Charlie Baker's Response to the Create the Vote Questionnaire

Your Personal Connection

We've all had defining moments in our lives. What personal experience with arts, culture, or creativity had an impact on your life and your view of the community?

I have unfortunately not been gifted with any artistic talent of my own, but literature and music have always been a big part of my life. I majored in English in college and am grateful for the deep love of reading that my parents and teachers instilled in me. I’m also a huge music fan. I have been to hundreds of concerts, mostly Springsteen and Dropkick Murphys shows. Arts, culture and creativity bring great joy and color to our lives and communities.


Arts Education and Programs for our Youth

Creativity and innovation are vital skills in a student’s education. While many communities provide access to quality arts education, many of our youth are still being left out of the creative community. What will you do as Governor to champion arts education for our youth both in our schools and in our communities? How will you balance the importance of arts education with the constant pull to “teach to the test”? Would you support joining ten other states in making one year of arts education in high school a requirement for admission to the state university system? Do you support adding arts into the Commonwealth’s STEM to transform it to STEAM?

I believe that the arts are an important aspect of a complete and well-rounded education and would work to ensure wide access to the arts in public schools.


Addressing the Commonwealth’s Socioeconomic Issues

Massachusetts faces many economic and social issues – job creation, public safety, education. Can you provide examples on how you would integrate the arts, culture, and creative community in solving the Commonwealth’s social and economic challenges? How would you use the creative community to drive economic development across the Commonwealth – from major metropolitan areas to the Gateway cities, rural towns, and suburbs? What are the metrics of success?

The creative community is an important part of our economy in Massachusetts. My policy proposals will provide the creative community with the ability to thrive and contribute to the state’s growth and success. By lowering taxes, easing small business regulations, and encouraging the private sector to invest in the arts, it will become easier for the creative community to buy and rent artistic spaces, fund community initiatives, and improve communities across the state.


The Administration’s Support and Role in the Creative Community

Last year, Massachusetts invested $11.1 million in organization support for the creative community, ranking it ninth in the country. The current level of in the Massachusetts Cultural Council is less than 41% of what it was 25 years ago.

  • At what level would you fund the Massachusetts Cultural Council?

I will work with the Massachusetts Cultural Council to ensure that it is receiving adequate funding to accomplish its mission.

  • At what level would you fund the Cultural Facility Fund which supports the maintenance, repair and rebuilding of the Commonwealth’s cultural facilities?

I will assess the needs of the Commonwealth’s cultural facilities to ensure that they are receiving the care and maintenance necessary for them to continue to serve the public.

  • Would you develop or dedicate a revenue stream to provide a sustainable and stable funding stream for the creative community?

I am open to exploring new and unique ways to help fund the creative community. I am particularly interested in ways that the state can partner with the nonprofit and private sectors to form new partnerships to advance the creative community in Massachusetts.

  • How would you strengthen the Commonwealth’s current administrative structure to support the creative community? What parts of your administration would work closely with the MA Cultural Council?

The importance and impact of arts and culture cut across multiple areas of state government, from economic development to education. I would ensure that all parts of my administration that touch the creative community work collaboratively with the MA Cultural Council.

  • What are your program priorities and where will the funds be allocated?

I will work to ensure that adequate funding is provided.

  • How would you promote public-private partnerships to support the creative community?

Public-private partnerships can offer unique funding formulas in an environment where public money is unavailable or insufficient. I would investigate opportunities for the state to partner with the private sector, as well as the non-profit community, to find areas where such partnerships would be beneficial to the arts in Massachusetts.


The Creative Economy

Innovation is one of the major drivers of Massachusetts’ economy. As Governor, how would you work with creative entrepreneurs and broaden your administration's commitment to the creative economy as part of an economic development strategy? How will you foster an ecosystem which is reflective of the up and coming independent creative community across the Commonwealth?

The best way to help foster an ecosystem that is supportive for the up and coming independent creative community is to provide them with the economic climate that all businesses need to succeed. I have proposed many policies to help small businesses and entrepreneurs thrive, including lowering taxes and making it less costly for businesses to operate. These policies will help the creative economy be making it easier to start and grow their businesses.


A World Class Arts Destination

While Massachusetts is known for its hospitals, professional sports, and universities, the Commonwealth has yet to fully leverage the strength of our arts, culture, and creative community as a means for tourism and branding. How would you utilize your administration to market the Commonwealth as a world-class cultural destination?

Massachusetts has been a center of arts and culture since before the founding of the United States. I would investigate ways to better market our states art and cultural treasures to the world.

Your Priorities

The start of a Governor’s tenure often sets the Administration’s tone and priorities. Which actions do you see as the most critical to initiate in the area of arts and culture within the first 100 days of your administration?

In my first 100 days I think that it will be important to take a comprehensive look at the state’s education system to ensure that there is adequate funding for all subjects, including the arts.


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