In anticipation of the general election on November 5, we asked 62 candidates for public office where they stand on their support for the Western New York arts and cultural sector. The survey, which was distributed in early August, spans yes-or-no questions (with space for comment) related to continued and increased funding for the arts as well as the inclusion of arts leaders on relevant decision-making commissions.

Know before you go: Election Day is Tuesday, November 5; please use this opportunity to review candidate responses at our website before heading to the polls.

News of the results was picked up last week by local media outlet Rise Collaborative, in which they write, “Some answers may surprise you if you’re making assumptions based on party affiliation alone.”

This year, ASI sent surveys to candidates in the following races:

  • Erie County Executive
  • Erie County Legislature
  • City of Buffalo Comptroller
  • City of Buffalo Common Council
  • Niagara County Legislature

At ASI, advocacy for the arts and cultural sector is critical to our mission of serving the Western New York’s 300+ nonprofit cultural organizations, their thousands of employees, and the hundreds of thousands of people who invest in the sector through their attendance, service, and fiscal support. It’s no secret that the arts contribute to Western New York’s economic development (check out the data compiled in our Arts and Economic 5 Prosperity Report, created in partnership with Americans for the Arts, which reveal that the region’s nonprofit arts and cultural sector sees more than 10 thousand full-time jobs and an annual local revenue in the tens of millions), but they’re also crucial to our region’s future. Administering candidate surveys is one of the many ways we hold public officials accountable to sustaining and improving the health of the region’s arts and culture.