The budget released on April 10 by the Massachusetts House Ways and Means Committee recommends a 28 percent cut to the Commonwealth’s investment in the arts and cultural community by funding the Massachusetts Cultural Council at $10 million. This is a significant cut from the $14 million budgeted for the Massachusetts Cultural Council last year in FY2017.
With President Trump proposing to cut all federal funding to the arts by eliminating the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Commonwealth needs to step up, not cut, its investment in the arts and cultural sector. Governor Baker recognized that, calling for a modest increase for the Massachusetts Cultural Council in his proposed budget in January.
Two weeks ago, 600 arts and cultural supporters marched to the State House on Arts Matter Advocacy Day to rally for more public investment in the arts. Today, let’s build on that momentum and send a clear message to our local representatives by noon on Thursday, April 13 that arts matter in Massachusetts. Let’s call on them to boost state funding for arts and culture by funding the Massachusetts Cultural Council at $16 million next year. This will provide the creative community the resources it needs to continue building a more vibrant, healthy, and equitable Massachusetts.
This increased investment to the Massachusetts Cultural Council will fund arts, humanities, and science programs for underserved youth, the state’s burgeoning cultural districts, the 329 local cultural councils, our core arts and cultural institutions, and support the UP Innovation and Learning Network to make arts and culture more accessible.