City of North Port Commission Candidates Survey

We invited the City of North Port Commission candidates to share their views about local arts and culture. We have provided their responses to help you make an informed decision.

Respondents were asked to use a 1-5 scale with 1 = strongly disagree, 5 = strongly agree.

Please scroll to see all candidates.

District Seat 1

NameDavid Iannotti
No Response
NameRich Suggs
RaceCity of North Port Commission Candidate
District or SeatDistrict 1
I recognize arts and culture as a key industry impacting our local economy.5
I recognize arts and culture as a major driver of tourism in our region.5
I recognize the importance of arts/culture in our community as a key factor in developing our future growth in jobs and real estate values.5
I support the arts (music, theater, dance, visual arts and media arts) as an essential part of the basic curriculum in our schools.5
Have you served on the boards or committees of arts or cultural institutions. If so, which ones?I presently serve on the Board of Directors for Community Broadband Radio Association and we promote live music and spoken word performances at our listening room Common Grounds Meeting Hall.  We have regional touring and a few international acts that perform at the Hall in North Port.  We also promote fund raising efforts of many non-profit groups including North Port Art Center and many others during Giving Tuesday and Giving Challenge.
What cultural events (concerts, exhibits, etc.) have you attended this past year?Numerous concerts held at the Common Grounds Hall in North Port.
How would you describe the impact of arts and culture on our local economy?Not only is the direct impact of sales and property taxes that any business will bring to an area,  having arts and culture is a top tier reason businesses will relocate or start up in a particular area.  Additionally, quality of life is a major retention tool that keeps people here and others relocating to our area and Arts and Cultural events play a tremendous role in providing enjoyable opportunities.
Additional CommentsI really am a strong advocate for arts education in schools to provide an expressive outlet for our young people.  Fine arts, Performance arts and Musical arts should be fully funded in all levels of school throughout K-12. 
North Port would be a perfect place to start an Arts Village to harness the tremendous talent that lies just underneath the consciousness of this city.  I am witness to the vast amount of talent that has no outlet in this city and some of our economic weaknesses stunt the development of a strong Arts and Cultural presence in this city.  If elected that would be a major goal of trying to develop and implement a viable arts village.
NameNicholas Trolli
RaceCity of North Port Commission Candidate
District or SeatDistrict Seat 1
I recognize arts and culture as a key industry impacting our local economy.5
I recognize arts and culture as a major driver of tourism in our region.5
I recognize the importance of arts/culture in our community as a key factor in developing our future growth in jobs and real estate values.5
I support the arts (music, theater, dance, visual arts and media arts) as an essential part of the basic curriculum in our schools.5
Have you served on the boards or committees of arts or cultural institutions. If so, which ones?I have not had the pleasure however we were very much involved in our schools supporting our budding musician by volunteering as band parents. We also supported our budding artist and volunteered and encouraged the children where we could. Both are now young adults serving in the US Navy and enjoying cultural activities in other cities.
What cultural events (concerts, exhibits, etc.) have you attended this past year?Unfortunately, North Port is sorely lacking and we have not been able to attend anything locally, however we did attend the Radio City Christmas Performance in New York City. Attending concerts, plays, musicals, ballet performances and exhibits was a great joy of ours when we lived in Philadelphia. We use to purchase Season Tickets to several of the theaters in the city.
How would you describe the impact of arts and culture on our local economy?Sarasota’s arts and culture has a great impact on the areas economy. Unfortunately, North Port has very little arts and culture so there is very little impact on the economy. More is needed and must be encouraged.
Additional CommentsAs a commissioner I would like to bring more of the ARTS to North Port and would be supportive of such an endeavor. I feel it would be most beneficial to our community.

District Seat 2

NameCheryl Cook
No Response
NameBarbara Langdon
RaceCity of North Port Commission Candidate
District or Seat2
I recognize arts and culture as a key industry impacting our local economy.3
I recognize arts and culture as a major driver of tourism in our region.5
I recognize the importance of arts/culture in our community as a key factor in developing our future growth in jobs and real estate values.5
I support the arts (music, theater, dance, visual arts and media arts) as an essential part of the basic curriculum in our schools.5
Have you served on the boards or committees of arts or cultural institutions. If so, which ones?No, I’ve not sat on any boards or committees.
What cultural events (concerts, exhibits, etc.) have you attended this past year?COVID has put a damper on many of our plans this year. In the past couple of years we have attended the North Port Symphony, attended events and the North Port Arts Center, and several musical events at the Van Wezel.
How would you describe the impact of arts and culture on our local economy?Many people visit and relocate to the Sarasota area because of the rich array of cultural opportunities, such as the Symphony, the Opera, events at the Van Wezel, the Asolo, the Players Center.
Additional CommentsI grew up in a big city and had easy access to museums, theater, the symphony and other music venues. I consider myself fortunate to have had those opportunities. Both my sister and I studied piano as children, a wonderful discipline…although I was not blessed with that talent. 🙂
NameJacqueline Moore
RaceCity of North Port Commission Candidate
District or SeatDistrict Seat 2
I recognize arts and culture as a key industry impacting our local economy.5
I recognize arts and culture as a major driver of tourism in our region.5
I recognize the importance of arts/culture in our community as a key factor in developing our future growth in jobs and real estate values.4
I support the arts (music, theater, dance, visual arts and media arts) as an essential part of the basic curriculum in our schools.5
Have you served on the boards or committees of arts or cultural institutions. If so, which ones?No.
What cultural events (concerts, exhibits, etc.) have you attended this past year?The new Ringling museum
Selby Gardens
Art & Antique Center
Chalk Festival
How would you describe the impact of arts and culture on our local economy?Some say Sarasota is Florida’s “culture coast.” While I don’t patronize the arts as much as I’d like to, I deeply value the essential part of our community that they are. And we need children actively engaged and inspired throughout their lives.
Additional CommentsMarianne Williamson said, and I agree, “When our goal is for every public school in America to be a palace of learning, culture & the arts – all green, of course – think how many jobs will be created building the schools, and how much wealth will ultimately be created …”

District Seat 3

NameDebbie McDowell
RaceCity of North Port Commission Candidate
District or Seat3
I recognize arts and culture as a key industry impacting our local economy.5
I recognize arts and culture as a major driver of tourism in our region.5
I recognize the importance of arts/culture in our community as a key factor in developing our future growth in jobs and real estate values.5
I support the arts (music, theater, dance, visual arts and media arts) as an essential part of the basic curriculum in our schools.5
Have you served on the boards or committees of arts or cultural institutions. If so, which ones?None – due to my current role as an elected official.   
What cultural events (concerts, exhibits, etc.) have you attended this past year?None
How would you describe the impact of arts and culture on our local economy?North Port has local high school performances and other performances at the Performing Arts Center.  I have attended the plays at the high school level in the past.  Within a 30 minute drive, there is a wider variety of Art performances.  
Additional CommentsI strongly believe in exposure to all of the Arts.  As a commissioner I suggested we have mini performances before each of our evening meetings to showcase our youth and their achievements in dance, corale, instruments etc.  Hopefully it will gain more momentum once COVID has passed.   We also showcase Arts at City Hall each quarter.  
NameJerry Nicastro
RaceCity of North Port Commission Candidate
District or Seat3
I recognize arts and culture as a key industry impacting our local economy.5
I recognize arts and culture as a major driver of tourism in our region.5
I recognize the importance of arts/culture in our community as a key factor in developing our future growth in jobs and real estate values.5
I support the arts (music, theater, dance, visual arts and media arts) as an essential part of the basic curriculum in our schools.5
Have you served on the boards or committees of arts or cultural institutions. If so, which ones?None
What cultural events (concerts, exhibits, etc.) have you attended this past year?Josh Groban, Trans Siberian orchestra, North Port Chorale, Luke Bryan. 
How would you describe the impact of arts and culture on our local economy?The arts help tourism by attracting citizens to our community as well as shows the beauty of art which stimulates the minds of all. 
Additional CommentsI personally feel art is an important part of our community and world that makes everything beautiful.
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