Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Support the Arts in Washington County


Art Piece Created by Rob Wilson 

My name is Rob Wilson and I am a professor of Art at Dixie State University and a volunteer board member of five non profit arts organizations including the Utah Mural Art Foundation of which I am the director.  When I am not involved in the arts I am spending my time out hiking, jogging, playing outdoor sports, enjoying the beautiful weather and park amenities we have in Washington county.  While arts and recreation are my life, I want to speak to someone who may be less involved and might not fully understand what this city currently has and will be offering in the future in terms of Recreation Arts and Parks.  

Washington county is a major destination for tourism and recreation.  Cultural arts are very strong and are continuing to grow as a major economic vehicle in this area.  The RAP tax or proposition 3 is a public opinion vote that is going on the ballot which you may vote for or against on November 4th.  This tax is a proposed sales tax on nonessential retail items and is one tenth of one percent or one penny for every ten dollars spent.  One out of three pennies collected is spent by an out of town visitor.  This voluntary tax voted for by the people, for the people, and for the future would generate approximately 2.5 Million dollars that is specifically earmarked for recreation, arts, and parks.  

Being on the board of many organizations I am well aware at how much these grassroots organizations can do with just one penny, let alone 2.5 million dollars.  Voting on the RAP tax is voting for improvements to non-essentials.  It is true, we do not need cultural arts or recreation opportunities.  But people live here because of those opportunities, and people move here for them.  This tax is a voluntary vote to improve quality of life in Washington county. 

Art Piece Created by Rob Wilson 

Looking at the short amount of time our neighbors to the north in Cedar City have had the RAP tax, can give us a good indicator of where we could head as a city.  Cedar city is building a new state of the art building for the Utah Shakespearean Festival and another state of the art building to house the new Southern Utah Museum of Art.  They have increased public art and improved parks and trails, expanding a walking trail that runs through parks and scenic areas and connects the entire city.

Due to population and tourism we would have even more funds to improve quality of life for ourselves, our children, and our future.  

Please vote on the 4th and for more information you may go to www.washcorap.info

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