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February 28, 2013
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Candidate forum to tackle arts & culture issues

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. - Where do city council candidates stand on the role of arts and culture in the Grand Valley? What is city council's role in supporting the arts in Grand Junction?Residents can soon find out by attending the first-ever Arts and Culture Candidate Forum Tuesday, March 5, from 5:30-7:30 p.m.Several groups - the Grand Junction Symphony, the John McConnell Math and Science Center, the Museum of Western Colorado, the Western Colorado Botanical Gardens, High Desert Opera and the Western Colorado Center for the Arts - are sponsoring the event. Peter Booth, executive director of the Museum of Western Colorado as of Jan. 14, heard from his staff of a similar forum held for county commissioner candidates and decided it would be helpful to learn how city council candidates view the role of the arts and culture in the community as well. That commissioner candidate forum was hosted solely by the museum. "This time around we thought it would be good to expand it to other cultural groups," Booth said. Teresa Coons, executive director of the Math and Science Center and a term-limited current city council member, will moderate the forum by asking candidates a series of questions.Candidates will be given the opportunity to introduce themselves relative to their involvement with the arts, Coons said. "We'll keep them focused on this issue," Coons said.Audience members will also be given an opportunity to write their questions on a card, which will be grouped and read by Coons.Each of the candidates have indicated they plan to attend - except for D51 School Board member Harry Butler, who is obligated to attend the school board meeting that night."From me, personally, my question is what do they see as the future of arts and culture in our community?" Booth said. "How do they see arts and culture better contributing to the community? And how can the community nurture arts and culture such that it becomes a larger contributor?"

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The Post Independent Updated Feb 28, 2013 05:34PM Published Feb 28, 2013 03:45PM Copyright 2013 The Post Independent. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.