Public Issues

Artists for Corroon

John Sproul hangs one of his pieces at a campaign event for Peter Corroon.

Salt Lake County Mayor Peter Corroon has yet to officially launch his campaign for governor (that happens on March 17), but already grassroots “affinity” groups are coming together to help him in his Gubernatorial run. A group of local artists, art professionals, and art enthusiasts has formed Artists for Corroon, in order to “generate interest in and motivate Utah’s artistic community to get involved, get the vote out, and help Salt Lake County Mayor Peter Corroon win the Governor’s office in November 2010.”

John Sproul and Davina Pallone co-chair the group’s board, which is focused on educating the public and the artistic community about the advantage of having a governor who openly supports the arts. Pallone, who is a visual artist herself and co-owner of Kayo Gallery, believes that Corroon would benefit individual artists, as well as artist cooperatives, galleries and arts organizations throughout the state. Sproul, a professional artist and founder of The Foster Art Program, indicated that his support of Corroon was partly inspired by his campaign for Salt Lake County Mayor, in which he felt that Corroon “exhibited an ethics that I found refreshing. That did not change when he became mayor and I was impressed with, among other things, how he handled the budget problems that existed when he took office. His support for the arts was an added bonus and when I was asked to be a part of Artists for Corroon Group I jumped at the chance to help bring about a long needed change in attitude towards the arts and politics that I believe Corroon represents.”

As a longtime supporter of the arts through his service as Salt Lake County Mayor, Corroon is seen by many in the artistic community as the ideal candidate for Governor. He has advocated for funding of the Salt Lake County’s public art program and the county’s Zoo, Arts and Parks tax. He has also actively supported the Salt Lake County Center for the Arts facilities, including the Rose Wagner Performing Arts Center, Abravanel Hall and the Salt Lake Arts Center.

Those involved in Artists for Corroon include a wide variety of backgrounds and artistic disciplines – visual artists, musicians, performers, dancers, videographers, poets, writers, and many more. The group welcomes input from anyone who is an artist or interested in the arts and public policy. Chairs in counties across the state will be working to organize events in their communities.

Local collector and Salt Lake Art Center board member Josh Kanter sums up Artists for Corroon as providing “an avenue for those with common interests in the arts and in support of Peter Corroon’s campaign… to learn more about Corroon, his campaign and his ideas for the state.” Members will be given opportunities to gather and discuss concerns and interests related to the campaign.

Upcoming activities hosted by Artists for Corrooninclude a meet and greet with Mayor Corroon in April. Corroon’s campaign headquarters will be featuring artwork from the Foster Art Program, and open during select gallery strolls. Artists for Corroon will be looking for artists to design campaign t-shirts, posters and stickers — a call for entries was recently posted on their Facebook page. Other events are in the works, including performances by local musicians, and the group is eager for artists to bring their creative ideas to the table.

Artists for Corroon believes that, as Governor, Mayor Corroon will be an advocate for the arts in Utah, positively influencing the quality of life for all Utahns. Composer and arts administrator Crystal Young-Otterstrom has been an energetic supporter of Utah’s art community and active in local and state politics. She says, “Mayor Corroon is one of those rare politicians who is genuine, cares about the issues, and cares about people. He is a progressive politician who is always looking for the best practices in good governance, who listens to all sides and, most importantly to me, he cares about art.”

15 Bytes does not advocate for political candidates. We do cover political stories that affect the visual arts community. Upcoming editions of 15 Bytes will continue to explore the 2010 Gubernatorial race and its relationship with the arts community, including interviews with Gary Herbert and Peter Corroon.

Categories: Public Issues

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