The candidates for lieutenant governor say the arts are vital to the state’s economy. The candidates presented their views at a forum Friday hosted by the Indiana Arts Commission and the Indiana Coalition for the Arts in Columbus.
The gubernatorial candidates were invited to the forum but John Gregg sent his running-mate Vi Simpson and Republican Mike Pence sent running-mate Sue Ellspermann on his behalf.
Simpson calls for increased state funding to arts education.
“What I called for was to restore the budget cuts that have been made in the Indiana Arts Commission as well as the Department of Tourism,” Simpson says. “Both of those departments have seen really extraordinary budget cuts as well as public television and public radio, and to me those are all really important components in promoting the arts and marketing the arts as an economic driver in Indiana.”
Ellspermann focused on the impact the arts has on the state’s economy.
“They have a significant economic impact with the many thousands of workers involved in non-profits and for-profits, but probably more importantly they’re a part of our quality of life in the state as well,” Ellspermann says.
Both candidates called for more arts education in schools. Ellspermann focused on incorporating the arts into all areas of study.