I have to admit, I’m excited about the possiblity that a democrat might be elected governor of Utah this year. And the fact that the democratic candidate is Peter Corroon makes me even more excited. I met Peter many years ago when I was the marketing director for a kids public health insurance program. And I worked with him then to try to get more kids covered. And since then, I’ve worked with him to promote independent business, honor volunteers for donating their time, and some other awesome causes.
Now, I don’t want you to think I’m telling you how to vote. But I DO want to tell you, PLEASE GET OUT AND VOTE!
And while I’m on my soapbox, I wanted to introduce you to Peter Corroon’s campaign called “Artists for Corroon.” I’m a member, and I hope you will visit www.corrooncountry.com and sign up too. Here’s my interview with the dude in charge of Artists for Corroon, John Sproul, a damn fine local artist himself. Happy reading, and get out and vote!!!
1 ) First off, tell us a little bit about Peter Corroon and why we should vote for him.
Instead of repeating what one can find out about Peter Corroon through the media or at www.votecorroon.com & www.corrooncountry.com I would like to give you my personal perspective of him as a politician. Since I first became aware of Peter during the campaign for Salt Lake County Mayor I have been impressed by him. During the campaign there was a scandal with the incumbent mayor and, while other candidates were critical of and abusive of her, Peter was generous and decent. When he became mayor there were budget problems in the county and instead of cutting jobs and other peoples pay to balance the budget (which is what usually happens) he started with taking a salary cut and cutting back on spending in his office and worked out from there. His support for the arts is an added bonus and when I was asked to be a part of the campaign 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.
His behavior as a politician is consistant with his behavior as a person. We often have our Artists for Corroon meetings at the campaign headquarters and Peter never fails to come in and thank us for our work and if one of us has brought a child he will personally give that child snacks and make sure she or he is taken care of. I see him as a very thoughtful, considerate and consistant person and that is what we really need in our Governor.
2 ) What is Artists For Corroon?
Artists for Corroon is a public affinity group of Corroon for Governor. The groups mission is to generating interest in and motivating Utah’s artistic community to get involved, get the vote out, and help Peter Corroon win the Governor’s Office. The group provides an avenue for those with common interests in the arts and in support of the campaign – to learn more about Corroon, his campaign and his ideas for our State. In addition, we will give the group various opportunities to meet and share ideas about common areas of interest and the Corroon for Governor campaign.
Artists for Corroon is intended for all disciplines of the art community – the visual arts, performing arts, videography, literary arts, and for those who are involved in or support the arts. John Sproul is the chair of the group and there are also co-chairs for each discipline. Tyler Spurgeon is over the Visual Arts, Crystal Young Otterstrom for the Performing Arts, Lynn Kilpatrick for the Literary Arts, and Mason Fetzer for the Music Arts.
3 ) How do Corroon’s policies support the arts – both in things he has done as county mayor and things he intends to do as governor.
Peter Corroon has a history of supporting the arts as Mayor of Salt Lake County, including fighting to fund the public art program, advocating for SLCO ZAP funding, and supporting arts facilities like the Rose Wagner, Abravanel Hall, and the Salt Lake Arts Center. As Governor, Mayor Corroon will be an asset to all arts advocates and positively impact the quality of life of all of Utah’s citizens. We believe that a governor who believes in the importance of arts and culture is also one who is likely to take a pragmatic approach to our State’s problems because support for the arts denotes in a candidate, an understanding of balance, nuance and that things are not always black-and-white in governing.
4 ) Our readers are a bunch of artists, hippies, liberals and gays. Many of our friends and readers feel disenfranchised by politics and distrustful of all politicians. Tell us what the Corroon campaign can do for us – people who might be somewhat disenfranchised with the political system.
Peter Corroon represents a different political attitude and administrative philosophy then what we are used to seeing in Utah. We are used to the arts as being seen as expendable and often ignored, but Peter sees the arts as a necessary part of the growth and development of our culture and economy and has fully supported the arts as Salt Lake County Mayor.
Can a Democrat be elected as governor in Utah? For 20 years, from 1965 to 1985, the Governor’s mansion was occupied by Democrats – Calvin Rampton (3 terms) and Scott M. Matheson (2 terms).
What did that mean for the arts? During that time the downtown arts complex – Abravanel Hall and the current home of the Salt Lake Art Center were begun during Governor Rampton’s tenure and because of his support, and completed during Governor Matheson’s first term. Peter Corroon will do more of the same.
I know I am repeating myself but Peter can win and we need him to win, but everyone needs to vote for him and do what they can to get others to vote for him.
5 ) Tell us how we can make a difference by getting involved in the campaign. What volunteer positions are available.
Peter Corroon has a good chance of winning but we need everyone to vote and to get their friends to vote. You can help by spreading the word, volunteering at campaign headquarters (more info on that on the websites listed above) or volunteer at one of our events. We need everyone’s support and anything you can do will help.
6 ) Where can we register to vote?
If you are not yet registered to vote it is an easy thing to do, you can now even register online at elections.utah.gov/voterregistrationnewhow.html . Voting is equally as easy where you can vote at your local precinct location or by mail.
7 ) Tell us what art events Peter has planned for the duration of the campaign and how we can get out and support him.
We have several major events planned for the remainder of the campaign. Our next one will be a Rock-n-Slam the Vote in July and will be a music and poetry slam concert. Then in either August or September we will have a Classical Rock the Vote event which will include performances from members of the performing arts community. In October we will be working with the Corroon Campaign on a big event which will involve things such as music, mural painting, etc. To learn more about these events you can either sign up for the Artists for Corroon facebook fan page or on www.corrooncountry.com.
The campaign can use support through a donation of your time and resources. We also have Corroon t-shirts available for a $15 donation that were designed by Artists for Corroon co-chair Mason Fetzer that can be purchased at one of our events or through the campaign headquarters.
8 ) Tell us a little bit about yourself, your art, and how we can find out more about your work.
I am a professional visual artist working in painting, drawing, printmaking, sculpture and occasionally in installation. My work focuses primarily on the body as archetype and as identity. I have lived in Salt Lake City for 6 years and before that in Los Angeles for 7 years. I earned my BFA from the University of Utah in 1993 and have exhibited nationally including in NYC and extensively in Los Angeles. I am married to fellow artist Emily Plewe, have 3 boys and live in the Gilmore Park area. My work can be viewed at www.johnsproul.com.