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Candidate Mary Becker on the arts

The Arts Council asked each of the candidates for Assembly and School Board a series of questions to find out their thoughts and priorities regarding the arts.

Candidate Mary  Becker sent her answers:

Questions for the 2016 October Municipal Election Assembly Candidates


1. Describe your involvement/participation in the arts and cultural activities in Juneau.
a. How many times per year do you attend an arts and cultural event?
I go to an event as often as I can. I probably attend at least 12 to 15 events a year.
b. What types of events do you attend?
I enjoy music of almost any kind and get to those performance as often as possible: symphony, local and guest performances, Gospel Choir, Holiday Pops, Perserverance plays, school plays, Theatre in the Rough, musicals such as King Island Christmas, and of course, I always support my grandchildren in each of the theatrical and dance productions that they are in.

c. Are you a current member of any Juneau arts organizations? Which one(s)?
None at this time, but my husband and I try to attend as many local productions as possible.

2. The Council is embarked on building a facility dedicated to the arts and culture to replace the existing JACC: The New JACC. How familiar are you with this project? What role does the Assembly have in this effort?
I am familiar with this project. The Assembly supported a tax initiative to receive funding through the 1% sales tax, and has written guidelines to allow fund raising on the JACC grounds. We also implement the 1% for art on all new construction.

3. The CBJ Comprehensive Plan identifies a Cultural Campus in the Willoughby District. Do you support such a Cultural Campus for Juneau? What can the Assembly do to make this comprehensive plan goal more than an “aspiration?”
I support this proposal but do not support taking away parking, both for the Juneau public and for the State workers. Providing parking for the area needs to be a priority and the Assembly is and needs to be strongly involved in this effort.

4. The Council recently adopted a resolution on diversity, equity, and inclusion, as did the Assembly. How can the arts and culture sector help address social issues to help make Juneau a healthy and vibrant community?
Juneau does a wonderful job of addressing social issues through the arts: Perserverance Theatre such as Mary Ellefson’s play on the Homeless, Yupik Antigone, and the Tlinget play “Our Voices Will Be Heard”. These offerings help to build cultural awareness through the arts. Additionally, we have many well- supported opportunities to celebrate the plethora of artistic offerings of local and statewide Alaska Native artists. Dance groups such as Children of All Nations and the Filipino Community dance group add so much to the cultural fabric of our community.

5. Other thoughts or comments?