Supporting and Promoting the Arts and Literacy

Arts and culture have the power to unite, inspire, and transform. From the shy teenager who finds his place in the school drama club to the elderly neighbor who discovers her voice in the church choir, the arts and culture can changes lives. Southern Brooklyn is home to a vibrant community of artists -- writers, painters, sculptors, photographers, actors, singers, dancers, poets, and more -- and we should celebrate and support them.

Art doesn’t just benefit the artist. It benefits the community. Our local craft stores, painting and pottery shops, and bookstores are among our most treasured small businesses. Our public libraries offer valuable programs and services for all residents, especially children and seniors. Our incredible community theaters and dance troupes delight visitors from across the city with exciting performances. And many of those who come for the show stay to patronize our local restaurants.

I believe we can support the arts and literacy in our community in the following ways:

  • Leading the charge to establish Community Arts Spaces, where local artists of all different backgrounds and cultures can create, display, and perform their work

  • Supporting arts-in-education initiatives and arts programming in schools, because students who engage in the arts display improved academic performance, greater confidence, and stronger critical thinking skills

  • Fighting for better and equitable funding of local artists and cultural and artistic organizations through public and private grants

  • Protecting artists’ from unfair pay and royalty exploitation in the sale and resale of their works in secondary markets

  • Establishing The Neighborhood Reading Challenge, a new initiative to engage the entire community in reading a target number of books each year, promoting literacy and fostering a greater sense of community.

  • Supporting local libraries with increased funding for community arts programming and foreign language resources for non-English speaking community members

  • Providing opportunities for the arts to be integrated into the fabric of community life by sponsoring neighborhood concerts, film screenings, art and photography exhibits, theatrical performances, poetry readings, dance presentations, and more

  • Supporting efforts to create partnerships between the arts and local businesses through storefront art displays

  • Highlighting southern Brooklyn’s rich architectural heritage through neighborhood walking tours and exhibits and showcasing local historical points of interest