Peg Considine

endorsed 2014-01-14 17:50:15 -0500
Such an excellent idea- so important!!!

Arts For All Letter of Support

GOAL: 200

Support one year of high school arts education as an admission requirement to the Massachusetts state university system

Dear Carlos Santiago, Commissioner of Higher Education and Mitchell Chester, Commissioner of Elementary and Secondary Education,

Due to education reform efforts of the past 20 years, Massachusetts public schools have been required to shift focus to the “tested” subjects of reading, math, and science. This emphasis often pushes arts education to a secondary status in our students’ schooling.

Arts education — dance, media arts, music, theatre/drama, visual arts — is a necessary component for the development of the “whole child,” enabling each individual to become a productive, creative, and innovative member of society. Access and engagement in high quality, sequential arts education is essential to developing important 21st-century skills and will allow our Commonwealth to regain and maintain a competitive economic edge globally by exporting creative ideas and products.

While some districts have rich, sequential, and regular arts learning in every grade, others have limited or no arts learning. This is the case despite the designation of the arts as a core academic subject in the 1993 Massachusetts Education Reform Act’s “Common Core of Learning”. Additionally, one year of arts education is the only designation in the “Common Core of Learning” not required for admission into the state university system.

The ARTS For All Initiative would establish one year of arts education in high school as an admission requirement to the Massachusetts state university system, including UMASS. Inclusion of the arts in the criteria will encourage more students to take arts education and help make certain all students in the Commonwealth have access to the arts regardless of geographic location, ethnicity, economic level, or any other demographic status or condition.

The Massachusetts Department of Higher Education should follow the lead of ten other states and require incoming university students to take at least one year of visual or performing arts, music, or dance.

Thank you for your consideration. 


endorsed 2013-08-08 17:38:35 -0400

  Allocate the remaining $26 million to repair and rebuild our cultural facilities

GOAL: 150

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Dear Governor Patrick,

From our world-class facilities to our neighborhood arts centers and community playhouses, arts and culture have built connected communities and a vibrant, thriving economy across the Commonwealth. Our cultural venues make Massachusetts an exceptional place to live, work, play and visit.  

Yet every year, our cultural facilities continue to age. With hundreds of thousands of visitors each year, our venues are subject to wear and tear and ever-changing building codes, and require vigilance to make sure they are accessible to all.

As a coalition of arts, community and business leaders from across the state, we want to thank you for recognizing the economic and cultural value our facilities bring to the Commonwealth. Through your leadership, the Cultural Facilities Fund has granted $54.8 million to 269 cultural organizations for the planning and development of our cultural facilities in 99 cities and towns; provided 14,808 building jobs to architects, engineers, contractors, and construction workers; and created 1,412 new permanent jobs.

In 2009, the legislature provided you with $50 million in capital funds, allowing for an average yearly allocation of $10 million to our cultural facilities over five years. Your yearly allocation has remained around $5 million, leaving a reserve of $26 million in the final year of authorization.

We ask for your leadership in investing in the Commonwealth's cultural facilities by allocating the remaining $26 million of the Cultural Facilities Fund in the last year of this cycle. 


Peg Considine

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