Garrett Schoenberger Assembly Candidate

1, Please describe your involvement/participation in the arts and cultural activities in Juneau:
How many times per year do you attend an arts and cultural events? This past year was around 7. However, I have a feeling that number is going to increase as I settle in here back in Juneau and become more familiar with all the offerings.

What types of events do you attend, and what motivates you attend arts and cultural events. Wearable Arts, Shi Tinaa Art Auction, and several Perseverance Theatre and school district productions – I’m sure I’m forgetting something but that goes to show you how abundant these activities are in this community.

Are you a current or past member of any Juneau arts organizations? Which one(s)? What motivates you to be a member? Not yet. I recently moved back to Juneau after growing up here.

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? On a scale of 1-10 I’d say I’m at a 7-8 on familiarity. I’d like to know what the latest cost estimates are to complete the project as well as the estimated income and expenses are for ongoing operations.

b. What do you know and think about the dual management of the JACC and Centennial Hall? That the JAHC was recently awarded management of Centennial Hall. Seems logical to have one manager for both facilities given their geographical location. It also makes since given they are both owned by the same entity (CBJ).

c. What is your position on the New JACC project generally? In favor of it.

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)? Yes, I do support CBJ investment in the new JACC. However, I think it’s important to note that balance sheets, budgets and bonding capability/capacity are not static. We would need to look at the next funding request at that moment in time and do what makes most sense as a community. Seems that a bonding mechanism would best address this.

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 think it starts with education and making sure that as a community we continue to fund (Juneau School District) to the max and that is something I fully support.

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? This is huge. Rankings matter and this doesn’t get lost on me. As a commercial real estate executive who analyzed markets all over the country, I can tell you a vibrant arts and culture scene is a big part of that equation. It adds to the livelihood and ‘lifestyle’ component of any community and helps drive the economy. A lackluster arts and culture scene is a big negative when analyzing prospective markets. As an assembly member I would look to build off those rankings and use it as a marketing tool for economic recruiting.

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?
The arts and culture sector can help address social issues by properly utilizing their creative mediums. Art comes in many forms and having appropriate outlets is vital. The Assembly can help by continuing to promote and encourage the arts and culture community.

6. Please share any other thoughts and comments you may have about JAHC, the New JACC, or the arts and culture in Juneau. A new JACC would be a win for this community on so many levels. However, I think it’s equally important that we address the deteriorating and outdated Centennial Hall. At a very basic level, and especially now since we have one group managing both, they go hand in hand. They should complement each other.