Much has been made about the respective positions of the Phoenix mayoral candidates on the arts. I am a former chair of The Phoenix Office of Arts and Culture, a former chair of Arizona Action for the Arts (the state's leading arts advocacy organization), and a former member of The Arizona Arts Commission. I know the arts in Arizona, particularly Phoenix. There is simply no question that Greg Stanton can and will do the most to advance the arts in Phoenix. The arts community needs to unite in support of Stanton, which, I believe is happening.

Stanton has been an unswerving champion of the arts for his entire career. He believes and has consistently argued that investing in the arts and cultural amenities are central to our economic development.

In nine years on the council, Stanton consistently helped fund the arts and he understands that, as mayor, there's an incredible opportunity to build a vibrant arts community in Phoenix - one that enhances our quality of life and makes Phoenix attractive to relocating businesses and families. In fact, Stanton supports continuing to fund the arts from the General Fund, as the city of Phoenix has done for decades. And as our economy improves, Stanton would like to see the city's investment in the arts increase.

This is an important issue for all of us, and for the future of our city.

When the campaign hyperbole starts flying, it is always good to take a step back and look at who was there for you when the only advantage was doing the right thing.

Greg Stanton was, is, and will always be the only candidate that will help make Phoenix a world-class hub for the arts.

F. William Sheppard

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