Chris Dimond, Candidate for State House

2018 Municipal Election Candidate Questions (3)
2018 General Election State Candidate Questions

1. Please 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 events?    5-10 times a year

b. What types of events do you attend, and what motivates you attend arts and cultural events. Plays, Conventions, Ski Sale, Health Fairs, Music events, Public Markets, legislative events, meetings etc.

c. Are you a current or past member of any Juneau arts organizations? Which one(s)? What motivates you to be a member? No I am not

2. The Juneau Arts & Humanities Council (JAHC) operates the Juneau Arts & Culture Center (JACC) which is a CBJ facility. Since July 1st of this year, JAHC has been contracted by CBJ to manage and operate Centennial Hall (also a CBJ building on CBJ land). JAHC is committed to building a facility dedicated to the arts and culture to replace the existing JACC: the New JACC.
a. How familiar are you with the New JACC project, and what if any questions do you have about it? I am pretty familiar with this project. I have been advocating the city assembly to help fund the new JACC. I signed on as an early supporter

b. What do you know and think about the dual management of the JACC and Centennial Hall? I know that CBJ owns both properties, and the JACC takes care of management and operations of both facilities. The new JACC took over Centennial hall management June 1. If the JACC, CBJ and employees are happy with this new arrangement then I can be supportive of it.

c. What is your position on the New JACC project generally?
I believe it is long past time that Juneau have a performing arts center, and this particular project has the potential to bring some short term economic opportunities for the men and women who build this center, as well as long term economic opportunities which will help to revitalize the Willoughby district and help improve and expand Juneau’s arts and cultural community. I am also personally very supportive of the New JACC.

d. Do you support CBJ investment in the New JACC, and what form would you consider best (general obligations bonds, revenue, bonds, sales tax allocation, or other means of generating investment funds)? I believe the city assembly should have given the community the chance to vote on any of the proposed funding ideas recently presented. Community and city buy-in to a community oriented project makes sense. I also recognize that there are currently numerous economic needs within our city, which is why I believe the voters should have the chance to weigh in. As a rep for the Carpenters union, and a member of Juneau Building Trades, we worked hard to get certain assembly members to give the community the chance to weigh in

3. Juneau was chosen by the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC as the 11th city in the nation for the Ensuring the Arts for Any Given Child Initiative, a community-wide effort to ensure equal access to learning in and through the arts for all students. How would you, if elected, support and contribute to equitable access to arts education for every Juneau student? I believe the arts are a vital piece of a child’s education. The arts give many children a reason to remain engaged in school and their communities. I would be supportive of this type of program.

4. Juneau was recently named one of the top 10 most Culturally Vibrant small town’s in the United States by SMU’s National Center for Arts Research, and at the beginning of this year was named the sixth most Creatively Vital micropolises nationally by the Western States Arts Federation. Both these rankings were in part determined by the level of economic activity associated with arts and culture in our community, and by the level of public investment in the arts. How do see these national rankings being leveraged to Juneau’s advantage, and what would you do as an elected official to ensure that Juneau remains a national leader in this area? I believe this kind of ranking could and should be used to promote Juneau’s arts community, as well as being leveraged to help secure funding for future projects like the new JACC.

5. JAHC 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?
What role does the Assembly have in this effort? As a Union member and Union leader, I believe that equity, diversity and inclusion are important factors to ensure all women and men have opportunity in their lives. This is a key component of who and what unions are all about. I believe city, state and federal governments should all adopt this model, it is only through inclusion for all people that we can move forward as a society. Recognizing all men and women should be afforded the opportunities to succeed in life is a foundation block of this country and needs to be better applied.

6. Please share any other thoughts and comments you may have about JAHC, the New JACC, or the arts and culture in Juneau. I believe that Juneau’s arts and culture community has made Juneau and the surrounding areas far more rich and vibrant. I say this as a person who has no artistic abilities, but recognizes the important roll that arts play in our society. I see the benefits in our children. I see the benefits of “community” and involvement that the arts have brought to Juneau as a whole. We have a rich, beautiful and involved population here. I have seen the importance and impact the arts have had on my wife, my children, my in-laws etc. We must ensure that the arts are funded promoted whenever possible. I was truly disappointed the assembly did not align with us on our push to let the community decide what level of involvement they would like to see themselves play in helping to expand Juneau’s arts and cultural community. I will continue to lend my own voice, and the voice of my organization to help promote the New JACC.
Thank you for the opportunity to share my thoughts.!