Meet MASSCreative’s Campaign Organizer, Rachel Bird

MeetRachel.jpg

Rachel comes to MASSCreative through the JOIN for Justice fellowship, a Jewish social justice fellowship that trains community organizers at social justice organizations throughout the greater Boston area. At MASSCreative she will be working on a variety of campaigns in the arts sector, as well as managing MASSCreative’s social media and digital organizing presence.

Originally from Maryland, Rachel recently finished her undergraduate degree at Colby College, majoring in anthropology and Studio art and minoring in poetry. In college she worked in the Colby College Museum of Art and as a Studio Assistant in the printmaking department; she is passionate about accessible arts education for all. Her organizing experience includes participation in campaigns involving voter registration, women’s reproductive health, and community engagement with the outdoors. In her own art, Rachel employs a multi-media approach that combines printmaking and painting with textile work including embroidery and crochet.

read more >
Add your reaction Share

Celebrate #ArtsMatterDay: October 26

ArtsMatterDay.png

Friday, October 26 is the 5th Annual #ArtsMatterDay and we’re excited for you to join this online celebration of arts, culture, and creative expression.

Last year, the creative community took social media by storm to celebrate #ArtsMatterDay, with more than 600 participating groups and individuals. By sharing hundreds of pictures and videos – and of course, art – we showed why arts matter to us.

With active races for Governor and the MA Legislature, this year’s #ArtsMatterDay gives us a unique opportunity to invite arts supporters, voters, and candidates to share why arts matter to them. With Election Day coming up on November 6, #ArtsMatterDay falls in the final stretch of ‘Get out the Vote’ efforts for candidates. Let’s show them that #ArtsMatter to us and that we vote!

Join us in celebrating #ArtsMatterDay on October 26!

 

P.S. Looking for extra #ArtsMatterDay Materials? Reach out to sdavies@mass-creative.org to order from the supplies below!

Vintage_Gift_Certificate.png

read more >
Add your reaction Share

Cultural Facilities Fund Update

CFF_pic.jpg

We may not have won our recent fight to increase the state’s funding of the Cultural Facilities Fund (CFF), but we’re winning the war to ensure that elected officials, policymakers, and voters understand the importance of providing funding to maintain the Commonwealth’s storied theaters, concert halls, dance studios, museums, and historical sites.  

Mayors, municipalities, arts leaders, and business leaders from across the state spoke out in favor of increasing CFF funding from $10 million annually over the next five years, to $15 million. In a letter urging legislative leaders to pass an economic bond bill with increased CFF funding, they emphasized the role that these cultural facilities play in their cities and towns: “Our cultural venues are often the anchor of a neighborhood, making our cities and towns exceptional places to live, work, play, and visit,” they wrote, adding that such investments create jobs and grow local economies.

Since 2007, CFF has awarded $110 million to 853 projects around the state that have benefited organizations of all sizes. As a requirement of their CFF funding, each organization has had to raise private funds to also contribute to their capital maintenance projects. Examples include waterproofing, lighting, plumbing and flooring upgrades to the Boston Children’s Museum exhibition hall; upgrades to the lighting, energy and security systems at the Worcester Center for Performing Arts; renovations, upgrades and repairs to the Lowell Memorial Auditorium; and the restoration of the Museum of African American History’s Boston-Higginbotham House on Nantucket. All told, the organizations receiving CFF funding employ more than 7,000 full-time workers and another 25,500 architects, engineers, contractors, and construction workers, generating more than $1.7 billion in economic activity.

Ultimately lawmakers chose to reauthorize the CFF at $10 million a year. It’s not nearly enough to meet demand. A 2017 survey of 164 arts and cultural organizations by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, which administers the grants in partnership with MassDevelopment, cataloged $114 million in capital funding needs just through next year.

Still, we have already made tremendous progress. Until MASSCreative began its advocacy efforts in 2013, CFF funding was stuck at $5 million annually. Just as we have methodically worked to increase state and local investment in culture and creativity more broadly, we’re confident that we can continue to grow the state’s investment in its cultural infrastructure. In doing this, as always, we’ll be looking to you to contact your lawmakers and share your stories to build a Commonwealth where arts and creativity are an expected, recognized, and valued part of everyday life.

read more >
Add your reaction Share

Visit MASSCreative at HUBweek – October 12 

Hubweeklogo.png

Come visit the MASSCreative booth at HUBweek, a weeklong citywide festival on Boston City Hall Plaza that highlights the role arts, technology, and creativity play in the Commonwealth. Sponsored by The Boston Globe, Mass General Hospital, MIT and Harvard, HUBweek holds more than 100 events that “brings together innovators, artists, curious minds, and change makers to explore the ways in which we can shape a more inclusive and equitable future for all.” Last year, HUBweek had more than 50,000 visitors.

Along with the Museum of Fine Arts, the Boston Society of Architects, the Design Museum, and Sasaki Associates, MASSCreative will take over part of the two-story glass enclosed Hall of the Future to engage visitors in advocacy and hands on experiences around arts and creativity. You can visit the MASSCreative booth on Friday October 12 from 11-9.

You can see the entire HUBweek agenda here and you can register for HUBweek here.

read more >
Add your reaction Share

Building Public Narratives to Support the Arts and Creativity

Helping the arts and creative sector broadcast their stories of impact to the public is a cornerstone of MASSCreative’s advocacy strategy. By telling the public narratives of working artists and cultural leaders, we can better engage and influence our political leaders to bring more support and resources to the sector.

This summer, MASSCreative’s Executive Director Matt Wilson conducted a half-day training with a set of museum curators from the Peabody Essex Museum’s (PEM) Native American Fellowship (NAF) program.

PEM houses the oldest ongoing collection of Native American art in the Western Hemisphere. Beyond stewarding the collection through exhibitions and publications, PEM furthers its commitment to it by fostering and advancing the next generation of Native American leaders in the cultural sector through its fellowship. Since 2010, the NAF has gathered talented emerging indigenous scholars and cultural heritage professionals for summer-long positions within the museum.

Wilson’s training with the fellows, helped them develop their own narrative on what brought them to their work as museum curators. Said Wilson, “Telling one’s personal narrative is a leadership practice. Through narrative, we can learn to access the moral resources we need to make choices we must in response to the challenges of an uncertain world – as individuals, as communities and as nations.”

PeabodyEssex.jpg

Because it engages the “head” and the “heart,” public narrative can instruct and inspire - teaching us not only why we should act but moving us to act. We can use public narrative to link our own calling to that of our community to a call to action. Leaders can use public narrative to interpret their values to others, enable one’s community to experience values it shares, and inspire others to act on challenges to their values.

If you are interested in scheduling a public narrative training for your organization, contact Selassie Davies at sdavies@mass-creative.org.

read more >
Add your reaction Share

In the News

sept_2018_In_the_News.jpg

Pilot Program is Paying Locals to Podcast Read More

Kara Elliott-Ortega Named Boston's New Chief Of Arts And Culture Read More

Massachusetts Artists Leaders Coalition to Honor and Celebrate the Life of Liora Beer,  November 14th Read More

read more >
Add your reaction Share

Candidates Comerford, Connor, and Kline meet with Create the Vote Leading up to Primary for Hampshire, Franklin, and Worcester Senate Seat

Three candidates running in the Sept. 4 Democratic primary to represent the Hampshire, Franklin and Worcester District in the Massachusetts Senate met with members of the Create the Vote Coalition Aug. 24 at the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art to discuss their policies on arts, culture and the creative economy in Massachusetts.

The candidates—Jo Comerford, Steven Connor, and Chelsea Kline—are vying to succeed state Sen. Stanley Rosenberg, who resigned earlier this year after holding the seat for more than 25 years. Kline is the only candidate whose name will appear on the ballot; Comerford and Connors are waging write-in campaigns.  Ryan O’Donnell, another Democratic candidate is also running a write-in campaign. With no Republican candidates running, the Democratic primary victor will effectively win the seat.

Each candidate met separately with the Create the Vote Coalition to discuss their views. The following is a summary of their comments and answers to coalition members’ questions. The discussions were moderated by MASSCreative Director of Policy and Government Affairs Emily Ruddock.

Jo Comerford

Comerford discussed her background in theatre and arts education. As an actor and educator in New York City, she developed a community outreach and schools program for the Pearl Theater Company, which enabled students in the city’s schools to see plays at the Pearl. The experience of receiving a ticket to access the theater and see a show was empowering for young people, said Comerford. She also saw the importance of the arts when she started a theater program at Peter’s Place, an NYC shelter for homeless seniors, in an effort to foster more communication between residents.

IMG_0010.jpg

“The arts allow people to be at the center of their own narratives,” said Comerford.

She also believes the arts can help illustrate issues and help people better understand policy better. The arts can “empower people to understand local, state and federal government,” Comerford said.

Comerford said her campaign platform is anchored in local economic development and encouraging small business growth, including leveraging the arts and supporting creative entrepreneurs. She sees a lack of easy access to Western Mass. by performers and musicians and inadequate public transportation in the district negatively impacting the growth of the creative economy in the district, and wants to work on solving such problems.  

Coming from an artistic background, Comerford is comfortable working across differences, she said. She has “out of the box thinking, listening skills and empathy” which she believes will help her be an effective lawmaker.

She also acknowledged that Rosenberg’s leadership on arts, culture and related policy would be a tough act to follow. She said she saw the former Senate president “exercise personal and political capital” on these issues. Rosenberg’s successor, she said, will have to quickly build strategic relationships to continue delivering for the community.

Comerford also expressed interest in forming an informal group of advisors who will use their expertise to guide her on policy. She said this group must include arts and cultural leaders.

You can read Comerford’s Create the Vote questionnaire here: http://www.mass-creative.org/ctv18comerford

Steven Connor

Connor also discussed his background in theater, performing, and arts education. He said he gravitated toward theater in high school and worked behind the scenes. After serving in the Navy, Connor wanted to pursue a more creative life. He worked as a chef, attended the Actors Workshop in Boston and made a living as a balloon delivery clown. Connor later made his way to California, where he provided arts education in a day program for institutionalized people.

IMG_0038_2.jpg

“The arts gave them a voice,” he said. One client with whom he worked, for example, was non-verbal, but was able to communicate through pen drawings.

He eventually returned to the area and enrolled at UMass Amherst, where he earned a BA in theater.

Connor has served as director of the Central Hampshire Veterans’ Services for more than 14 years. He called the VA’s arts festival “vital to recovery,” for some veterans. He spoke of the arts as a tool to help people heal from trauma.

Connor grew up when the Northampton area had a more industrial economy. As industry faded away, he watched how arts and culture helped transform Easthampton.

“Arts are an integral part of our lives, whether [people] acknowledge it or not,” he said.

Connor volunteered that he does not support the Massachusetts film tax credit, a measure designed to attract the film industry to shoot movies in Massachusetts.

Chelsea Kline

Kline said the arts “are deep in my DNA.” She was raised by sculptors who made their living with a patchwork of jobs. Her father lived in artist housing in Dorchester. She’s been surrounded by creative people and artists all of her life—including her husband, who is a sculptor and teaches at Hampshire College, and her daughter, who is studying film at the same institution. As such, Kline said she knows the realities of being a working artist.

IMG_0028.jpg

Kline, who relied on public assistance as a young single mother and went on to earn a degree from Harvard Divinity School, is very focused on helping low-income and otherwise vulnerable people. Seeing art through a social justice lens, she described it as a tool to lift up vulnerable people and said “it keeps people from being isolated and keeps us connected in a deep way.”

Kline said she wants to be an advocate for Western Mass. and find ways to invest in the area and in vulnerable communities.

She sees the arts as a public good that is worthy of more investment. “The more the community funds the arts, the more that there is ownership over the arts,” she said.

She also believes that the district needs greater broadband internet access, which would help artists sell their work, build community and share ideas.

Kline also wants art integrated throughout our school curriculum. She believes that Western Mass., a culturally-rich area, could take the lead in focusing on arts education. Moving away from high stakes testing, she said, would free up tens of millions in education funding that could be re-allocated to other educational initiatives.

You can read Kline’s Create the Vote questionnaire here: http://www.mass-creative.org/ctv18kline

Participants in one or more of the three meetings included Barbara Schaffer Bacon, Co-Director, Animating Democracy, Americans for the Arts; Dee Boyle-Clapp, Arts Extension Service, UMASS Amherst; Alexandra de Montrichard, Manager of Strategic Initiatives, The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art; Jim Hicks, Executive Editor, Massachusetts Review; Erin Williams, Director of Cultural Development, City of Worcester; Emily Wojcik, Managing Editor, Massachusetts Review; Ellen Keiter, Chief Curator, The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art; Andrea Powers, Director of Finance and Administration, The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art; and Rebecca Miller Goggins, Director of Development, The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art.

Create the Vote 2018 is a nonpartisan campaign to raise awareness of the ways that arts and creative expression improve schools, strengthen local business districts, and build vibrant neighborhoods in which people want to live, work, and play. Members of the campaign are meeting with federal, state, and municipal political candidates to discuss the candidates’ views on the arts and cultural community and the role that culture, creativity, and the arts should play in state and local government.

Add your reaction Share

Seventh Congressional District Candidate Ayanna Pressley Meets with Create the Vote Coalition

Boston City Councilor Ayanna Pressley, who is challenging U.S. Rep. Michael Capuano in the Democratic primary to represent the 7th Congressional District, met with members of the Create the Vote 2018 Coalition on stage at the Huntington Theatre Company Aug. 29. As a 10-year veteran of the Boston City Council, Pressley had worked in some capacity with nearly everyone in attendance, so the format of the meeting differed from other Create the Vote sit-downs with candidates: Pressley gave an arts stump speech of sorts in which she offered her observations—both personal and political—about the way art and creativity impacts the education of young children, the health and well-being of adults as well as economic development, public safety, housing, and employment. Then she answered questions.

“I’m so delighted to be having this conversation with you,” Pressley said, noting that she hadn’t been asked about the arts during her six months campaigning. “How can you not talk about the arts at this moment in our history? When we are drinking from a fire hose of insult and assault?”

Pressley noted that she had “grown up in Chicago under some challenging circumstances.” Her father battled a 14-year addiction to opioids and was incarcerated for much of her childhood and her mother, a social justice activist, raised her on her own. She credits art—mostly in the form of books by James Baldwin, Gwendolyn Brooks, and Maya Angelou sent to her by her father, and access to a quality education that included instruction in the arts—with saving her life.

“When I first read ‘Why the Caged Bird Sings,’ I knew I wasn’t alone,” she said.

Today, she and her husband encourage their daughter to participate in arts activities both in and out of school.

As a Boston City Councilor, she partnered with community activists and the Massachusetts Cultural Council to create three new cultural districts in the city, the Fenway and Roxbury neighborhood cultural districts and a walkable literary cultural district from Copley Square to Downtown. The literary cultural district is the first of its kind in the country.

IMG_0014.jpg

Pressley also worked to reform the city’s zoning code, which prohibited art galleries from opening in some commercial districts in the city. The zoning code was rooted in past controversies around art that some people found objectionable, Pressley said.

She noted that she includes the needs of artists in all of her anti-poverty work, including affordable housing, education, and access to health care. “We need permanent housing stock for working artists,” she said, adding that many people think of artists as young, independent contractors, not realizing that artists have families.

At one point, Pressley asked the group to name who in the state’s Congressional delegation was the go-to person on arts issues. “Who do you see as the champion in the delegation for the arts because I want to best them. This is important to me. I want this to be an ongoing dialogue,” she said adding that projects led by the community and supported by the government are her “favorite kinds of projects.”

“I like that you use the word ‘champion.’ A lot of our representatives are allies,” answered Cathy Edwards of the New England Foundation for the Arts, adding that no one in the delegation was championing bold cultural policy.

As a member of Congress, Pressley said she would:

  • Ensure that a staffer in her office tracked funding opportunities for the arts in areas not typically seen as a source of arts funding such as education, economic development, and transportation.
  • Support on-going efforts, including a resolution by U.S. Rep. Barbara Lee, to add “art” to the acronym STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) to increase access to arts training and education.
  • Support on-going efforts to make higher education more affordable and permit graduates with student debt to restructure repayment terms. She said she knew many young people who wanted to pursue creative careers “but their parents won’t let them” because of the limited earning potential of careers in art. The high costs of a college education are “crushing wallets and dreams” and constraining the economy.
  • Add artists as a category of those eligible for housing regulated by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

“We have to have an integrated, innovative, comprehensive approach to solving issues of equity. We cannot deal with any of these things in silos,” she said. “We’ve been tinkering at the edges, but this is not the time to shrink or be divided. This is the time to be bold.”

The 7th Congressional District includes most of Boston, parts of Cambridge and Milton; and Chelsea, Everett, Randolph, and Somerville. Attendees at the meeting included: Matt Wilson and Emily Ruddock of MASSCreative, Akiba Abaka of ArtsEmerson, Eve Bridburg of Grub Street, Kelly Brilliant of the Fenway Alliance, J. Cottle of Dunamis, Alison Croney-Moses of The Eliot School, Emily Day of the Boston Center for the Arts, Gary Dunning of Celebrity Series of Boston, Cathy Edwards of the New England Foundation for the Arts, Michael Maso and Temple Gill of the Huntington Theatre Company, artist Elisa Hamilton, Kate Huffman of Encore Tours, Miguel Landestoy of the Community Music Center of Boston, Elsa Moquera Sterenberg of IBA, Catherine Peterson of ArtsBoston, artist activist Aziza Robinson-Goodnight, Sarah Shampnois of Company One, and Sara Stackhouse of Boston Conservatory at Berklee.

IMG_0029.jpg

The primary takes place this Tuesday, September 4. Polls will be open from 7am to 8pm.

You can read Pressley’s Create the Vote questionnaire here: http://www.mass-creative.org/ctv18pressley

Create the Vote 2018 is a nonpartisan campaign to raise awareness of the ways that arts and creative expression improve schools, strengthen local business districts, and build vibrant neighborhoods in which people want to live, work, and play. Members of the campaign are meeting with federal, state, and municipal political candidates to discuss the candidates’ views on the arts and cultural community and the role that culture, creativity, and the arts should play in state and local government.

 

Add your reaction Share

Congressman Michael Capuano meets with Create the Vote 2018

U.S. Rep. Michael Capuano, a 10-year veteran of Congress and a former mayor of Somerville, met with members of the Create the Vote 2018 Coalition for more than an hour Aug. 20. The group of 15 artists and arts leaders engaged in a wide-ranging discussion that covered everything from arts initiatives Capuano pushed in Somerville during his time as mayor, congressional funding for the arts versus state funding, the benefits of the arts and the creative economy, and how to better communicate those benefits to political leaders.

00000XTR_00000_BURST20180820174023.jpg

Capuano is seeking election to an 11th term representing the 7th congressional district, which includes most of Boston, parts of Cambridge and Milton; and Chelsea, Everett, Randolph, and Somerville. Boston City Councilor Ayanna Pressley is challenging him in the Democratic primary election Sept. 4. With no Republicans running, the winner of the primary will effectively win the seat.

During the meeting, held at 826 Boston, Capuano described himself as a “a big proponent of the arts,” and expressed a firm belief that art is good for kids, economic development and solving urban problems. He noted that he tells mayors all the time that if they want to develop their downtowns, “you need to bring in artists.” Capuano said his administration worked to make art more accessible and less “stodgy” through initiatives like the Somerville Garden Tour, and a grant program to pay artists to paint the traffic light boxes that dot intersections across the city.

“It gave artists some work,” he said. “And it stopped the graffiti problem.”

He also noted that art was a key way to connect students with school. For some, it’s sports, he said. But for others, it’s the arts and all students should have options to participate.

The congressman acknowledged that in Washington, D.C., funding for the arts is “one of the whipping boys,” among his more conservative colleagues. He said the arts community must be highly organized—as the NRA is—and vote. “So many people don’t vote,” he said, noting that one of the reasons why Congress is so polarized is because moderate Americans have largely stopped participating in mid-term elections.

He said that arts advocates can push back against misperceptions that art is of interest only to the wealthy by making themselves known in Congress. “Most members of Congress will take note if you walk into their office with ten people from the district,” he said. Even more important is having constituents explain how the arts or a particular arts organization made a difference in their lives.

He cautioned, though, that the last thing arts groups needed was direction from Congress. “All you want from us is money and freedom,” he said, noting that local officials know better than federal ones how to deploy federal funding. He recalled that many of the arts initiatives he backed as a mayor were funded through community block grants.

He noted that Congress has largely stopped funding housing initiatives and it will take new political leadership for it to get back on the agenda. If it does, he said that housing for artists should be included as a priority. Until then, it was up to local officials to come up with housing deals in economically depressed areas.

Participants in the Create the Vote meeting with Capuano included Matt Wilson and Emily Ruddock of MASSCreative, Matt Chapuran of Lyric Stage Company of Boston, Jess Drench of 826Boston, Temple Gill of Huntington Theatre Company, Kate Huffman of Encore Tours, Marinell Rousmaniere of EdVestors, Greg Ruffer of Boston Center for the Arts, Cliff Rust of the Isabella Stuart Gardner Museum, Nicole Leonard of From the Top, Taylor Mortell of The Fenway Alliance, Sara Stackhouse of Boston Conservatory at Berklee, Kevin Becerra from ArtsEmerson, and Ken Tangvik of Hyde Square Task Force.

00000XTR_00000_BURST20180820190159.jpg

Create the Vote 2018 is a nonpartisan campaign to raise awareness of the ways that arts and creative expression improve schools, strengthen local business districts, and build vibrant neighborhoods in which people want to live, work, and play. Members of the campaign are meeting with federal, state, and municipal political candidates to discuss the candidates’ views on the arts and cultural community and the role that culture, creativity, and the arts should play in state and local government.

You can read Capuano's Create the Vote questionnaire here: http://www.mass-creative.org/ctv18capuano

 

Add your reaction Share

State Sen. Adam Hinds meets with district arts leaders and submits Create the Vote questionnaire

BOSTON, August 27, 2018―Members of MASSCreative’s Leadership Council and creative leaders in the Berkshires met with state Sen. Adam Hinds Aug. 15 as part of its Create the Vote 2018 initiative. During the meeting, which was held at the Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, Hinds addressed questions from leaders of the local creative community, including Lucis Castaldo, IS183 Art School; Michele Daly, Mass College of Art’s Berkshire Cultural Resource Center; Adam Davis, Shakespeare and Company; Lisa Dorin, Williams College Museum of Art; Matthew Glassman, Double Edge Theatre; Jen Glockner, Office of Cultural Development for the City of Pittsfield; Sally and Fred Harris, Saint James Place, Donna Hassler, Chesterwood and Olivier Mesley, The Clark Art Institute.

Create the Vote 2018 is a nonpartisan campaign to raise awareness of the ways that arts and creative expression improve schools, strengthen local business districts, and build vibrant neighborhoods in which people want to live, work, and play. Members of the campaign are meeting with state and municipal political candidates to discuss the candidates’ views on the arts and cultural community and the role that culture, creativity, and the arts should play in state and local government.

As part of the campaign, a Create the Vote questionnaire has been distributed to candidates running for state legislative office this year. It seeks information from candidates about the role that arts and culture currently plays in their district; ideas they have for using art to spur economic development and address social problems; and whether they support increased public investment in the arts through the Massachusetts Cultural Council and passage of a Percent for Art Program in the Commonwealth.

Hinds’ questionnaire is available online here: http://www.mass-creative.org/ctv18hinds

Hinds is seeking a second term in the Massachusetts Senate representing the Berkshire, Hampshire, Franklin & Hampden District—the largest geographic territory in the legislature and an area with a significant creative economy. Thomas Wickham, a Lee selectman, is challenging Hinds in the Democratic primary, which will be held Sept. 4.

Wickham has not yet returned his Create the Vote questionnaire or responded to requests for a meeting with the Create the Vote campaign.

In his questionnaire, Hinds noted that he had requested to chair the Senate’s Committee on Tourism, Arts, and Cultural Development because of the central role that the creative economy plays in the Berkshire, Hampshire, Franklin & Hampden Senate District.

“Arts are central to most issues in the district. We have an economy that requires we support our arts institutions, utilize it to bolster the tourism economy,” he wrote. “A vibrant arts scene in northern Berkshire county has led to serious economic investment by outside investors. We have income levels that create pockets of at risk youth and arts have proven critical for accessing those youth.”

“Although creativity builds more vibrant, equitable and connected communities, political and policy support for the arts isn’t a given,” said MASSCreative Executive Director Matt Wilson. “It comes from deliberate, strategic organizing and advocacy by the creative community, and cultivation of municipal and state leaders. We’re excited to work with community partners across the state to ensure that the benefits of our creative economy—and how to grow it—are part of the political discourse in this election season.”

MASSCreative has collaborated with community leaders on Create the Vote campaigns in communities across the Commonwealth since 2013, when its inaugural campaign secured a pledge from Boston mayoral candidate Marty Walsh to hire an arts commissioner, a promise he fulfilled after being elected. Create the Vote campaigns have also been instrumental in persuading municipal officials in Medford and Medfield to provide matching funds for their local cultural councils. In New Bedford, Create the Vote spearheaded the successful effort to establish a dedicated arts fund using revenue from the city’s lodging tax. The fund required the support of Mayor Jon Mitchell and the City Council, along with Gov. Charlie Baker’s approval of a home-rule petition.

Last year, MASSCreative partnered with local arts leaders, advocates, artists, creative entrepreneurs and other stakeholders in 13 cities and towns and three state senate districts. Participating municipalities included Barnstable, Boston, Brockton, Cambridge, Framingham, Franklin, Holyoke, Lowell, Lynn, Newton, Springfield, Somerville, and Worcester. In 2014, Create the Vote hosted the Commonwealth’s first-ever gubernatorial arts debate, drawing more than 500 people to Worcester’s Hanover Theatre to hear candidates explain their vision for our creative economy.

“Elections are when we hear candidates’ best ideas for meeting the challenges our communities are facing,” Wilson added. “Given the important role that the arts play in educating our students, building strong neighborhoods, and generating economic activity, Create the Vote provides a valuable platform for candidates to share their ideas and policy positions on arts, culture and creativity.”

Follow the campaign on Twitter with the hashtag #CreateTheVote. You can also “like” us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter @MASSCreative, and visit http://www.mass-creative.org/ctv2018.

###

read more >
Add your reaction Share

← Previous  1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9    58  59  Next →

Community Impact