March 21, 2017―MASSCreative announces that it will hold its second Arts Matter Advocacy Day on Tuesday, March 28. Artists, cultural leaders, and advocates will gather at the Paramount Center in downtown Boston from 10-12:30am and hear from speakers including Lee Pelton, President of Emerson College and state Rep. Mary Keefe (D-Worcester), a member of the Joint Committee on Tourism, Arts, and Cultural Development. David Howse, Executive Director of ArtsEmerson will emcee the event. Other speakers will include: Sarah Stackhouse, Chair of Theater at Boston Conservatory at Berklee; Barbara Grossman, faculty member in the Drama and Dance Department at Tufts University and Vice-chair of the Massachusetts Cultural Council (MCC); Deborah Greel, Public Art Planner, City of Salem; and Myran Parker-Brass, Executive Director for the Arts, Boston Public Schools.
At 12:45 pm, the group will hold an “Arts Matter March” to the State House. Arts advocates will meet with lawmakers at the State House to talk about the importance of arts and culture to local communities. More than 100 organizations and artists have signed up as co-sponsors of Arts Matter Advocacy Day.
“At a time when the Culture Wars have been revived in Washington, and the Trump Administration has proposed eliminating funding for the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities, we need to look to our local leadership to show support for the arts in Massachusetts,” said Matt Wilson, executive director of MASSCreative. “Across the state, from Williamstown to Provincetown, community-based arts organizations are improving the quality of life in all 351 of our cities and towns by creating events and places where people want to gather and connect. They are also driving local economies, and creating educational opportunities, particularly in under-resourced communities. Democracy starts at home, and it’s important that policymakers and legislators understand the value of investing in the arts and cultural sector, and our creative communities.”
Arts Matter Advocacy Day supports MASSCreative’s campaigns to increase the MCC budget, establish a public art program at state owned properties, and increase student participation in arts education. On January 25, Gov. Baker released his FY2018 budget with a recommendation to fund the state’s investment in arts and culture at $14.3 million. In the coming weeks, the House and Senate will release their respective budgets. Because of the positive impact that arts and culture has on the quality of life in every community across the Commonwealth, as the budget process proceeds to the Legislature, we will urge lawmakers to support a $16 million allocation for the arts in Massachusetts.
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Founded in 2012, MASSCreative works to build a more vibrant, healthy, and equitable Massachusetts. MASSCreative works with artists, leaders, supporters, and partners of the arts, cultural, and creative community to advocate for the resources and support necessary for the sector to thrive. Nearly 400 arts and cultural organizations and working artists from across the Commonwealth are members of MASSCreative.