As a poet and musician, I was drawn to St. John’s by its dynamic arts and cultural communities, and as a councillor, I see them as among our key competitive advantages. In my first term, despite financial pressures, we preserved arts funding, initiated a new Municipal Art Plan, which includes provisions to promote diversity in the arts, and expanded the role of the Arts and Culture Advisory Committee. I pushed for the funding to be reinstated for the Art Procurement Program. We undertook “laneway animation” in the alley by the Ship and intend to do further beautification of alleyways. We funded murals by Jordan Bennett in Rawlins Cross, and by various artists in the Avalon Mall to commemorate frontline workers in the pandemic. We approved new downtown decorative lighting to brighten up the streets. I worked with the Poet Laureate to get a poetry podcast off the ground, it’s called Flahoolic and you should check it out!
- I will work to maintain the Art Procurement Program.
- I will support any opportunities to showcase diversity in the performing and visual arts at City Facilities.
- I will work to create a Creative District downtown where all the coolest visual artists are.
- I will look for opportunities to have “artists in residence” in City Facilities.
- I will work to improve access to venues for musicians to load and unload their gear.
- I will work to improve safety at night so more people can enjoy entertainment and service employees can get back home.
- I will investigate how the City can support the use of vacant commercial spaces for pop-up events and artist spaces.
- I will advocate for funding to fix up older murals around town.
- I will continue to review the snow clearing priorities of vital access points to venues in the city (looking at you, stairs all over the downtown!)
- I will continue to support placemaking opportunities such as the Quidi Vidi Pedestrian Zone that allow for cultural destinations to take on a new life.
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