Enjoy June with Free Summer Concerts, AFI Docs, Pride Month, and Heritage Days

Dear Colleagues,

Summer’s here and the time is right for free summer concerts! Want to be in the know?  Check out our Free Summer Concert Guide 2018 from CultureSpotMC.com. You’ll see our favorite picks from Gaithersburg to Wheaton and all over Montgomery County. Whether you are young or old, lively or low-key, now is the perfect time to reacquaint yourself with our creative voices and cultural happenings. The month of June also affords us the opportunity to celebrate advances made in civil rights, racial equity, and inclusion as we recognize LGBTQ Pride Month, Caribbean American Heritage Month, Juneteenth, and the 21st Annual Heritage Days. So get out and go play in Montgomery County!

As our richly diverse community prepares to exercise its most cherished civic duty in the 2018 elections, you can make informed choices about your vote as you peruse the results from our 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. 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.

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 shared views on arts education in Montgomery County Public Schools, public art and creative placemaking in the county, and workforce development. 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.

That’s GREAT NEWS for our creative sector!

The time is NOW to hold candidates’ accountable for their words so GET OUT AND VOTE! Early voting begins TODAY Thursday, June 14 and runs until Thursday, June 21. Registered voters can vote early at any of the 11 early voting centers the county is running this year. As the U.S. House Appropriations Committee approves increased FY19 funding for the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) at $155 million and our County Council supports our creative and cultural sectors with $5.3 million, I hope you will join me this election season and make your vote count for the arts and humanities!

Sincerely,
Suzan Jenkins,
AHCMC CEO
Suzan Jenkins is the CEO of the Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County.

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