Mayoral Contenders Weigh In On The Arts

Staff | August 1st, 2019

Mayoral Contenders Weigh In On The Arts

Politics  |  Arts, Culture & Community  |  Mayoral Campaign 2019


Toni Harp and Justin Elicker. Lucy Gellman File Photos. 

One candidate sees New Haven as a tale of two cities, and thinks the arts may be a way to bridge them. The other sees a united New Haven, where the arts already play a role in connecting community. One grew up with the arts in their home. The other absorbed them in school. Both promise they’ll advocate for arts education, but see two different ways to approach the issue. Both promise that the arts can lead to social justice, but one wants to turn the system on its head and the other sees it working already.

Those are just a few of the ideological, economic and legislative splits in the latest mayoral candidate survey from Create The Vote CT, a nonpartisan grassroots initiative to get political candidates thinking and talking about arts policy in New Haven and in the state. Create The Vote CT began last year as a joint initiative of the Connecticut Arts Alliance (CAA) and Connecticut Alliance for Arts Education (CAAE). Based on MassCreative’s 2017 initiative of the same name, it gained almost 100 co-sponsors from across the state before the 2018 gubernatorial election.

Thursday, both Mayor Toni Harp and Democratic hopeful Justin Elicker released their responses through the Arts Council of Greater New Haven. Urn Pendragon, Wendy Hamilton and Seth Poole have not yet released their responses.

Read Mayor Toni Harp’s full responses here and Justin Elicker’s responses here.

Survey questions were drafted by a steering committee that included LoveFed Initiative Co-Founder Raven Blake, Yale Presidential Fellow Heather Burtman, New Haven Counts Founder Ron Coleman, New Haven Pride Center Executive Director Patrick Dunn, Neighborhood Music School's Gillian Eversman, artist and educators Ariel Herbert and Paul Bryant Hudson, Artspace New Haven Executive Director Helen Kauder, artist Martha Lewis, Long Wharf Theatre Community Partnership Manager Elizabeth Nearing, Inner-City News Editor and WNHH Radio Host Babz Rawls-Ivy, and Collab Co-Founder Caroline Smith.

For previous Arts Paper coverage of New Haven’s mayoral candidates and the role of the arts in the election, visit the following: