to dance.  If elected, I would support legislation to help all of our students gain exposure to the arts.  Doing so would not only help our students develop innovation and creativity, it would help increase the competitiveness of our City and State.

According to the most recent Arts & Economic Impact Study, North Carolina’s nonprofit cultural community generated $2.1 million in economic activity during fiscal year 2015. This activity provides over $201 million in tax revenues for local and state governments and supports 72,000 NC jobs.
How will you promote the NC non-profit cultural sectors as part of the State’s economic development strategy?
Our non-profit cultural sectors must be critical components of our economic development strategy.  In addition to providing significant tax revenue for local and state governments, our non-profit cultural sectors help foster creativity and innovation and make our City and State attractive places to live.  If elected, I will fight to promote our non-profit cultural sectors and ensure they receive the support needed.

Funding from the North Carolina Legislature supports important arts programming in Mecklenburg County. In FY17, funds distributed by the North Carolina Arts Council provided close to $1 million in support of organizations such as the Charlotte Symphony, Mint Museum, Opera Carolina, Community School of the Arts, Charlotte Ballet and Children’s Theatre, as well as funding that supported project and operating support grants awarded by ASC throughout Mecklenburg County. Currently, North Carolina invests less than $0.63 per person in arts grants.
How will you support increasing arts grants to be equal to $1 per citizen to create positive outcomes for North Carolina? What leadership will you provide to set a per capita level of funding for statewide initiatives such as this?
Yes. I will support efforts to ensure that all citizens have opportunities to engage the arts and, as previously mentioned, will support arts funding as part of our State’s overall economic development strategy.


Wesley Harris

2018 Candidate for NC House of Representatives, District 105

Please share a meaningful experience you have had with art (visual, dance, drama, music, media arts), sciences or history and its impact on you.
I remember as a child growing up in rural, Alexander County, the first time I ever came to Charlotte was for a class field trip to Discovery Place and to see a show at Belk Theater.  It was my first time ever visiting the big city and it made the mark that shaped my life-long love of museums and theater as well as cemented my desire to settle in Charlotte long-term.  Having a thriving arts and science culture is critical for a city.  It builds a sense of community and brings others into the area which help to promote economic and cultural growth.  Additionally, through art and history, we are better able to tell our own story, and from that, be able to become a society that learns from its past and is able to strive for something greater.

Research has shown that arts education positively affects achievement, discipline, attendance, and graduation rates. Business leaders have indicated that North Carolina’s economy needs a workforce that is not only educated but able to excel in 21st century skills, including innovation and creativity.
Will you support legislation that requires students between grade 6 and grade 12 to complete one arts credit (music, visual art, theatre, dance)? Please explain.
Yes, I fully support students from middle school onward to complete at least one arts credit per year.  The function of our schools is to prepare our students for the world, and not all students fit into the cookie cutter mold of focusing on Science, English, or math to succeed.  All of our students need to understand to the scope of possibilities that are available to them so they can find a subject they are passionate about and devote themselves to it.  This is where true success come from, being able to have the resources to identify and pursue your passion, and we owe it to each of our children to provide them with that opportunity.  Additionally, creativity is one of the most employable skills in today’s modern world, to be able to look at a problem and approach it in a unique way is critical for success.  Having exposure to the arts at a young age fosters this development in creativity and helps build more well-rounded citizens of the world.

According to the most recent Arts & Economic Impact Study, North Carolina’s nonprofit cultural community generated $2.1 million in economic activity during fiscal year 2015. This activity provides over $201 million in tax revenues for local and state governments and supports 72,000 NC jobs.
How will you promote the NC non-profit cultural sectors as part of the State’s economic development strategy
Having a thriving arts and cultural community in our state is extremely beneficial to economic growth and development.  Particularly in cities, a thriving art scene is one of the key drivers in bringing people into the urban area, leading them to spend money, want to move here, and ultimately expand our economy, very similar to big ticket sporting events.  Our state must prioritize non-profit cultural centers to make sure they are able to raise the resources necessary to ensure that our communities are able to have thriving local art scenes.  When the arts are able to thrive, all of our communities benefit and as such, should have the support of our state government.

Funding from the North Carolina Legislature supports important arts programming in Mecklenburg County. In FY17, funds distributed by the North Carolina Arts Council provided close to $1 million in support of organizations such as the Charlotte Symphony, Mint Museum, Opera Carolina, Community School of the Arts, Charlotte Ballet and Children’s Theatre, as well as funding that supported project and operating support grants awarded by ASC throughout Mecklenburg County. Currently, North Carolina invests less than $0.63 per person in arts grants.
How will you support increasing arts grants to be equal to $1 per citizen to create positive outcomes for North Carolina? What leadership will you provide to set a per capita level of funding for statewide initiatives such as this?
Investments in a strong arts culture ultimately pay for themselves.  Cities and communities with a successful arts culture are able to attract more people who in turn will spend their money and hopefully settle in our areas, thus expanding our economy.  This is because a thriving arts scene is better able to foster a sense of community and shared experiences that people have shown an interest in seeking out.   Having a public partnership to support the arts is a key component to improving out economic potential and laying the ground work for our state to continue to grow and be one of the best places in the country to live.  Members of our community understand this, and if the leaders of our state lay out the economic benefits of the arts, we will be able to gain amply popular support to increase the amount of arts grants available to our local communities.


John R. Bradford, III

2018 Candidate for NC House of Representatives, District 98

Please share a meaningful experience you have had with art (visual, dance, drama, music, media arts), sciences or history and its impact on you.
One of my daughters is involved in the performing arts. She has danced with Dance Davidson the last 5-years and dances in both Ballet and Tap Companies. Watching these young adults perform on stage showcases their natural beauty, talent and dedication to the arts.

Research has shown that arts education positively affects achievement, discipline, attendance, and graduation rates. Business leaders have indicated that North Carolina’s economy needs a workforce that is not only educated but able to excel in 21st century skills, including innovation and creativity.
Will you support legislation that requires students between grade 6 and grade 12 to complete one arts credit (music, visual art, theatre, dance)? Please explain.
Yes. I believe this can introduce young adults to new things that will help them achieve new personal heights.

According to the most recent Arts & Economic Impact Study, North Carolina’s nonprofit cultural community generated $2.1 million in economic activity during fiscal year 2015. This activity provides over $201 million in tax revenues for local and state governments and supports 72,000 NC jobs.
How will you promote the NC non-profit cultural sectors as part of the State’s economic development strategy?
Yes…i have a demonstrated history of supporting the arts. I helped secure funding the last two consecutive terms for the new performing arts community center that’s being built in North Mecklenburg in Cornelius.

Funding from the North Carolina Legislature supports important arts programming in Mecklenburg County. In FY17, funds distributed by the North Carolina Arts Council provided close to $1 million in support of organizations such as the Charlotte Symphony, Mint Museum, Opera Carolina, Community School of the Arts, Charlotte Ballet and Children’s Theatre, as well as funding that supported project and operating support grants awarded by ASC throughout Mecklenburg County. Currently, North Carolina invests less than $0.63 per person in arts grants.
How will you support increasing arts grants to be equal to $1 per citizen to create positive outcomes for North Carolina? What leadership will you provide to set a per capita level of funding for statewide initiatives such as this?
As Co-Chair of the Mecklenburg Legislative delegation I will work with the leadership of the various NCAC organizations from Meck County to help build the business case that supports this grant funding request. The Meck County delegation is the largest delegation in the state and having Democrats and Republicans from Meck County supporting such an initiative would be a very positive step to secure broader support from our colleagues across the state.


The following candidates for North Carolina House of Representatives did not submit a response:
Ty Turner, Republican, District 88
Mary Belk, Democrat, District 88
Debbie Ware, Republican, District 92
Christy Clark, Democrat, District 98
Joshua Niday, Republican, District 99
John Autry, Democrat, District 100
Nancy Campbell, Republican, District 100
Tyler Norris, Republican, District 102
Becky Carney, Democrat, District 102
Rachel Hunt, Democrat, District 103
Bill Brawley, Republican, District 103
Scott Stone, Republican, District 105
Geovani Opry Sherow, Republican, District 106
Kelly Alexander, Democrat, District 107

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