Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County (AHCMC)

Survey Question: Private Investment

Arts and humanities organizations in our County consistently struggle with attracting support from our local business and philanthropic community. As an elected official, would you incentivize public/private partnerships with the arts and humanities to strengthen an investment in the cultural sector from businesses and philanthropists in Montgomery County? If so, how? And if not, why?


Roger Berliner
- County Council - Yes, I would. While we as a Council are strongly committed to funding the arts and humanities, there is only so far we can go as a government, as resources are still finite. I would encourage our Department of Economic Development to get more involved in supporting our arts organizations through public-private partnerships and would be open to any concrete ideas that could be executed at the Council level.

Neda Bolourian - County Council - I would provide incentives to public and private organizations who choose to be involved in arts and humanities. I would begin by instilling the importance of the arts and humanities to the healthy development of children and also a healthy outlet for adults.

Beth Daly - County Council - The most direct way to incentivize public/private partnerships and investment in the cultural sector from businesses and philanthropists is through an increase in matching funds programs. The County can also do more to make businesses as well as the general public more aware of the tremendous economic returns on investment in this sector and more specific ways that it benefits our community.

Marc Elrich - County Council - We've allowed provision of arts space to serve as a public amenity and the tax code supports contributions to the non-profits. I think you have to look at each individual proposal. As you know, we are technically out of the recession, but we have yet to restore basic services to pre-recession levels. Businesses and philanthropists receive tax breaks. There may be opportunities to partner, for example this might happen at the old police station or with efforts to attract a Children's museum that I mentioned before, and it has happened with AFI and a number of performing arts venues. I don't think there's an easy answer since all of this competes with already existing and growing demands of County dollars to meet basic services. We've had to weigh those kinds of concerns in our budgets since the Recession and that's likely to continue.

Nancy Floreen - County Council - I spend a great deal of my time now, encouraging private support, and the zoning rewrite, which we have just completed, allows art to be used towards the public benefits points required for development in the CR zone, either as related to an arts facility, or as public art approved by the arts steering committee.

Evan Glass - County Council - The only way our community will flourish is if we strengthen our coalitions and unique partnerships. As a civic leader and board member of many nonprofits, I regularly work to bring people together to achieve common goals.

Dick Jurgena - County Council - No. I believe that if the arts and humanities provide the cultural events in which people and business owners are interested they will be supported without government intervention.

George Leventhal - County Council - I have supported matching fund arrangements where public support leverages private donations.

Vivian Malloy - County Council - Yes, it is important that we look at alternative means to secure financial resources to support the arts and humanities programs in our county. This creative venue of our society is essential to bring a well rounded cultural experience to our residents. As a council member, I believe, we the people should invest in our county and express more pride and ownership to the lifestyle we offer. I will look at viable options and incentives for public and private partnerships to make good investments into their communities by supporting our arts and humanities organizations.

Tom Moore - County Council - We have fine examples of this locally already: The Bethesda Urban Partnershipís Art Walks are certainly popular, and BUP sponsors a summer concert series and lots of other cultural events. The county launched this nonprofit two decades ago, and it works with businesses and other groups very successfully. On the east side of the county, the AFI is so much more than a theateróitís called the AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center, with the county joining the AFI in offering film festivals, cultural discussions, and other unique events in a historic landmark. Strathmore Hall came to be through a combination of public and private funds, of course. Several private estates came into county hands long ago (e.g., the Mansion at Strathmore; Glenview Mansion; Kentlands Mansion) and now offer art exhibits, concerts, and craft shows all year. And AHCMC is the ultimate public-private arts and humanities partnership!

Nancy Navarro - County Council - Yes I would

Hans Riemer - County Council - I believe that the arts and humanities invigorate the local economy and are central to moving Montgomery forward. I support public/private partnerships since the arts make a positive impact on residents and businesses throughout Montgomery County.

Ryan Spiegel - County Council - Absolutely yes. In my role as a city councilmember I have supported public art requirements as part of the approval process for new private development, and I have supported city-sponsored arts committees and arts funding entities. I would also leverage the pulpit of my office and its ability to attract attention to key issues as a way to draw focus to arts by the business and nonprofit communities. I would also consider other incentives, such as a possible tax credit, to encourage more private investment in arts and humanities.

Jeffrey Thames - County Council - Yes. As a Hip-Hop Impresario I would call upon the business relationships I've already established to bring them to Montgomery County.

Duchy Trachtenberg - County Council - The optimal way of encouraging this collaboration is through the use of tax incentives which many jurisdictions have used.

Tim Willard - County Council - A more vibrant local business community, including community owned banks and credit unions would provide more investment resources for the cultural sector. Multinational companies that receive incentives and grants to locate here should be expected to invest back into the community including the cultural sector.

Phil Andrews - County Executive - Yes. The County and the County Executive need to play a catalytic role in boosting the arts, in addition to providing direct funding.

Douglas Duncan - County Executive - YES. I am a big proponent of such ideas and when previously Executive, we were able to accomplish such a feat with the then AFI Silver Docs, which Discovery Communications sponsored. Montgomery County is fortunate to have a lot of involved philanthropic businesses people as well as now a lot of arts and humanities offerings. I believe if we are to create such public/private partnerships, Montgomery County needs to become a much more friendly place to do business, which means we must fix current County departments that are broken or not working as effectively as they should be as well as providing incentives to retain and attract businesses that no longer see Montgomery County as a place to keep their business or start a business.

Sidney Katz - County Executive - Yes. The County should do this by inviting private and corporate citizens to see first hand the good work in the County. Additionally, the County can provide additional grant opportunities to help fund these types of programs and partnerships.

Ike Leggett - County Executive - Yes we have to make sure that the business sector understands that to be a good civic partner it support the arts and humanities as a good corporate citizen. And, as I said previously, we have to make sure that the donors in Montgomery County invest in the arts of Montgomery County and not go elsewhere. There are a number of worthy programs and places that could use their investments right here. That investment not only helps the arts community, but overall helps the quality of life where they work. It will help the arts communities but also help themselves and their businesses as well.

Jim Shalleck - County Executive - Yes. I would create these public/private partnerships using tax and other incentives to encourage private investment in the arts and humanities.

 

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