Don Haberger – Assembly Candidate

Please describe your involvement/participation in the arts and cultural activities in Juneau:

  1. How many times per year do you attend an arts and cultural events? 3-5 per year
  1. What types of events do you attend, and what motivates you attend arts and cultural events. We have gone to plays, concerts, symphonies, and school plays.
  2. Are you a current or past member of any Juneau arts organizations? Which one(s)? What motivates you to be a member? No

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.

  1. How familiar are you with the New JACC project, and what if any questions do you have about it? Familiar with the concept insofar as material is on your website.
  2. What do you know and think about the dual management of the JACC and Centennial Hall? Not sure what this question is asking.
  3. What is your position on the New JACC project generally? I think the project has potential to advance community economic development.
  4. 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 support using CBJ’s bonding authority for low cost financing to be paid back over time. I have reservations about any taxes going into project funding, operations, and maintenance.

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 am not familiar with the Ensuring the Arts for Any Given Child Initiative and would need to know more about it to answer this question.

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? My public services priorities are public safety, streets, education, hospital, landfill, and sewer and water utilities. I also favor holding the line on property and sales taxes during our lack luster economic environment of the last couple of years. Public investment in the arts would fall into place under these priorities.

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? I thought the JAHC’s response to the Wearable Arts kerfuffle an overreaction and in poor judgement on the cultural appropriation issue. I would not support Assembly involvement is these types of JAHC’s efforts.


Please share any other thoughts and comments you may have about JAHC, the New JACC, or the arts and culture in Juneau.