Columbia Council election forum on the arts set for Thursday

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Paul Lindley and his son, Ezra Lindley, 5, look at the mural that artist Ija Charles is painting at 1401 Main Street 4/6/21

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Arts and culture are part of the lifeblood of a thriving city.

On Thursday, candidates for Columbia City Council will have a chance to share their thoughts on the matter.

One Columbia for Arts and Culture, the city-backed nonprofit that advocates for the arts in the capital city, is partnering with The State and the Koger Center for a city council candidate forum at 7 p.m. Thursday at the Koger Center on Assembly Street. The event is free to attend, and face masks will be required for those in attendance.

The forum also will be live streamed by The State.

Candidates from the at-large and District 1 Columbia City Council races will be participating in the Thursday event. Seven candidates are seeking the at-large seat, which is elected citywide, and two candidates are campaigning for the District 1 seat. District 1 is located in the north part of Columbia.

The District 4 city council seat also is open, but only one candidate, businessman Joe Taylor, filed to run for it.

“This forum offers the opportunity for Columbia City Council candidates to communicate their arts-specific platforms, and provide residents, artists, and arts organizations the chance to hear directly from the candidates before the election,” One Columbia said in a release. “(Because) arts are a vital part of the city’s success, it is important that discussions are made possible to highlight the issues directly related to arts and creative practitioners.”

One Columbia will host a separate forum for the Columbia mayoral candidates at 7 p.m., Sept. 8, at the Koger Center. That forum is co-sponsored by WIS.

Columbia’s city elections will be Nov. 2, with runoffs on Nov. 16 if necessary.

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Chris Trainor has been working for newspapers in South Carolina for more than 16 years, including previous stops at the (Greenwood) Index-Journal and the (Columbia) Free Times. He is the winner of numerous South Carolina Press Association awards, including honors in column writing, government beat reporting, profile writing, food writing, election coverage and more.

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