BOSTON, July 30 2018—Statement by MASSCreative Executive Director Matt Wilson on Legislature’s Override of Gov. Baker’s Veto of Mass Cultural Council Funding Increase:

“We applaud the Massachusetts Legislature―particularly House Speaker Robert DeLeo, Senate President Karen Spilka, House Ways and Means Chair Rep. Jeffrey Sanchez, Sens. Harriette L. Chandler and Adam Hinds, Reps. Cory Atkins and Stephen Kulik, and Cultural Caucus Chairs Sen. Julian Cyr and Rep. Mary Keefe and Cultural Caucus Vice Chair Rep. Sarah Peake―for overriding Governor Charlie Baker’s veto of $2 million from the Mass Cultural Council’s $16.1 million budget.

“This is the fourth year in a row that that lawmakers have overridden vetoes of Mass Cultural Council funding by Gov. Charlie Baker, and the fourth year that they have done so by an overwhelming margin. The Mass Cultural Council is a model for how public funds can be invested for an outsize impact. Our state and local economies are made up of hundreds of downtown districts that rely upon the contributions of nonprofit arts organizations, who generated more than $2.2 billion in activity in 2015 alone. These organizations rely on support from the Mass Cultural Council which, in turn, is used to leverage additional, private investment. Taken together, these investments infuse our cities and towns with creative activities and events that make our neighborhoods more connected, vibrant, and equitable. We are incredibly grateful to our Legislature for recognizing this and for continuing to invest in art, culture, and creativity.”

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BOSTON, July 26, 2018—MASSCreative Urges State Legislature To Override Gov. Baker’s Veto of Spending on Art, Culture, and Creativity

BOSTON, July 26, 2018— Today, Governor Charlie Baker vetoed $2 million in funding for the Mass Cultural Council, reducing the recommended funding for the organization from $16.1 million to $14.1 million. MASSCreative Executive Director Matt Wilson offered the following statement in response:

“We are deeply dismayed by Gov. Baker’s veto of funding for the Mass Cultural Council approved by lawmakers. This is the fourth year in a row that Gov. Baker has vetoed increased funding for the Mass Cultural Council. For the past three years, lawmakers have overridden his vetos by overwhelming margins. We are incredibly grateful to state lawmakers for their continued leadership and urge them to once again fully override Gov. Baker’s veto.

“The local cultural councils and other nonprofit arts organizations funded by the Mass Cultural Council infuse our cities and towns with creative activities and events making our neighborhoods more connected, vibrant, and equitable. The benefits of these intentional investments in art and creativity can be seen in our schools and communities. Our state and local economies are made up of hundreds of downtown districts that rely upon the contributions of nonprofit arts organizations, who generated more than $2.2 billion in activity in 2015 alone. These organizations rely on support from the Mass Cultural Council which, in turn, is used to leverage additional, private investment.”

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Lawmakers Pass Mass Cultural Council Budget

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On Wednesday, July 18, Massachusetts lawmakers passed the FY2019 state budget, which includes a $16 million investment in the state’s arts, cultural, and creative community. This is a $2M increase in funding over last year's $14 million Mass Cultural Council budget and the first approved increase from the full Legislature in 3 years.

Your advocacy has shown that arts and culture help build vibrant and connected communities across the Commonwealth. This increase in state arts funding would not have been possible without the collective voice of the creative community and strong leadership in the State House.

The creative community recruited 104 representatives and 23 senators, a total of 127 out of 200 state legislators to sign on to amendments calling for an increase to the Mass Cultural Council budget.

The budget now heads to Governor Baker’s desk, where he has 10 days to sign off on the plan.

Send your state legislators a note of thanks.

 

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Create the Vote 2018

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This fall, Massachusetts voters from across the Commonwealth will decide who they want to represent them in Congress, the Governor's office, and in the State Legislature.

As creative politicos, we jump at the opportunity elections give us to engage candidates and voters around the role arts and creativity play in building vibrant, connected communities.

Earlier in July, MASSCreative issued an Arts and Culture Questionnaire to a set of candidates in key races across the Commonwealth, inviting them to share their vision for a more creative and equitable Massachusetts. As we receive responses from candidates, we’ll post them online for you to read and share with fellow voters.

This week, we’ll be officially launching our work around the 2018 elections with voters like you. Join us at one of our Create the Vote launch parties to kick off election season and learn about how you can elevate arts and culture in the conversation between candidates and voters.

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Investment in our Cultural Spaces

Investment in our Cultural Spaces

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From our world-class facilities to our neighborhood arts centers and community playhouses, our cultural venues are often the anchor of a neighborhood, making our cities and towns exceptional places to live, work, play, and visit. To make sure these venues continue to make possible the creation, practice, and presentation of arts and culture, MASSCreative is working to reauthorize and increase the Massachusetts Cultural Facilities Fund.


Created by the Massachusetts Legislature in 2007, the Cultural Facilities Fund has helped restore many of our Commonwealth’s most treasured historical and cultural landmarks, and has helped fund visionary capital projects that revitalize our communities. This year’s Economic Development Bond Bill provides an opportunity to reauthorize the Cultural Facilities Fund for another five years and increase the Fund to $75 million.To build support and momentum for the reauthorization, MASSCreative circulated a letter of support, garnering signatures from 100 mayors, city managers, chambers of commerce, and cultural institutions. This letter was delivered to leadership in the MA Legislature, where movement on the Economic Development Bond Bill is expected this week.

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Meet MASSCreative's Summer 2018 Interns!

MASSCreative is pleased to introduce our four student interns. Take a look to see how these young leaders are enriching the cultural community (and our offices) here at MASSCreative this summer.

 

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Charlie Driver, Campaign Organizing

Charlie is a rising senior at Tufts University, studying History and Political Science. His professional experience includes time in the arts as a management assistant at the award-winning Off-Broadway Mint Theater Company, and time in government, interning in New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Correspondence Unit. Charlie has a creative background in the theatre; he has been acting since elementary school, and is a member of Tufts’ drama club, Pen, Paint, and Pretzels. This summer, he is helping to organize the Create the Vote campaign by finding opportunities for MASSCreative to engage with voters around Massachusetts. He is also assisting with the planning of statewide Campaign Kickoff parties and the organization’s advocacy work to renew the Cultural Facilities Fund. He is looking forward to the opportunity to support the creative community in the Commonwealth and learn about campaign and non-profit management along the way.

 

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Emily Kibbe, Campaign Organizing

Originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, Emily is a rising junior at Tufts University, studying political science and gender studies. An arts-advocacy and politics enthusiast, Emily is passionate about connecting with people through many arts forms — especially when she's singing with her all-gendered a cappella group, Tufts sQ!. Beyond cheering on Spain during the World Cup, Emily is excited to spend this summer interning at MASSCreative as a junior organizing fellow. Working on our 2018 Create the Vote campaign, she can't wait to get on the ground and engage with communities across the state, as we make connections between arts, culture, and elections

 

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Emily Mo, Data Analysis

Emily is a rising senior at Boston University, majoring in Statistics. She is using data analysis to help MASSCreative better understand the relationship between its supporters' political and financial engagement. In her free time, she likes to produce music and learn about how data can be used for social good.

 

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Cameron O’Neill, Web Design and Planning

Cameron is a rising sophomore at Lafayette College, pursuing a degree in Neuroscience & Economics. With interests in computer programming and community activism, Cameron has merged the two together by joining the MASSCreative team based in Boston, working on website design and planning. So far Cameron has worked with several languages including Python, Javascript, HTML, and CSS in order to update current donation platforms and website resources. In addition to programming, Cameron also spends his time conducting research for new web resources and media directions for MASSCreative.

 

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Community Podcast Lab to Broadcast Stories from the Field

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Adrianne Mathiowetz Photography

In partnership with Futuro Media, MASSCreative is helping to start the Community Podcast Lab, an opportunity for people of color to craft and tell their stories for and about their communities. The project will serve storytellers from Mattapan, Roxbury, Jamaica Plain, and Dorchester.

The Lab will work with MASSCreative members and others to provide in-depth training in audio storytelling. Participants are encouraged to apply for the fall program here. At a kickoff event on May 15 at the PRX Podcast Garage in Allston, more than 50 attendees learned about the project and heard a live taping of Futuro’s podcast In the Thick.

“We want those who are not traditionally the voice of public media to own, tell, and spread their stories,” said Erika Dilday, Futuro’s Executive Director.  “We are excited to partner with MASSCreative to work with creative thinkers and doers in the area.”

The Futuro Media Group is an independent nonprofit organization committed to producing ethical journalism from a POC perspective and representing the new American mainstream. Based in Harlem and founded in 2010 by award-winning journalist Maria Hinojosa, its multimedia journalism explores and gives a critical voice to the diversity of the American experience. It is dedicated to telling stories from perspectives often overlooked.

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Take a look at MASSCreative's Annual Report

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MASSCreative’s 2017 Annual Report reviews the work of MASSCreative and its supporters over the past year to build a more vibrant, healthy, and connected Massachusetts.

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Thank you to our member organizations!

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Our work would not be possible without the engagement and support of our member organizations.  We now have over 400, which helps build the financial and political capacity we need to run our public education and outreach campaigns.  Here’s the list of our awesome member organizations, with asterisks next to our newest members.

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Partnering Arts with Community Development

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Over the past year, MASSCreative has worked with the Mel King Institute to build bridges between community developers and artists.  Watch the Institute’s video to see the promise of creative placemaking.

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