News > Recap: Arts Matter Mayoral Summit

This morning, the Charleston Regional Alliance of the Arts, Woolfe Street Playhouse, If You Were Mayor, and Charleston Magazine hosted the six declared mayoral candidates in a panel answering questions about the arts. Keely Enright, Village Repertory Producing Director, and John Silverman, founder of Jericho Inc., asked the panel questions and Mike Gibbons, Executive Director for the Charleston Regional Alliance for the Arts, moderated the discussion. Ginny Deerin, William Dudley Gregorie, Leon Stavrinakis, John Tecklenburg, Paul Tinkler, and Maurice Washington each had a minute to answer each question to the best of their ability.


When asked about creative placemaking Washington and Tinkler believed that the creative art community should be expanded to include the Charleston suburbs. Stavrinakis took that idea one step further with the use of creative placemaking as a revitalization tool for communities.

All of the candidates agreed that art curriculum is an important educational concern when asked about the importance of art in education. Deerin and Stavrinakis both stated that the funding formulas in the state government need to be altered; Deerin believes that solution is to rally the people, while Stavrinakis believes that there needs to be stronger leadership from the top of the government. Washington spoke on how TIF Districts take funding away from public schools as the tax dollars are going towards projects that provide economic development rather than benefiting public schools. Tecklenburg thinks the mayor should build partnerships with the existing and new community organizations to improve education and arts programing rather than relying on the state government and funds.

With the question on how to bring and create the next generation of arts and patrons to Charleston, the idea of education continued with candidates Washington and Tinkler. Washington believed that arts education in school and in after school activities would bring the next generation of artistic individuals to Charleston. Deerin agreed with the importance of creative outreach programs. Stavrinakis believes that the College of Charleston would benefit from a MFA program and that affordable places for the creative community to live and work would bring both jobs and economic incentives to the city.

The next question was how to reinvest in affordable spaces for the arts community downtown. Gregorie, Stavrinakis, and Tecklenburg spoke of artist incubators where affordable housing was possible and was incorporated with creative and performing spaces. Gregorie and Tinkler both expressed that the arts should be expanded to the other edges of the community, West Ashley in particular, and not be nested only in the downtown area. The Citadel Mall was mentioned multiple times.

When asked about how to create more economics to the Charleston art community year round, Gregorie spoke on how he wanted to grow the MOJA festival to be internationally known and recognized. Stavrinakis spoke of a multi-disciplinary arts building, and Tecklenburg spoke of a community performance space. Washington believes that if the city invests in education then there will be a growth in the city’s economy as industry and the arts will grow with education. Deerin spoke on how the government should not be overbearing to the arts community, but instead work with them one on one.

When asked about incentives for developers to make the new construction affordable, Washington believed that a percentage should be set aside for diverse economic development projects, and Tecklenburg believed that the government could help by stepping in to help rezone areas as well as supplying the land for the community organizations.

Here is how they wrapped it up:

Deerin supports the existing arts organizations and will work individually with them to work through their challenges to help them succeed.

Gregorie will use similar creative tactics as Mayor Riley, but will continue to expand the arts community into the suburbs.

Stavrinakis reiterated that he has a track record for supporting the arts, and that arts are not a luxury but are instead a core function of the city.

Tecklenburg wants to make Charleston the #1 most liveable city in the United States by increasing mobility, education, and the cultural arts. He wants to make sure Charleston has sustainable arts organizations and space for the arts.

Tinkler will continue in Mayor Riley’s footsteps in supporting the arts.

Washington will strive to increase community development by implementing grants to help fund local organizations.

Check out If You Were Mayor to add your input into what you want to see happen in Charleston with the election of the next mayor.


Words: Rachel McDermott

Image: Mystic Productions

buy cipro online

Posted on June 10, 2015 by admin.

Categories: Review

Tags: Charleston Magazine, Charleston Regional Alliance Of The Arts, Ginny Deerin, If You Were Mayor, John Silverman, John Tecklenburg, Keely Enright, Leon Stavrinakis, Maurice Washington, Mike Gibbons, Paul Tinker, William Dudley Gregorie, Woolfe Street Playhouse

Comments (0)

No comments yet

The comments are closed.