Horizon, Host: Ted Simons

September 12, 2006


Host: Michael Grant

Arizona Arts Commission


  • While arts organizations work to enrich our community with beauty and culture, funding for the arts faces challenges. Robert Booker, executive director of the Arizona Commission on the Arts, joins HORIZON to talk about funding for the arts, arts education, cultural tourism and other issues.
Guests:
  • Patrick Kenney - Professor and chair of the ASU political science department
  • Robert Booker - Director, Arizona Commission on the Arts
Category: The Arts

View Transcript
Michael Grant:
Tonight on "Horizon," what brings voters to the polls on Election Day or drives them away? On primary election day, we examine voter turnout in American politics.

Michael Grant:
And the arts and organizations that support them enrich the community with culture as funding as the arts faces new challenges. A look at the funding for the arts in Arizona. Plus the grandeur of the Grand Canyon photographed by artists featured in an exhibition at the Tucson Art Museum. Those stories next on "Horizon."

Michael Grant:
Good evening, welcome to "Horizon." I'm Michael Grant. The Arizona Supreme Court today said a line-item veto by Governor Napolitano was unconstitutional. Republican legislative leaders challenged the governor's use of a line-item veto for a portion of an employee pay raise bill passed by the legislature.
The lawsuit was filed in march by the legislature. The governor deleted a section that would have excluded 200 future government employees from the state's merit system. Today, the Supreme Court said the vetoed provision is not an item of appropriation subject to the gubernatorial item veto.

Michael Grant:
Polls for today's primary election closed just a few moments ago at 7:00 p.m. Many Arizona voters may not have found a reason to go to the polls at all today. Election officials expect voter turnout to be low at 15\% to 20\%. There are nearly a million and a half registered voters in Maricopa County which is home to more than half of the state's 2,200 polling locations. Some new identification requirements for voters may have caused turnout to wane. Mail-in ballots have been slow as well. Merry Lucero looks at why some voters do and do not get out to vote.

Merry Lucero:
Activity was little sluggish this morning at this polling place in Tempe.

Diana J.:
We've had a huge sum of four people come through.

Merry Lucero:
Expected, in a precinct where about 2/3 of the residents are not registered to vote. New identification rules could hang up some voters. It should get busier here a little later. Still, election worker Diana Djaboury brought something to keep her occupied.

Diana Djaboury:
I brought a good book.

Merry Lucero:
And has a confession.

Diana Djaboury:
I admit, this is the first time in my life I've voted in a Primary Election. It's kind of -- working here kind of increased my own sense of civic responsibility.

Merry Lucero:
That civic responsibility is a commitment to some.

Merry Lucero:
Were you planning on taking time to vote today?

Woman:
I am later when I get out of class.

Merry Lucero:
Why?

Female:
I think it's important. I really think that, you know, people have so much to say but they don't vote. In my opinion, if you don't vote, you shouldn't be able to say anything because you have the choice to do it. It's important.

Merry Lucero:
Important for this voter. Around the corner, the Islamic Community Center made an interesting polling place.

Male:
The culture of the world today, I guess and architecture of the building.

Merry Lucero:
Using his right to vote as more of a statement, he voted for an unofficial and unconventional write-in candidate.

Male:
I just kind of feel that way about the political system. It's down to cartoons for me, I guess.

Merry Lucero:
Why make a statement with a vote?

Male:
I used to be pretty sure of that. I'm not pretty sure today why I did it. I just did. I guess out of habit now. It's been so many years.

Merry Lucero:
Down the street, people satisfy a different habit. Some having previously taken care of their civic duty.

Male:
I didn't vote today. I voted last week. I voted by mail. Mail-in ballot. That's a simple way to go. Convenient. Didn't take any time. The state even pays for the mailing. It's a win-win.

Merry Lucero:
While actually going to the polls is as routine to others as that morning coffee.

Male:
I've done both, but there's something about going to the polls that's a ritual thing. You know? You have to go there and participate and try to help the people, you know, get set up and filling out the ballot is something very traditional. My dad did that. My grandfather did that.

Merry Lucero:
Still for others, it's a little late.

Male:
I've not voted. I didn't register. I'm going register. My wife is voting today. I know she is. She went to vote. If I was registered, I could go vote. I don't know if you can register on voting day, can you?

Merry Lucero:
Nope.

Male:
So I'm out of luck. Next time, I'll be ready.

Female:
I believe I'm getting the ballots in the mail and I'll vote in the mail.

Merry Lucero:
Do you know today is the Primary Election Day?

Female:
No, I didn't know that.

Merry Lucero:
It's a learning process for young voters, while some seasoned voters never miss an opportunity to cast a ballot, even in a primary.

Male:
It's part of being American. We have to vote. It's part of the rights we have in this country. We have to give them feedback once in awhile.

Michael Grant:
Joining me now to talk about what draws voters to the polls or not, Patrick Kenney. He's professor and chair of the ASU political science department. Do you have any stats on how much people write in cartoon characters?

Patrick Kenney:
Very few, I think. There would be a few here and there with that many people voting.

Michael Grant:
There's not any great political science that phenomenon?

Patrick Kenney:
Not that I'm aware of.

Michael Grant:
Let's talk about what political science does exist. Let's rewind to say 1960. What's happened in voter turnout trends since then?

Patrick Kenney:
If you look back over 100 years, the peak was 1960 in the United States in general elections. That was about a 63\% turnout in that year of all registered -- of all voting-aged population. It was significantly higher among registered voters. It declined sharply between 1960 and 1966. It's kind of hit a trough and been pretty flat sense. Turnout in primary elections for either party, democrats or republicans, is always a good 20 or 30 points below the kind of general election friends and it's followed the same pattern.

Michael Grant:
Doing some fast math here, it seems to me shortly after Watergate, we kind of flat lined?

Patrick Kenney:
Right. After the Vietnam War. After Watergate. After a bumpy late 1960's and early 1970's. Turnout hit this trough and has stayed there.

Michael Grant:
Patrick, what is the -- what -- what are the studies? What's the literature suggest in terms of major elements that either motivate or desensitize voters to turn out?

Patrick Kenney:
You can think of three main categories. One is the personal characteristics of the individuals. Education, age, things like that are highly correlated to vote, same to income. Second is interest in politics, attachments to a political institution like one of the parties. Civic duty. One of the people talked about a habit of going to vote. Those are kind of psychological characteristics. The third which really has an effect on primary election day is what we call a set of mobilization factors. Are the parties calling to motivate people to vote? They tend not to do that for instance on a primary election. The party -- institutions don't want to look to favor one of the candidates in their own primaries. Also, primary elections tend not to be very close and competitive in interesting races. They don't get a lot of media attention. Those are mobilization kind of forces that remind people to vote like some of the people in your piece there didn't even know was Election Day. There's not been much discussion about it.

Michael Grant:
Right. Um, if I'd asked that you question 20 years ago, would there have been a significantly different answer? I mean, haven't things like education, older people are more efficacious of those kinds of factors? Haven't they always played a heavy role in voting?

Patrick Kenney:
The first two categories have always played strong roles. That is people's demographic characteristics and their psychological attachment to the parties play a difference. What probably have changed is immobilization forces. The parties weakened dramatically in the '50's and 60's. There's not nearly the get-out-the-vote efforts there were in those years until 2000. After the 2000 race, the presidential race being so close and so contested, the parties activated neither much nor 2004. We saw a slight tick in increase and turnout. That's general elections. The parties tend not to be nearly as active in the primary elections.

Michael Grant:
All right. What are the real facts telling us about negative campaigning? You frequently hear as a mantra chant that negative campaigning turns people off and depresses voter turnout. True or not?

Patrick Kenney:
Probably not true and you want to kind of separate that answer into what is the message that is inherent in the negative ad or the negative campaign? That's what some research has been showing lately is that negative commercials tend to deliver a fair amount of information about issues and about candidate behavior and about their voting record. Those kinds of things. If they're done in an uncivil, nasty, shrill way, people kind of step back from that and find that a little -- it puts them off. They may not want to support that.

Michael Grant:
Do they actively stay away from the polls though? Do they simply go there and say, I'm not voting for that guy. He's mean and despicable.

Patrick Kenney:
Some evidence definitely shows they can stay away. But if the message is done on a relevant topic and it's civil -- so it could be critical a series of criticism, but it's on something relevant to the voters' lives, then heightens turnout a little bit.

Michael Grant:
Yeah. Here in the west, we have this phenomenon, primarily in the west -- I think it exists elsewhere but primarily in the west, initiative in referendum. It's making our ballot really tiresome. I think the count this year may be 19 November's ballot. Is that a mobilization criteria? Do those naturally drive up a turnout line?

Patrick Kenney:
Well, you hit it on a really interesting point. The United States -- especially if we compare the rest of the world -- has a long ballot. The longer the ballot, we often argue, often decreases turnout, because there's so many offices and so many information. Whereas in other democracies around the world, it's a much more simplified ballot. However some referendums and initiatives are so controversial, like some in California and some in Arizona at times that can drive people out to vote that's the mobilization act. There's an interesting issue on the ballot. People hear about it and want to come out and vote.

Michael Grant:
What's the age criteria? Is there any -- you know, is it a gradually ascending line as you move from 20 to 80?

Patrick Kenney:
There's a very strong relationship between age and turnout. It's a very linear and positive relationship from 18 to 40 as people become connected to their community in various ways. They're much more likely to vote. After 40, it kind of hits a flat plateau and stays that way actually until people wind up in ill health. That's the only thing that keeps people from voting. That is, if they're going to be a voter by 40, they'll be a voter until they have ill health. If they're not voting by 40, then they won't group.

Michael Grant:
Racial groups. What do we know about them?

Patrick Kenney:
Minorities vote in significantly less numbers in America than Anglos. African Americans and Latinos are the two groups in particular. Latinos are behind African Americans. We do find that varies, however and goes up -- here's a mobilization factor, when African Americans and Latinos are on the ballot, turnout tends to be higher in those regions. The biggest indicator there that drives down minority voting is levels of education.

Michael Grant:
Okay Patrick Kenney, some interesting and accurate information. We appreciate it.

Patrick Kenney:
You're welcome.

Michael Grant:
Right now, you can experience the Grand Canyon like never before in the Tucson Museum of Art. Works by more than 44 artists from around the state explore the symbol of American identity in grand possibility that remains a challenge to artists. Producer Soo Yeon Lee shows us the Grand Canyon, photographs and paintings from early contemporary artists featured from the Tucson Art Museum.

Jack Inga:
The magic for the canyon for me is it puts live in perspective. When you look and see the formation at the top of the rock, that's man's presence on the earth.

Soo Yeon Lee:
Capturing the scale and beauty of the Grand Canyon has been a creative challenge for artists since the early 1,800's and continues to be a source of inspiration for contemporary artists. The current exhibit at the Tucson Museum of Art explores the Grand Canyon through the eyes of the artists.

Julie Sasse:
This exhibition is called the Grand Canyon from dream to icon. I've been doing researches as early as the 1970's. We've got a wide range of artists from this incredible span of time.

Soo Yeon Lee:
The museum's Chief Curator Julie Sasse.

Julie Sasse:
What I found as the same throughout, they all see this as a tremendous challenge to be able to depict the canyon either conceptually to look at it through a contemporary eye, to look at the issues and tourism and the different approaches but even as early as the 1800's they were seeing this as insurmountable. How do you depict the incredible vastness of the canyon? The beauty of it? The everything that goes along with it. The metaphors for what it stands for? Our country? Our region? And for artists to be able to do it justice.

Julie Sasse:
So we have in this exhibition William Henry Jackson, Lewis Aiken, Thomas Moran, John Hillers, some of the early people who were there not only documenting it but then also romanticizing it. It's a tremendous range. Then we have -- as long as we have the early photographers -- we have contemporary photographers who are not only responding to the canyon in a new way but also artist who has are making reference to the early photographers almost as if they're homage's to the past.

Merrill Mahaffey.:
I'm Merrill Mahaffey. I've been painting the Grand Canyon for 30 years and still am. I have an invitation to go on a raft trip in exchange for trading artwork. I was assured this would be a very meaningful experience. It totally affected me. I spent a week in 1981, I think. I've gone 23 times since then. I'll have to start painting pictures 50 feet high and 200 feet long. I would still not get it all in the picture. So I decided to take a small part, zoom in on a part of it and examine what's in there as it represents the totality of the place.

Jack Inga:
I'm Jack Inga. Sometimes you have to step back away from the canyon. For me, I tend to use telephoto lenses to capture the massive walls. If do you it with a wide angle it looks almost two-dimensional.

Jack Inga:
That's the Little Colorado River. It's -- for those that are in the canyon it runs turquoise, really turquoise. It's near the Hopi sacred area. It's pretty inaccessible because of its holiness to the tribe. You're not allowed to camp in that area. In order to get there you have to kind of get there in the predawn light and scamper up the canyon to get the dawn's first light on the cliffs. But it took years to find out that the sun would indeed hit that spot. So going back -- most of the things I've done are products of many, many trips. So when you see how many hours, you know, it's more like a life.

Soo Yeon Lee:
Curator says it's not just about the exhibit of the Grand Canyon.

Julie Sasse:
They're trying to capture not just the visuals but the atmospheric, the mood, and the whole being there with their paintings. That's what makes it so awesome to me is that it's not just a recognizable icon. It's part of a whole experience. I think that that is captured in this show.

Michael Grant:
The Grand Canyon from dream to icon runs through January 7, 2007 at the Tucson Museum of Art. Engagement in several forms of the art certainly helps people around the Grand Canyon state broaden, deepen and diversify our lives. The Arizona Commission on the Arts is the state agency that connects artists and communities across Arizona by supporting the stabilization of arts organizations, arts education and cultural tourism. Robert Booker is the new Executive Director of the Arizona Commission on the Arts replacing the recently retired Shelley Cohn. He joins us now. You've been here nine months?

Robert Booker:
Yes. I've not seen a scorpion, I'm doing all right.

Michael Grant:
The scorpions will show up. You came from Minnesota?

Robert Booker:
Yes.

Michael Grant:
Give me a comparative snapshot. How do you find the arts climate there and the arts climate here?

Robert Booker:
Minnesota has a long tradition of corporate support for the arts as well as public support for the arts. Our budget in Minnesota is $9.5 million. Our budget in Arizona is $4.5 million in public dollars. And private dollars we get from other foundations, other corporations. Minnesota has a few larger arts institutions that have a longer history. Arizona, though, at I would say, I mean, in my travels around the state, I found a breath of arts organizations in our smaller communities as well as our larger communities so if I could compare it, I think Arizona actually has a broader range of arts activities, more community-based arts activities, more smaller arts activities in our smaller communities across the state which is exciting for me. I've met working artists, actors, dancers, musicians in all of our communities across Arizona. I would say there's a certain excitement about the arts in Arizona. We're a state that on one hand has a tradition that goes back thousands of years and we're a state that is not yet 100 years old. So there's a certain newness and creativity in Arizona.

Michael Grant:
In fact I wonder, Bob, would you generally find that if you know as you move kind of east to west in the country? As you move from, you know, the original founding 13 colonies to oh, us guys that showed up in 1912 or so in the main? I mean --

Robert Booker:
My hometown is Richmond, Virginia. I'm actually from that old, old garden, in some respects and happy to be here. I'll tell you, actually over Christmas, I found it totally exhilarating. In Richmond, they put one white candle in every window and a wreath on the door. That's all she wrote. That's all you put up or you get a note from your neighbor. The exuberance of the community, especially the valley, in decorating for the holidays, not one holiday scene, let's have five. Not one snow globe, the let's have 10. It's the more lights the better. That exuberance in Arizona really over any places I've seen so far, that excitement and spirit is what drove me here and making me stay here.

Michael Grant:
What about arts education here in Arizona?

Robert Booker:
We know arts education makes a huge difference with kids. There was just a report that came out that basically identified three areas for kids. It helps them with academic, basic skills and with sort of in-school activities. The arts could help kids stay in school. It causes them, if they're engaged in choir, in band or activity in theater, they'll stay in school. They're more likely to graduate than those kids not involved in the arts. The arts also help with interpersonal skills and with cultural awareness. Kids that are in arts programs are more likely to understand the cultures and backgrounds of their fellow kids in school. It really does help them grow as individuals and citizens as well. Not to mention it helps them with basic learning skills. In an environment where testing is so important, it could only be enhanced by arts programs. One of the things go is help bring working artists into the classrooms. The teaming artists that work with the teachers that help the kids understand what it's like to be an artist and help them with various projects. They can rocket the kid that's not been participating nor having tough times. They could rocket the kid into a successful career in grade school, high school and beyond

Michael Grant:
I have a note here the legislature completed it's funding of the art share in Dalmon this year.

Robert Booker:
We were very happy with that. That completion of art share, that's a $20 million endowment we used the interest of to fund arts and education, to stabilize arts organizations and to help with cultural tourism. That initiative this year completed that $20 million commitment. It started 10 years ago.

Michael Grant:
Yeah.

Robert Booker:
I'm so happy that was a bipartisan action. That was friends on both sides of the aisle that voted for that appropriation this year and completed the $20 million endowment. That program, if I go back 10 years ago, we could easily see that that program has really enabled our arts organizations to go and further development their own endowments with additional funding. We've seen a growth to right now I think the figure is right around $38 million in endowments of arts organizations across the state of Arizona. And that was only $1.6 10 years ago.

Michael Grant:
Now, proceeds from that endowment coupled with revenue sources elsewhere generally going to grant programs around the state?

Robert Booker:
Yes, grant programs and technical assistance programs and workshops. We do a lot of both. We provide both funding and both technical assistance out to the field.

Michael Grant:
Bob booker, welcome to Arizona. Thank you very much for joining us.

Robert Booker:
Great to be here. Great to be in the state.

Michael Grant:
Ok.

Merry Lucero:
Arizonians go to the polls in the 2006 primary election. They're picking the republican candidate that will run against Governor Napolitano along with statewide and congressional races. We'll look at what the results will mean for the November general election Wednesday at 7:00 on "Horizon."

Michael Grant:
For transcripts of "Horizon" and to see what's on upcoming programs, please visit the web site, you'll find that at azpbs.org and click on horizon. Thank you very much for joining us on this Tuesday primary Election Day edition of "Horizon." I'm Michael Grant. Have a great one. Good night.

Grand Canyon Art


  • The Grand Canyon is known as one of the most compelling places on earth and a symbol of the grandeur of American West. Capturing the scale and beauty of the Grand Canyon has been a creative challenge for artists since the mid 1800s. The Grand Canyon: From Dream to Icon is featured until next January at the Tucson Art Museum. Photographs and paintings from early to contemporary artists are featured.
Guests:
  • Patrick Kenney - Professor and chair of the ASU political science department
  • Robert Booker - Director, Arizona Commission on the Arts
Category: The Arts

View Transcript
Michael Grant:
Tonight on "Horizon," what brings voters to the polls on Election Day or drives them away? On primary election day, we examine voter turnout in American politics.

Michael Grant:
And the arts and organizations that support them enrich the community with culture as funding as the arts faces new challenges. A look at the funding for the arts in Arizona. Plus the grandeur of the Grand Canyon photographed by artists featured in an exhibition at the Tucson Art Museum. Those stories next on "Horizon."

Michael Grant:
Good evening, welcome to "Horizon." I'm Michael Grant. The Arizona Supreme Court today said a line-item veto by Governor Napolitano was unconstitutional. Republican legislative leaders challenged the governor's use of a line-item veto for a portion of an employee pay raise bill passed by the legislature.
The lawsuit was filed in march by the legislature. The governor deleted a section that would have excluded 200 future government employees from the state's merit system. Today, the Supreme Court said the vetoed provision is not an item of appropriation subject to the gubernatorial item veto.

Michael Grant:
Polls for today's primary election closed just a few moments ago at 7:00 p.m. Many Arizona voters may not have found a reason to go to the polls at all today. Election officials expect voter turnout to be low at 15\% to 20\%. There are nearly a million and a half registered voters in Maricopa County which is home to more than half of the state's 2,200 polling locations. Some new identification requirements for voters may have caused turnout to wane. Mail-in ballots have been slow as well. Merry Lucero looks at why some voters do and do not get out to vote.

Merry Lucero:
Activity was little sluggish this morning at this polling place in Tempe.

Diana J.:
We've had a huge sum of four people come through.

Merry Lucero:
Expected, in a precinct where about 2/3 of the residents are not registered to vote. New identification rules could hang up some voters. It should get busier here a little later. Still, election worker Diana Djaboury brought something to keep her occupied.

Diana Djaboury:
I brought a good book.

Merry Lucero:
And has a confession.

Diana Djaboury:
I admit, this is the first time in my life I've voted in a Primary Election. It's kind of -- working here kind of increased my own sense of civic responsibility.

Merry Lucero:
That civic responsibility is a commitment to some.

Merry Lucero:
Were you planning on taking time to vote today?

Woman:
I am later when I get out of class.

Merry Lucero:
Why?

Female:
I think it's important. I really think that, you know, people have so much to say but they don't vote. In my opinion, if you don't vote, you shouldn't be able to say anything because you have the choice to do it. It's important.

Merry Lucero:
Important for this voter. Around the corner, the Islamic Community Center made an interesting polling place.

Male:
The culture of the world today, I guess and architecture of the building.

Merry Lucero:
Using his right to vote as more of a statement, he voted for an unofficial and unconventional write-in candidate.

Male:
I just kind of feel that way about the political system. It's down to cartoons for me, I guess.

Merry Lucero:
Why make a statement with a vote?

Male:
I used to be pretty sure of that. I'm not pretty sure today why I did it. I just did. I guess out of habit now. It's been so many years.

Merry Lucero:
Down the street, people satisfy a different habit. Some having previously taken care of their civic duty.

Male:
I didn't vote today. I voted last week. I voted by mail. Mail-in ballot. That's a simple way to go. Convenient. Didn't take any time. The state even pays for the mailing. It's a win-win.

Merry Lucero:
While actually going to the polls is as routine to others as that morning coffee.

Male:
I've done both, but there's something about going to the polls that's a ritual thing. You know? You have to go there and participate and try to help the people, you know, get set up and filling out the ballot is something very traditional. My dad did that. My grandfather did that.

Merry Lucero:
Still for others, it's a little late.

Male:
I've not voted. I didn't register. I'm going register. My wife is voting today. I know she is. She went to vote. If I was registered, I could go vote. I don't know if you can register on voting day, can you?

Merry Lucero:
Nope.

Male:
So I'm out of luck. Next time, I'll be ready.

Female:
I believe I'm getting the ballots in the mail and I'll vote in the mail.

Merry Lucero:
Do you know today is the Primary Election Day?

Female:
No, I didn't know that.

Merry Lucero:
It's a learning process for young voters, while some seasoned voters never miss an opportunity to cast a ballot, even in a primary.

Male:
It's part of being American. We have to vote. It's part of the rights we have in this country. We have to give them feedback once in awhile.

Michael Grant:
Joining me now to talk about what draws voters to the polls or not, Patrick Kenney. He's professor and chair of the ASU political science department. Do you have any stats on how much people write in cartoon characters?

Patrick Kenney:
Very few, I think. There would be a few here and there with that many people voting.

Michael Grant:
There's not any great political science that phenomenon?

Patrick Kenney:
Not that I'm aware of.

Michael Grant:
Let's talk about what political science does exist. Let's rewind to say 1960. What's happened in voter turnout trends since then?

Patrick Kenney:
If you look back over 100 years, the peak was 1960 in the United States in general elections. That was about a 63\% turnout in that year of all registered -- of all voting-aged population. It was significantly higher among registered voters. It declined sharply between 1960 and 1966. It's kind of hit a trough and been pretty flat sense. Turnout in primary elections for either party, democrats or republicans, is always a good 20 or 30 points below the kind of general election friends and it's followed the same pattern.

Michael Grant:
Doing some fast math here, it seems to me shortly after Watergate, we kind of flat lined?

Patrick Kenney:
Right. After the Vietnam War. After Watergate. After a bumpy late 1960's and early 1970's. Turnout hit this trough and has stayed there.

Michael Grant:
Patrick, what is the -- what -- what are the studies? What's the literature suggest in terms of major elements that either motivate or desensitize voters to turn out?

Patrick Kenney:
You can think of three main categories. One is the personal characteristics of the individuals. Education, age, things like that are highly correlated to vote, same to income. Second is interest in politics, attachments to a political institution like one of the parties. Civic duty. One of the people talked about a habit of going to vote. Those are kind of psychological characteristics. The third which really has an effect on primary election day is what we call a set of mobilization factors. Are the parties calling to motivate people to vote? They tend not to do that for instance on a primary election. The party -- institutions don't want to look to favor one of the candidates in their own primaries. Also, primary elections tend not to be very close and competitive in interesting races. They don't get a lot of media attention. Those are mobilization kind of forces that remind people to vote like some of the people in your piece there didn't even know was Election Day. There's not been much discussion about it.

Michael Grant:
Right. Um, if I'd asked that you question 20 years ago, would there have been a significantly different answer? I mean, haven't things like education, older people are more efficacious of those kinds of factors? Haven't they always played a heavy role in voting?

Patrick Kenney:
The first two categories have always played strong roles. That is people's demographic characteristics and their psychological attachment to the parties play a difference. What probably have changed is immobilization forces. The parties weakened dramatically in the '50's and 60's. There's not nearly the get-out-the-vote efforts there were in those years until 2000. After the 2000 race, the presidential race being so close and so contested, the parties activated neither much nor 2004. We saw a slight tick in increase and turnout. That's general elections. The parties tend not to be nearly as active in the primary elections.

Michael Grant:
All right. What are the real facts telling us about negative campaigning? You frequently hear as a mantra chant that negative campaigning turns people off and depresses voter turnout. True or not?

Patrick Kenney:
Probably not true and you want to kind of separate that answer into what is the message that is inherent in the negative ad or the negative campaign? That's what some research has been showing lately is that negative commercials tend to deliver a fair amount of information about issues and about candidate behavior and about their voting record. Those kinds of things. If they're done in an uncivil, nasty, shrill way, people kind of step back from that and find that a little -- it puts them off. They may not want to support that.

Michael Grant:
Do they actively stay away from the polls though? Do they simply go there and say, I'm not voting for that guy. He's mean and despicable.

Patrick Kenney:
Some evidence definitely shows they can stay away. But if the message is done on a relevant topic and it's civil -- so it could be critical a series of criticism, but it's on something relevant to the voters' lives, then heightens turnout a little bit.

Michael Grant:
Yeah. Here in the west, we have this phenomenon, primarily in the west -- I think it exists elsewhere but primarily in the west, initiative in referendum. It's making our ballot really tiresome. I think the count this year may be 19 November's ballot. Is that a mobilization criteria? Do those naturally drive up a turnout line?

Patrick Kenney:
Well, you hit it on a really interesting point. The United States -- especially if we compare the rest of the world -- has a long ballot. The longer the ballot, we often argue, often decreases turnout, because there's so many offices and so many information. Whereas in other democracies around the world, it's a much more simplified ballot. However some referendums and initiatives are so controversial, like some in California and some in Arizona at times that can drive people out to vote that's the mobilization act. There's an interesting issue on the ballot. People hear about it and want to come out and vote.

Michael Grant:
What's the age criteria? Is there any -- you know, is it a gradually ascending line as you move from 20 to 80?

Patrick Kenney:
There's a very strong relationship between age and turnout. It's a very linear and positive relationship from 18 to 40 as people become connected to their community in various ways. They're much more likely to vote. After 40, it kind of hits a flat plateau and stays that way actually until people wind up in ill health. That's the only thing that keeps people from voting. That is, if they're going to be a voter by 40, they'll be a voter until they have ill health. If they're not voting by 40, then they won't group.

Michael Grant:
Racial groups. What do we know about them?

Patrick Kenney:
Minorities vote in significantly less numbers in America than Anglos. African Americans and Latinos are the two groups in particular. Latinos are behind African Americans. We do find that varies, however and goes up -- here's a mobilization factor, when African Americans and Latinos are on the ballot, turnout tends to be higher in those regions. The biggest indicator there that drives down minority voting is levels of education.

Michael Grant:
Okay Patrick Kenney, some interesting and accurate information. We appreciate it.

Patrick Kenney:
You're welcome.

Michael Grant:
Right now, you can experience the Grand Canyon like never before in the Tucson Museum of Art. Works by more than 44 artists from around the state explore the symbol of American identity in grand possibility that remains a challenge to artists. Producer Soo Yeon Lee shows us the Grand Canyon, photographs and paintings from early contemporary artists featured from the Tucson Art Museum.

Jack Inga:
The magic for the canyon for me is it puts live in perspective. When you look and see the formation at the top of the rock, that's man's presence on the earth.

Soo Yeon Lee:
Capturing the scale and beauty of the Grand Canyon has been a creative challenge for artists since the early 1,800's and continues to be a source of inspiration for contemporary artists. The current exhibit at the Tucson Museum of Art explores the Grand Canyon through the eyes of the artists.

Julie Sasse:
This exhibition is called the Grand Canyon from dream to icon. I've been doing researches as early as the 1970's. We've got a wide range of artists from this incredible span of time.

Soo Yeon Lee:
The museum's Chief Curator Julie Sasse.

Julie Sasse:
What I found as the same throughout, they all see this as a tremendous challenge to be able to depict the canyon either conceptually to look at it through a contemporary eye, to look at the issues and tourism and the different approaches but even as early as the 1800's they were seeing this as insurmountable. How do you depict the incredible vastness of the canyon? The beauty of it? The everything that goes along with it. The metaphors for what it stands for? Our country? Our region? And for artists to be able to do it justice.

Julie Sasse:
So we have in this exhibition William Henry Jackson, Lewis Aiken, Thomas Moran, John Hillers, some of the early people who were there not only documenting it but then also romanticizing it. It's a tremendous range. Then we have -- as long as we have the early photographers -- we have contemporary photographers who are not only responding to the canyon in a new way but also artist who has are making reference to the early photographers almost as if they're homage's to the past.

Merrill Mahaffey.:
I'm Merrill Mahaffey. I've been painting the Grand Canyon for 30 years and still am. I have an invitation to go on a raft trip in exchange for trading artwork. I was assured this would be a very meaningful experience. It totally affected me. I spent a week in 1981, I think. I've gone 23 times since then. I'll have to start painting pictures 50 feet high and 200 feet long. I would still not get it all in the picture. So I decided to take a small part, zoom in on a part of it and examine what's in there as it represents the totality of the place.

Jack Inga:
I'm Jack Inga. Sometimes you have to step back away from the canyon. For me, I tend to use telephoto lenses to capture the massive walls. If do you it with a wide angle it looks almost two-dimensional.

Jack Inga:
That's the Little Colorado River. It's -- for those that are in the canyon it runs turquoise, really turquoise. It's near the Hopi sacred area. It's pretty inaccessible because of its holiness to the tribe. You're not allowed to camp in that area. In order to get there you have to kind of get there in the predawn light and scamper up the canyon to get the dawn's first light on the cliffs. But it took years to find out that the sun would indeed hit that spot. So going back -- most of the things I've done are products of many, many trips. So when you see how many hours, you know, it's more like a life.

Soo Yeon Lee:
Curator says it's not just about the exhibit of the Grand Canyon.

Julie Sasse:
They're trying to capture not just the visuals but the atmospheric, the mood, and the whole being there with their paintings. That's what makes it so awesome to me is that it's not just a recognizable icon. It's part of a whole experience. I think that that is captured in this show.

Michael Grant:
The Grand Canyon from dream to icon runs through January 7, 2007 at the Tucson Museum of Art. Engagement in several forms of the art certainly helps people around the Grand Canyon state broaden, deepen and diversify our lives. The Arizona Commission on the Arts is the state agency that connects artists and communities across Arizona by supporting the stabilization of arts organizations, arts education and cultural tourism. Robert Booker is the new Executive Director of the Arizona Commission on the Arts replacing the recently retired Shelley Cohn. He joins us now. You've been here nine months?

Robert Booker:
Yes. I've not seen a scorpion, I'm doing all right.

Michael Grant:
The scorpions will show up. You came from Minnesota?

Robert Booker:
Yes.

Michael Grant:
Give me a comparative snapshot. How do you find the arts climate there and the arts climate here?

Robert Booker:
Minnesota has a long tradition of corporate support for the arts as well as public support for the arts. Our budget in Minnesota is $9.5 million. Our budget in Arizona is $4.5 million in public dollars. And private dollars we get from other foundations, other corporations. Minnesota has a few larger arts institutions that have a longer history. Arizona, though, at I would say, I mean, in my travels around the state, I found a breath of arts organizations in our smaller communities as well as our larger communities so if I could compare it, I think Arizona actually has a broader range of arts activities, more community-based arts activities, more smaller arts activities in our smaller communities across the state which is exciting for me. I've met working artists, actors, dancers, musicians in all of our communities across Arizona. I would say there's a certain excitement about the arts in Arizona. We're a state that on one hand has a tradition that goes back thousands of years and we're a state that is not yet 100 years old. So there's a certain newness and creativity in Arizona.

Michael Grant:
In fact I wonder, Bob, would you generally find that if you know as you move kind of east to west in the country? As you move from, you know, the original founding 13 colonies to oh, us guys that showed up in 1912 or so in the main? I mean --

Robert Booker:
My hometown is Richmond, Virginia. I'm actually from that old, old garden, in some respects and happy to be here. I'll tell you, actually over Christmas, I found it totally exhilarating. In Richmond, they put one white candle in every window and a wreath on the door. That's all she wrote. That's all you put up or you get a note from your neighbor. The exuberance of the community, especially the valley, in decorating for the holidays, not one holiday scene, let's have five. Not one snow globe, the let's have 10. It's the more lights the better. That exuberance in Arizona really over any places I've seen so far, that excitement and spirit is what drove me here and making me stay here.

Michael Grant:
What about arts education here in Arizona?

Robert Booker:
We know arts education makes a huge difference with kids. There was just a report that came out that basically identified three areas for kids. It helps them with academic, basic skills and with sort of in-school activities. The arts could help kids stay in school. It causes them, if they're engaged in choir, in band or activity in theater, they'll stay in school. They're more likely to graduate than those kids not involved in the arts. The arts also help with interpersonal skills and with cultural awareness. Kids that are in arts programs are more likely to understand the cultures and backgrounds of their fellow kids in school. It really does help them grow as individuals and citizens as well. Not to mention it helps them with basic learning skills. In an environment where testing is so important, it could only be enhanced by arts programs. One of the things go is help bring working artists into the classrooms. The teaming artists that work with the teachers that help the kids understand what it's like to be an artist and help them with various projects. They can rocket the kid that's not been participating nor having tough times. They could rocket the kid into a successful career in grade school, high school and beyond

Michael Grant:
I have a note here the legislature completed it's funding of the art share in Dalmon this year.

Robert Booker:
We were very happy with that. That completion of art share, that's a $20 million endowment we used the interest of to fund arts and education, to stabilize arts organizations and to help with cultural tourism. That initiative this year completed that $20 million commitment. It started 10 years ago.

Michael Grant:
Yeah.

Robert Booker:
I'm so happy that was a bipartisan action. That was friends on both sides of the aisle that voted for that appropriation this year and completed the $20 million endowment. That program, if I go back 10 years ago, we could easily see that that program has really enabled our arts organizations to go and further development their own endowments with additional funding. We've seen a growth to right now I think the figure is right around $38 million in endowments of arts organizations across the state of Arizona. And that was only $1.6 10 years ago.

Michael Grant:
Now, proceeds from that endowment coupled with revenue sources elsewhere generally going to grant programs around the state?

Robert Booker:
Yes, grant programs and technical assistance programs and workshops. We do a lot of both. We provide both funding and both technical assistance out to the field.

Michael Grant:
Bob booker, welcome to Arizona. Thank you very much for joining us.

Robert Booker:
Great to be here. Great to be in the state.

Michael Grant:
Ok.

Merry Lucero:
Arizonians go to the polls in the 2006 primary election. They're picking the republican candidate that will run against Governor Napolitano along with statewide and congressional races. We'll look at what the results will mean for the November general election Wednesday at 7:00 on "Horizon."

Michael Grant:
For transcripts of "Horizon" and to see what's on upcoming programs, please visit the web site, you'll find that at azpbs.org and click on horizon. Thank you very much for joining us on this Tuesday primary Election Day edition of "Horizon." I'm Michael Grant. Have a great one. Good night.

Voter Turnout


  • Relatively low voter turnout is a continuing feature of American politics, particularly in primary elections. State and local elections officials, as well as political organizations in Arizona, are increasing efforts to raise the percentage of registered US voters who actually exercise their right to vote. What brings people to the polls on Election Day, or lulls them to a state of political apathy? We talk with ASU Political Science Professor Patrick Kenney about civic engagement in elections.
Guests:
  • Patrick Kenney - Professor and chair of the ASU political science department
  • Robert Booker - Director, Arizona Commission on the Arts
Category: Elections

View Transcript
Michael Grant:
Tonight on "Horizon," what brings voters to the polls on Election Day or drives them away? On primary election day, we examine voter turnout in American politics.

Michael Grant:
And the arts and organizations that support them enrich the community with culture as funding as the arts faces new challenges. A look at the funding for the arts in Arizona. Plus the grandeur of the Grand Canyon photographed by artists featured in an exhibition at the Tucson Art Museum. Those stories next on "Horizon."

Michael Grant:
Good evening, welcome to "Horizon." I'm Michael Grant. The Arizona Supreme Court today said a line-item veto by Governor Napolitano was unconstitutional. Republican legislative leaders challenged the governor's use of a line-item veto for a portion of an employee pay raise bill passed by the legislature.
The lawsuit was filed in march by the legislature. The governor deleted a section that would have excluded 200 future government employees from the state's merit system. Today, the Supreme Court said the vetoed provision is not an item of appropriation subject to the gubernatorial item veto.

Michael Grant:
Polls for today's primary election closed just a few moments ago at 7:00 p.m. Many Arizona voters may not have found a reason to go to the polls at all today. Election officials expect voter turnout to be low at 15\% to 20\%. There are nearly a million and a half registered voters in Maricopa County which is home to more than half of the state's 2,200 polling locations. Some new identification requirements for voters may have caused turnout to wane. Mail-in ballots have been slow as well. Merry Lucero looks at why some voters do and do not get out to vote.

Merry Lucero:
Activity was little sluggish this morning at this polling place in Tempe.

Diana J.:
We've had a huge sum of four people come through.

Merry Lucero:
Expected, in a precinct where about 2/3 of the residents are not registered to vote. New identification rules could hang up some voters. It should get busier here a little later. Still, election worker Diana Djaboury brought something to keep her occupied.

Diana Djaboury:
I brought a good book.

Merry Lucero:
And has a confession.

Diana Djaboury:
I admit, this is the first time in my life I've voted in a Primary Election. It's kind of -- working here kind of increased my own sense of civic responsibility.

Merry Lucero:
That civic responsibility is a commitment to some.

Merry Lucero:
Were you planning on taking time to vote today?

Woman:
I am later when I get out of class.

Merry Lucero:
Why?

Female:
I think it's important. I really think that, you know, people have so much to say but they don't vote. In my opinion, if you don't vote, you shouldn't be able to say anything because you have the choice to do it. It's important.

Merry Lucero:
Important for this voter. Around the corner, the Islamic Community Center made an interesting polling place.

Male:
The culture of the world today, I guess and architecture of the building.

Merry Lucero:
Using his right to vote as more of a statement, he voted for an unofficial and unconventional write-in candidate.

Male:
I just kind of feel that way about the political system. It's down to cartoons for me, I guess.

Merry Lucero:
Why make a statement with a vote?

Male:
I used to be pretty sure of that. I'm not pretty sure today why I did it. I just did. I guess out of habit now. It's been so many years.

Merry Lucero:
Down the street, people satisfy a different habit. Some having previously taken care of their civic duty.

Male:
I didn't vote today. I voted last week. I voted by mail. Mail-in ballot. That's a simple way to go. Convenient. Didn't take any time. The state even pays for the mailing. It's a win-win.

Merry Lucero:
While actually going to the polls is as routine to others as that morning coffee.

Male:
I've done both, but there's something about going to the polls that's a ritual thing. You know? You have to go there and participate and try to help the people, you know, get set up and filling out the ballot is something very traditional. My dad did that. My grandfather did that.

Merry Lucero:
Still for others, it's a little late.

Male:
I've not voted. I didn't register. I'm going register. My wife is voting today. I know she is. She went to vote. If I was registered, I could go vote. I don't know if you can register on voting day, can you?

Merry Lucero:
Nope.

Male:
So I'm out of luck. Next time, I'll be ready.

Female:
I believe I'm getting the ballots in the mail and I'll vote in the mail.

Merry Lucero:
Do you know today is the Primary Election Day?

Female:
No, I didn't know that.

Merry Lucero:
It's a learning process for young voters, while some seasoned voters never miss an opportunity to cast a ballot, even in a primary.

Male:
It's part of being American. We have to vote. It's part of the rights we have in this country. We have to give them feedback once in awhile.

Michael Grant:
Joining me now to talk about what draws voters to the polls or not, Patrick Kenney. He's professor and chair of the ASU political science department. Do you have any stats on how much people write in cartoon characters?

Patrick Kenney:
Very few, I think. There would be a few here and there with that many people voting.

Michael Grant:
There's not any great political science that phenomenon?

Patrick Kenney:
Not that I'm aware of.

Michael Grant:
Let's talk about what political science does exist. Let's rewind to say 1960. What's happened in voter turnout trends since then?

Patrick Kenney:
If you look back over 100 years, the peak was 1960 in the United States in general elections. That was about a 63\% turnout in that year of all registered -- of all voting-aged population. It was significantly higher among registered voters. It declined sharply between 1960 and 1966. It's kind of hit a trough and been pretty flat sense. Turnout in primary elections for either party, democrats or republicans, is always a good 20 or 30 points below the kind of general election friends and it's followed the same pattern.

Michael Grant:
Doing some fast math here, it seems to me shortly after Watergate, we kind of flat lined?

Patrick Kenney:
Right. After the Vietnam War. After Watergate. After a bumpy late 1960's and early 1970's. Turnout hit this trough and has stayed there.

Michael Grant:
Patrick, what is the -- what -- what are the studies? What's the literature suggest in terms of major elements that either motivate or desensitize voters to turn out?

Patrick Kenney:
You can think of three main categories. One is the personal characteristics of the individuals. Education, age, things like that are highly correlated to vote, same to income. Second is interest in politics, attachments to a political institution like one of the parties. Civic duty. One of the people talked about a habit of going to vote. Those are kind of psychological characteristics. The third which really has an effect on primary election day is what we call a set of mobilization factors. Are the parties calling to motivate people to vote? They tend not to do that for instance on a primary election. The party -- institutions don't want to look to favor one of the candidates in their own primaries. Also, primary elections tend not to be very close and competitive in interesting races. They don't get a lot of media attention. Those are mobilization kind of forces that remind people to vote like some of the people in your piece there didn't even know was Election Day. There's not been much discussion about it.

Michael Grant:
Right. Um, if I'd asked that you question 20 years ago, would there have been a significantly different answer? I mean, haven't things like education, older people are more efficacious of those kinds of factors? Haven't they always played a heavy role in voting?

Patrick Kenney:
The first two categories have always played strong roles. That is people's demographic characteristics and their psychological attachment to the parties play a difference. What probably have changed is immobilization forces. The parties weakened dramatically in the '50's and 60's. There's not nearly the get-out-the-vote efforts there were in those years until 2000. After the 2000 race, the presidential race being so close and so contested, the parties activated neither much nor 2004. We saw a slight tick in increase and turnout. That's general elections. The parties tend not to be nearly as active in the primary elections.

Michael Grant:
All right. What are the real facts telling us about negative campaigning? You frequently hear as a mantra chant that negative campaigning turns people off and depresses voter turnout. True or not?

Patrick Kenney:
Probably not true and you want to kind of separate that answer into what is the message that is inherent in the negative ad or the negative campaign? That's what some research has been showing lately is that negative commercials tend to deliver a fair amount of information about issues and about candidate behavior and about their voting record. Those kinds of things. If they're done in an uncivil, nasty, shrill way, people kind of step back from that and find that a little -- it puts them off. They may not want to support that.

Michael Grant:
Do they actively stay away from the polls though? Do they simply go there and say, I'm not voting for that guy. He's mean and despicable.

Patrick Kenney:
Some evidence definitely shows they can stay away. But if the message is done on a relevant topic and it's civil -- so it could be critical a series of criticism, but it's on something relevant to the voters' lives, then heightens turnout a little bit.

Michael Grant:
Yeah. Here in the west, we have this phenomenon, primarily in the west -- I think it exists elsewhere but primarily in the west, initiative in referendum. It's making our ballot really tiresome. I think the count this year may be 19 November's ballot. Is that a mobilization criteria? Do those naturally drive up a turnout line?

Patrick Kenney:
Well, you hit it on a really interesting point. The United States -- especially if we compare the rest of the world -- has a long ballot. The longer the ballot, we often argue, often decreases turnout, because there's so many offices and so many information. Whereas in other democracies around the world, it's a much more simplified ballot. However some referendums and initiatives are so controversial, like some in California and some in Arizona at times that can drive people out to vote that's the mobilization act. There's an interesting issue on the ballot. People hear about it and want to come out and vote.

Michael Grant:
What's the age criteria? Is there any -- you know, is it a gradually ascending line as you move from 20 to 80?

Patrick Kenney:
There's a very strong relationship between age and turnout. It's a very linear and positive relationship from 18 to 40 as people become connected to their community in various ways. They're much more likely to vote. After 40, it kind of hits a flat plateau and stays that way actually until people wind up in ill health. That's the only thing that keeps people from voting. That is, if they're going to be a voter by 40, they'll be a voter until they have ill health. If they're not voting by 40, then they won't group.

Michael Grant:
Racial groups. What do we know about them?

Patrick Kenney:
Minorities vote in significantly less numbers in America than Anglos. African Americans and Latinos are the two groups in particular. Latinos are behind African Americans. We do find that varies, however and goes up -- here's a mobilization factor, when African Americans and Latinos are on the ballot, turnout tends to be higher in those regions. The biggest indicator there that drives down minority voting is levels of education.

Michael Grant:
Okay Patrick Kenney, some interesting and accurate information. We appreciate it.

Patrick Kenney:
You're welcome.

Michael Grant:
Right now, you can experience the Grand Canyon like never before in the Tucson Museum of Art. Works by more than 44 artists from around the state explore the symbol of American identity in grand possibility that remains a challenge to artists. Producer Soo Yeon Lee shows us the Grand Canyon, photographs and paintings from early contemporary artists featured from the Tucson Art Museum.

Jack Inga:
The magic for the canyon for me is it puts live in perspective. When you look and see the formation at the top of the rock, that's man's presence on the earth.

Soo Yeon Lee:
Capturing the scale and beauty of the Grand Canyon has been a creative challenge for artists since the early 1,800's and continues to be a source of inspiration for contemporary artists. The current exhibit at the Tucson Museum of Art explores the Grand Canyon through the eyes of the artists.

Julie Sasse:
This exhibition is called the Grand Canyon from dream to icon. I've been doing researches as early as the 1970's. We've got a wide range of artists from this incredible span of time.

Soo Yeon Lee:
The museum's Chief Curator Julie Sasse.

Julie Sasse:
What I found as the same throughout, they all see this as a tremendous challenge to be able to depict the canyon either conceptually to look at it through a contemporary eye, to look at the issues and tourism and the different approaches but even as early as the 1800's they were seeing this as insurmountable. How do you depict the incredible vastness of the canyon? The beauty of it? The everything that goes along with it. The metaphors for what it stands for? Our country? Our region? And for artists to be able to do it justice.

Julie Sasse:
So we have in this exhibition William Henry Jackson, Lewis Aiken, Thomas Moran, John Hillers, some of the early people who were there not only documenting it but then also romanticizing it. It's a tremendous range. Then we have -- as long as we have the early photographers -- we have contemporary photographers who are not only responding to the canyon in a new way but also artist who has are making reference to the early photographers almost as if they're homage's to the past.

Merrill Mahaffey.:
I'm Merrill Mahaffey. I've been painting the Grand Canyon for 30 years and still am. I have an invitation to go on a raft trip in exchange for trading artwork. I was assured this would be a very meaningful experience. It totally affected me. I spent a week in 1981, I think. I've gone 23 times since then. I'll have to start painting pictures 50 feet high and 200 feet long. I would still not get it all in the picture. So I decided to take a small part, zoom in on a part of it and examine what's in there as it represents the totality of the place.

Jack Inga:
I'm Jack Inga. Sometimes you have to step back away from the canyon. For me, I tend to use telephoto lenses to capture the massive walls. If do you it with a wide angle it looks almost two-dimensional.

Jack Inga:
That's the Little Colorado River. It's -- for those that are in the canyon it runs turquoise, really turquoise. It's near the Hopi sacred area. It's pretty inaccessible because of its holiness to the tribe. You're not allowed to camp in that area. In order to get there you have to kind of get there in the predawn light and scamper up the canyon to get the dawn's first light on the cliffs. But it took years to find out that the sun would indeed hit that spot. So going back -- most of the things I've done are products of many, many trips. So when you see how many hours, you know, it's more like a life.

Soo Yeon Lee:
Curator says it's not just about the exhibit of the Grand Canyon.

Julie Sasse:
They're trying to capture not just the visuals but the atmospheric, the mood, and the whole being there with their paintings. That's what makes it so awesome to me is that it's not just a recognizable icon. It's part of a whole experience. I think that that is captured in this show.

Michael Grant:
The Grand Canyon from dream to icon runs through January 7, 2007 at the Tucson Museum of Art. Engagement in several forms of the art certainly helps people around the Grand Canyon state broaden, deepen and diversify our lives. The Arizona Commission on the Arts is the state agency that connects artists and communities across Arizona by supporting the stabilization of arts organizations, arts education and cultural tourism. Robert Booker is the new Executive Director of the Arizona Commission on the Arts replacing the recently retired Shelley Cohn. He joins us now. You've been here nine months?

Robert Booker:
Yes. I've not seen a scorpion, I'm doing all right.

Michael Grant:
The scorpions will show up. You came from Minnesota?

Robert Booker:
Yes.

Michael Grant:
Give me a comparative snapshot. How do you find the arts climate there and the arts climate here?

Robert Booker:
Minnesota has a long tradition of corporate support for the arts as well as public support for the arts. Our budget in Minnesota is $9.5 million. Our budget in Arizona is $4.5 million in public dollars. And private dollars we get from other foundations, other corporations. Minnesota has a few larger arts institutions that have a longer history. Arizona, though, at I would say, I mean, in my travels around the state, I found a breath of arts organizations in our smaller communities as well as our larger communities so if I could compare it, I think Arizona actually has a broader range of arts activities, more community-based arts activities, more smaller arts activities in our smaller communities across the state which is exciting for me. I've met working artists, actors, dancers, musicians in all of our communities across Arizona. I would say there's a certain excitement about the arts in Arizona. We're a state that on one hand has a tradition that goes back thousands of years and we're a state that is not yet 100 years old. So there's a certain newness and creativity in Arizona.

Michael Grant:
In fact I wonder, Bob, would you generally find that if you know as you move kind of east to west in the country? As you move from, you know, the original founding 13 colonies to oh, us guys that showed up in 1912 or so in the main? I mean --

Robert Booker:
My hometown is Richmond, Virginia. I'm actually from that old, old garden, in some respects and happy to be here. I'll tell you, actually over Christmas, I found it totally exhilarating. In Richmond, they put one white candle in every window and a wreath on the door. That's all she wrote. That's all you put up or you get a note from your neighbor. The exuberance of the community, especially the valley, in decorating for the holidays, not one holiday scene, let's have five. Not one snow globe, the let's have 10. It's the more lights the better. That exuberance in Arizona really over any places I've seen so far, that excitement and spirit is what drove me here and making me stay here.

Michael Grant:
What about arts education here in Arizona?

Robert Booker:
We know arts education makes a huge difference with kids. There was just a report that came out that basically identified three areas for kids. It helps them with academic, basic skills and with sort of in-school activities. The arts could help kids stay in school. It causes them, if they're engaged in choir, in band or activity in theater, they'll stay in school. They're more likely to graduate than those kids not involved in the arts. The arts also help with interpersonal skills and with cultural awareness. Kids that are in arts programs are more likely to understand the cultures and backgrounds of their fellow kids in school. It really does help them grow as individuals and citizens as well. Not to mention it helps them with basic learning skills. In an environment where testing is so important, it could only be enhanced by arts programs. One of the things go is help bring working artists into the classrooms. The teaming artists that work with the teachers that help the kids understand what it's like to be an artist and help them with various projects. They can rocket the kid that's not been participating nor having tough times. They could rocket the kid into a successful career in grade school, high school and beyond

Michael Grant:
I have a note here the legislature completed it's funding of the art share in Dalmon this year.

Robert Booker:
We were very happy with that. That completion of art share, that's a $20 million endowment we used the interest of to fund arts and education, to stabilize arts organizations and to help with cultural tourism. That initiative this year completed that $20 million commitment. It started 10 years ago.

Michael Grant:
Yeah.

Robert Booker:
I'm so happy that was a bipartisan action. That was friends on both sides of the aisle that voted for that appropriation this year and completed the $20 million endowment. That program, if I go back 10 years ago, we could easily see that that program has really enabled our arts organizations to go and further development their own endowments with additional funding. We've seen a growth to right now I think the figure is right around $38 million in endowments of arts organizations across the state of Arizona. And that was only $1.6 10 years ago.

Michael Grant:
Now, proceeds from that endowment coupled with revenue sources elsewhere generally going to grant programs around the state?

Robert Booker:
Yes, grant programs and technical assistance programs and workshops. We do a lot of both. We provide both funding and both technical assistance out to the field.

Michael Grant:
Bob booker, welcome to Arizona. Thank you very much for joining us.

Robert Booker:
Great to be here. Great to be in the state.

Michael Grant:
Ok.

Merry Lucero:
Arizonians go to the polls in the 2006 primary election. They're picking the republican candidate that will run against Governor Napolitano along with statewide and congressional races. We'll look at what the results will mean for the November general election Wednesday at 7:00 on "Horizon."

Michael Grant:
For transcripts of "Horizon" and to see what's on upcoming programs, please visit the web site, you'll find that at azpbs.org and click on horizon. Thank you very much for joining us on this Tuesday primary Election Day edition of "Horizon." I'm Michael Grant. Have a great one. Good night.

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