A fine day for democracy

BOSTON, October 11, 2013 – MASSCreative delivered over 1200 signatures today to Governor Patrick’s office at the State House, asking him to allocate the remaining $26 million of the Cultural Facilities Fund.

In 2007, the Massachusetts Legislature passed and the governor signed into law, the creation of the Cultural Facilities Fund to provide resources to maintain and rebuild the Commonwealth’s cultural venues.

After an initial investment from the general fund, the Legislature allocated $50 million for Governor Patrick to invest in the Commonwealth’s facilities over five years. Yet, $26 million remains to be allocated by Governor Patrick on this program. 

“Instead of asking for another $5 million in the last year, we’re asking for $26 million,” said Matt Wilson, Executive Director of MASSCreative. “We know it’s bold, but bottom line, the governor was given the authority by the legislature to allocate $50 million from 2009-2013, yet he’s only allocated $24 million.”

 “We wouldn’t be here without the Cultural Facilities Fund,” said Troy Siebels, Executive Director of the Hanover Theatre in Worcester. “Our restored theatre has been such a catalyst for neighborhood growth and a source of community pride.”

The impacts of the Cultural Facilities Fund on the creative community are significant. Since its start in 2007, the Cultural Facilities Fund has granted millions to 269 organizations for the panning 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.

“Imagine what a $26 million investment could bring to our communities,” stated Tracie Konopinski, Senior Campaign Organizer with MASSCreative. “The visionary projects, the ones that can revitalize a neighborhood, are being funded, but not nearly to the extent that is needed to see the project to completion, let alone get it off the ground.”

Governor Patrick toured North Bennet Street School this fall to see the new home of the school, which offers public programming and public exhibition space for contemporary craft and visual arts. The purchase and renovation of the North Street buildings, were made possible through $500,000 in Cultural Facilities Fund grants. In FY13, the $250,000 grant they received funded 0.89% of the total project costs.



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