FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 7, 2018
SILVER SPRING, Md. (June 7, 2018) — The Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County (AHCMC) announces the results of its 2018 Political Candidate Survey. AHCMC invited each candidate in the County Executive and County Council races to participate in the survey and share their platforms for the arts and humanities in the county with voters. The 39 participating candidates’ responses are available online at www.creativemoco.com/2018Election. The survey includes responses from five of the seven candidates running for County Executive and thirty-four candidates from the six County Council races.
Unanimously, all candidates surveyed agree that, “appropriating local tax-dollars to advance Montgomery County’s cultural and creative industries is important in supporting the success of a strong local economy,” and outlined their ideas to stimulate the local economy through public-private partnerships between the arts and cultural sectors and the local business and philanthropic communities. Candidates additionally shared views on arts education in Montgomery County Public Schools, public art and creative placemaking in the county, and workforce development.
AHCMC believes these results will be informative and impactful as residents head to vote in the June 26 primary election. “The results of this year’s election survey demonstrates the overwhelming support and understanding that our future political leaders have for our vibrant local arts and humanities sectors,” said Suzan Jenkins, CEO of the Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County. “Whether they serve as ushers, volunteer at festivals, perform as artists, or simply attend local events, all participating candidates realize the joy, inspiration, innovation and quality of life that the arts and humanities provide to residents and businesses in our county.”
Supporting the views of many candidates, recent data provided by the Arts and Economic Prosperity 5 study from Americans for the Arts show that Montgomery County’s arts and humanities sector contributes $183 million to the local economy, supports 3,805 full-time local jobs and serves 3.5 million cultural event attendees annually. Of the candidates who participated in the survey, 97% strongly agreed that public funding of the arts and humanities is important for sustaining the nonprofit cultural and creative sector in Montgomery County, and nearly 90% of candidates support the incorporation of the arts and humanities into STEM programs, expanding from a STEM to STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math) philosophy.
Early voting begins on June 14 and runs until June 21. Registered voters can vote early at any of the 11 early voting centers the county is running this year.