Arts Alliances to Host Gubernatorial Forum on Arts and Culture

The #CreatetheVoteCT Steering Committee with Wendy Taylor Bury, Matthew J Pugliese and Dan Fitzmaurice are discussing ways to strengthen the state through arts and culture with representatives from the Ned Lamont and Tim Herbst campaigns. They also meet with Matthew J Pugliese, Managing Director of CT Repertory Theatre at UConn, about his journey towards running for CT House of Representatives.

As a part of their nonprofit public education campaign to “Create the Vote,” the Connecticut Arts Alliance (CAA) and Connecticut Alliance for Arts Education (CAAE) will host a forum for gubernatorial candidates entitled Arts, Culture, and the Future of CT’s Economy.

The event will be held on Tuesday, July 31, 2018 from 5:00 to 6:30 p.m. at The State House at 294 State Street in New Haven. The venue will open at 4:00 p.m. for networking, music, and drinks. This event is the first ever statewide public gubernatorial candidate forum about arts, culture, and the future of Connecticut’s economy.

It is an opportunity for candidates to speak directly to the public about how the arts and arts education can strengthen our state. Questions to the candidates will be based on an arts and culture questionnaire previously submitted to them, and to which some candidates submitted written responses.

The event is free and open to the public, but seating is limited. Registration is required and must be completed online. The forum will also be broadcast on Facebook live.

Candidates confirmed to attend the forum include Democrats Ned Lamont and Joseph Ganim, Republicans Tim Herbst and David Stemerman, Libertarian Rod Hanscomb, Independent Oz Griebel, and unaffiliated candidate Marisa Manley.

Also invited to participate are Republicans Mark Boughton, Stephen Obsitnik, and Bob Stefanowski, Independent Micah Welintukonis, and unaffiliated candidate Kameron Scott.

Create the Vote CT is a nonpartisan, election-year effort to raise awareness of the ways that arts and creative expression improve schools, strengthen local business districts, and build vibrant neighborhoods in which people want to live, visit, work, and play.

While arts and culture play a significant role in state and local economies, educational systems, and in the vibrancy of neighborhoods and downtowns, candidates often do not include arts and culture as part of their platforms or vision.

All interested voters and arts supporters can follow the Create The Vote CT campaign at and are urged to get involved by signing up for the Create The Vote CT email list (also at, following the Connecticut Arts Alliance on Facebook ( and Twitter (@CT_ArtsAlliance), and helping to promote the campaign with the hashtag #CreateTheVoteCT.


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