Champions of Creativity in the Legislature

Champions of Creativity in the Legislature

Representative Nicole Macri (43rd Legislative District) and Senator June Robinson (38th Legislative District) have a long, rich history of supporting the creative economy in Washington State. In addition to supporting Washington Filmworks Motion Picture Competitiveness Program (MPCP), they are champions of the creative economy in their own communities. We asked them to tell us about something creative in their district that inspires them and to share why they believe it’s important to support Washington’s creative economy.

Nicole Macri

State Representative, 43rd Legislative District

Photo Credit: Washington State Legislative Support Services

Nicole Macri was elected to the Washington House of Representatives in 2016, and represents the 43rd legislative district of Washington, which includes the Seattle neighborhoods of Downtown, First Hill, Capitol Hill, Madison Valley, Madison Park, Montlake, University District, Ravenna, Wallingford, Fremont and Phinney Ridge. She serves as vice chair of the Healthcare and Wellness Committee and is a member of the Appropriations and Finance Committees. She is also a member of the Washington State LGBTQ Caucus.

What creative entrepreneur or creative business in your district inspires you and why?

The collective work of the artists who created the stunning Black Lives Matter mural on Capitol Hill this summer inspired people here and around the world. I’m so grateful to the many talented mural painters who have beautifully decorated the signs of boarded up businesses around Seattle. Many paintings celebrate the beauty, resolve and resiliency of Seattle, while others inspire us to stay focused on the movement for Black lives. I’m especially grateful to the many business owners who have commissioned works at their locations.

Why do you think it’s important for government to support the creative economy?

The creative economy is so important for the health of our communities. In this pandemic and the compounding economic crisis we are currently navigating, the creative voices and artistic forms of expression are even more significant in facilitating understanding, connection, and support. Artists and creative professionals of all types serve a critical role in communicating complex ideas to large groups and are able to capture the collective feelings during these challenging times. These are just a few of the reasons as to why I believe it’s important for the government to invest and support the creative economy.

June Robinson

State Senator, 38th Legislative District

Photo credit: Susie Howell

Senator June Robinson was appointed to represent the 38th Legislative District in the Senate in May 2020 after serving three terms in the State House of Representatives. She served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in rural Jamaica for three years where she worked as a public health nutritionist. She has held leadership positions at Migrant Health Promotion, a national organization that strives to alleviate health disparities in rural and disenfranchised communities; at Community Health Center of Snohomish County and at the Housing Consortium of Everett and Snohomish County. Currently, she works as a Program Manager at Public Health Seattle & King County in the Chronic Disease and Injury Prevention Section.

What creative entrepreneur or creative business in your district inspires you and why?

I am inspired by an emerging organization of artists in my district. They call themselves the Delta Arts Collective. It is a group of artists – musicians, writers, photographers and those creating visual arts – who have come together to lift each other up and inspire their neighbors through their creative work. The Delta neighborhood is in north Everett. It consists of primarily modest, single-family homes where mill workers and their families lived in decades past. Now home to a diverse community, the Delta Arts Collective has formed to promote art through Art in the Alley weekends, to support each other, and to be a force to lift the voices of People of Color and everyone struggling to be recognized.

Why do you think it’s important for the government to support the creative economy?  

The arts provide the seasoning to life that everyone needs to feel alive and feel inspired. Funding our creative economy can be seen as extra and therefore dispensable. However, if we do not prioritize our artists and their work we are cutting off the lifeline for many in our communities and robbing everyone of the pleasure of experiencing art in all of its forms. Especially now, when so many things about our daily lives feel dark and disconnected, art is important for bringing people together and providing an outlet for everyone’s creative energy.

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