Create the Vote 2015: Injecting arts & culture into the 2015 elections

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Elections are a great time to talk about the strengths and challenges our cities face and the vision for our community. That’s why, in 2013 during Boston’s mayoral election, MASSCreative launched Create the Vote to inject arts and culture into the conversation among candidates and voters. Since then, we’ve seen the Walsh Administration in Boston make good on some bold commitments, including hiring a new cabinet-level position for the arts, starting a citywide cultural planning process, and dedicating more funding in the city’s budget towards arts and culture.

Wouldn’t it be great if we could see that success in every city in Massachusetts? Now, with other cities embarking on mayoral and city council elections this fall, we’re partnering with arts and cultural leaders to bring Create the Vote to elections across the state.

Gloucester launched its own Create the Vote campaign on August 13, with their first Mayoral Debate on Arts and Culture, hosted by WBUR’s Greg Cook at the Cultural Center at Rocky Neck. A packed house heard several candidates support the idea of a cultural office and paid staffer for the City's arts and cultural sector. The Rocky Neck Art ColonyGloucester’s Committee for the ArtsArts Gloucester, and seARTS are busy planning for post-primary forums with candidates for city council and mayor in October.

Fitchburg Art Museum and the Fitchburg Cultural Alliance are gearing up for the launch of Create the Vote Fitchburg in September. The coalition will be distributing a questionnaire to mayoral candidates after the preliminary election and looking to make arts and culture an issue everyone’s talking about this election season.

If you’d like to bring Create the Vote to your city, check out our Create the Vote Toolkit and contact Tracie Konopinski, our senior campaign organizer.

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