John Connolly Announces Arts & Culture Agenda

 

Tours Bartlett Yard to Highlight Importance of Community Art Space

On Saturday, September 7, Mayoral candidate John Connolly toured Bartlett Yard in Roxbury to highlight the importance of space for artists and communities to come together, and to announce his agenda for enhancing the role of Arts & Culture in the civic and economic life of Boston.

Bartlett Yard is a former MBTA bus yard that has been turned into a temporary community art space.  Connolly helped the organizers to obtain the necessary permits for the project.

“Bartlett Yard is a great success story of how the city, artists and communities can work together to create exciting and interactive art that adds to the cultural diversity of our city and improves the quality of life in our neighborhoods,” said Connolly.  “The arts enrich our lives, spark our curiosity, bring us together, and make our city a more interesting, welcoming, and vibrant place to live, work and visit.  We should be supporting arts for the social and economic value that they add to the city.”

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Create the Vote Coalition Meets With Boston Mayoral Candidate and City Councilor-at-Large John Connolly

Candidate would create a cabinet level position for arts and culture, as well as city department to oversee cultural initiatives   

BOSTON, September 5, 2013—The Create the Vote Coalition announced today that Boston mayoral candidate and Councilor-at-Large John Connolly met with the Coalition Aug. 23.

The Coalition—a collaboration of Boston’s arts, cultural, and creative institutions convened by MASSCreative—met with Connolly at HarborArts in East Boston. Representatives from HarborArts, ArtsBoston, ZUMIX, BostonAPP/Lab: Art in Public Places, and two working artists questioned Connolly about his vision for the arts in Boston.

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The Boston Globe: Let’s open the door to the arts in Boston

Boston Globe Columnist Yvonne Abraham writes about Create the Vote, Bartlett Bus Yard, the growing clout of the creative community, and the need for the next mayor to be a champion of the arts. 

"Even before the first ballot is cast, the clout of the city's cultural community is growing.  The vision thing is infectious.  And beautiful."

Read the full article here.

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Create the Vote Coalition Meets With Boston Mayoral Candidate and City Councilor-at-Large Felix Arroyo

Candidate would create a line item for the arts in the city budget and expand credit for small business owners, including artists 

BOSTON, September 4, 2013—The Create the Vote Coalition announced today that Boston mayoral candidate and Councilor-at-Large Felix Arroyo met with the Coalition Aug. 23.

The Coalition—a collaboration of Boston’s arts, cultural, and creative institutions convened by MASSCreative—met with Arroyo at Celebrity Series. Representatives from the Celebrity Series, Boston Children’s Museum, the Lyric Stage Company of Boston, and Boston Gay Men’s Chorus questioned Arroyo about his vision for the arts in Boston.

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Create the Vote Coalition Meets With Boston Mayoral Candidate and District 8 City Councilor Mike Ross

Candidate would dedicate one percent of linkage funds from private development to support arts and culture; outlines vision for how arts advocacy should work with other policy initiatives 

BOSTON, September 3, 2013—The Create the Vote Coalition announced today that Boston mayoral candidate and District 8 City Councilor Mike Ross met with the Coalition Aug. 22.

The Coalition—a collaboration of Boston’s arts , cultural, and creative institutions convened by MASSCreative—met with Ross at the Lyric Stage Company of Boston. Representatives from the Celebrity Series, Huntington Theatre, Stage Source, the Lyric Stage Company, and BostonAPP/Lab: Art in Public Places questioned Ross about his vision for the arts in Boston.

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Rob Consalvo's Responses to the Create The Vote Questionnaire

Addressing Citywide Issues: Just as any other major city, Boston faces many economic and social issues. Can you provide examples on how you would integrate the arts, culture, and creative community in solving social problems? How would you use our community to drive economic development in the city? 

I recently visited Artists for Humanity in South Boston. I was impressed by their approach. Each school year they offer paid apprenticeships to urban teens. The neighborhood kids advance through a series of orientations and then are free to create, market and sell their work. The energy in the building is impressive and the skills they build are real. When I visited I could see the kids working individually and in teams in various mediums: painting, screen printing, digital media, web design, etc. The leadership of the organization really cares and told stories of kids who were not doing well in school but when they came to Artists for Humanity discovered they had a talent not previously recognized. This talent turned into a skill and the skill turned into a productive self- image.

Another group is Spontaneous Celebrations in Jamaica Plain who engage youth and adults in creative community building through its programs and festivals. They have been doing this for many years. In both cases, these organizations drive economic development. Spontaneous Celebrations provides artists an outlet to sell their work at their festivals and events and Artists for Humanity helps build job skills and then provides opportunities for youth to negotiate a deal in the market and sell their work.

These grassroots models are instructive and I think there is certainly room for more. If they strike a resonant chord in one neighborhood of Boston there is a good chance it will resonate in another neighborhood. One way to encourage good ideas and share program successes is to bring people together to learn from each other. A Boston cultural economic development summit could be a good start. This would include the diverse set of cultural institutions in Boston. Such a summit could explore the potential already here and how we can further economic benefit and social connection.

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Statement by MASSCreative on Sept. 9 Mayoral Candidate Forum on Arts, Culture, and Creativity

BOSTON, August 29, 2013—Yesterday, MASSCreative re-confirmed the participation of seven candidates running for mayor of Boston in the Create the Vote Coalition’s long-planned Mayoral Candidate Forum on Arts, Culture, and Creativity. A second mayoral debate, announced last week and organized by the Boston Herald, NECN, and Suffolk University, would have conflicted with the arts forum. After candidates pledged to keep their commitment to the Mayoral Candidate Forum on Arts, Culture, and Creativity, the media organizations changed the time of their debate so that it no longer interfered with the Mayoral Candidate Forum on Arts, Culture, and Creativity.

Matt Wilson, Executive Director of MASSCreative, the organizer of the Create the Vote Coalition, offered the following statement in response:

“We are pleased that all of the candidates running for mayor who had originally pledged to participate in the Boston Mayoral Candidate Forum on Arts, Culture, and Creativity kept their promise. This action, along with what we are learning from the candidates during our individual meetings with them, shows a deep and growing political commitment to the issues of arts, culture and creativity. 

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Nuamkeag Gardens Get Extreme Makeover

"The Trustees of Reservations was recently awarded a grant in support of its restoration of the Afternoon Garden at Naumkeag.  This favorite spot was designed between 1926 and 1928 as a collaboration between Mabel Choate and Fletcher Steele, and remains a favorite spot for visitors to rest today as they tour the Naumkeag grounds in Stockbridge. 
We could not undertake any of our restoration projects without the support of this and other state funding.  The projects are costly, complicated and important to the integrity of these heritage sites.  Designated a National Landmark, Naumkeag has been recognized for its national significance, yet it is the state-wide funds that have been our most treasured public supporters.  Naumkeag draws thousands of tourists to Stockbridge every year (as of this writing we have hosted over 7,000 this year).  As one of many cultural institutions in the Berkshires, this region more than any other understands the value of culture and nature as it drives the region’s economy. 
The support of the Afternoon Garden restoration is Phase 2 of a five-phase restoration program for the gardens, scheduled for completion in 2016.  The funds are a key piece of the larger project, used to leverage private donations, grant and foundation support for this important work. As we bring each of our culturally significant properties to life, the Cultural Facilities Fund is an integral part of our funding strategy. Just as art influences nature and nature influences art, the symbiotic balance between state and private funding maximizes the value of each individual dollar.   As we work to preserve the Commonwealth’s great heritage, and promote its artistic and cultural value, we are looking to do more than preserve a great landmark, we are looking to bring it alive, to spark the colors of community life."
- Cindy, The Trustees of Reservations

Visit the Garden's site here to earn more
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Famous Sculptor's Home in Stockbridge Rehabilitated

Daniel Chester French was the foremost American sculptor of public monuments including the Minute Man in Concord, MA and the Abraham Lincoln for the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC.  Last year, Chesterwood, a Site of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, was awarded a MCC Cultural Facilities Fund grant of $250,000.  

Located in Stockbridge, MA, Chesterwood reflects the rich cultural heritage of the Commonwealth and presents another opportunity to preserve our history. It's one of many locations around the state where investment in cultural facilities is an integral part of the community. 

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Statement by MASSCreative on Boston Media Consortium Decision To Hold Debate Conflicting With Create the Vote Mayoral Forum

August 27, 2013—Today, the Boston Media Consortium announced that it would hold a televised debate among the candidates for mayor of Boston. The event conflicts with Create the Vote’s Boston Mayoral Candidate Forum on Arts, Culture, and Creativity set to take place Sept. 9 at 6pm at the Paramount Theatre.

Mayoral candidates Felix Arroyo, John Barros, John Connolly, Marty Walsh, Charlotte Golar Richie, Mike Ross, and Bill Walzcak have already confirmed their attendance at the Mayoral Candidate Forum on Arts, Culture, and Creativity. More than 325 residents have RSVP’d for the event, including most of the nearly 60 arts and cultural leaders who signed an open letter to the candidates inviting them to the discussion, which is to be moderated by Joyce Kulhawik, President of the Boston Theater Critics Association and JoycesChoices.com. 

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