When Maxwell Alejandro Frost is asked to reflect on how he became the first member of Gen Z to be elected to Congress, he draws a straight line back to the first time he heard Camille Saint-Saëns’ “The Swan” performed on cello.
“[It] was the first time I remember crying to music,” Frost tells Consequence. “And my dad just said, ‘It’s okay.’ Getting that vulnerability validated by my father, my dad, I think it really led to me who I am today. It made me okay with being vulnerable.”
That vulnerability has inspired Frost to dedicate his life to service, and it’s what pushed him to run to become a representative for Florida’s 10th congressional district. As a progressive Democrat, Frost supports the Green New Deal, gun control, the decriminalization of cannabis and sex work, and reproductive justice. But a lot of Frost’s politics derive from his lifelong love of music.
“One of my top three priorities for the next few months is actually art,” Frost says. While the arts conversation in Congress has typically centered on copyright law and arts education, Frost wants to focus on artists.
“We’re the only major country in the world that does not provide direct grants to independent artists, venues and festivals to help spur their business,” Frost says. “In fact, it disproportionately impacts black and brown poor and working class musicians. And not just musicians, but artists who have to fund their dreams and use their rent money or use their food money for it.”
He references Canada’s FACTOR, an artist development non-profit that has funded artists like Alvvays, Lido Pimienta, PUP, and Jessie Reyez, as a potential model to follow in the United States.