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Legislative candidates weigh in on statewide discussion on arts & culture

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In the weeks leading up to Election Day, the Create the Vote coalition will continue engaging the candidates on arts and cultural issues by sending them our questionnaire and setting up community meetings. We continue to hear back from candidates for MA House and Senate seats about their priorities for arts and culture in their district. Check out the highlights from the latest responses

"According to their own description, the Cape Cod Conservatory has been a vibrant part of the Cape Cod community for over half a century. They state that they offer instruction in all major instrument groups, vocal instruction and classes in art, dance and photography. They also say that the cater to all ages, all stages. Moreover, they help to provide a personalized pathway to the Arts."

- Ronald Beaty Jr (R), Candidate for State Senate, Cape & Islands

 

“The 8th Plymouth District is made up of the towns of Bridgewater and Raynham and is fortunate to have a robust arts and cultural presence across the district. Bridgewater State University, my alma mater, hosts a wide variety of cultural events including guest speakers, art shows, dance performances, musical acts and other events focused on drawing attention to the arts not only for the students of Bridgewater State University but also for the residents of the district. The university has done a remarkable job reaching out to and inviting community members to partake in the cultural events there and as the State Representative representing the 8th Plymouth I will work diligently on efforts to expand the arts presence within the district whenever possible.”

- Joseph Pacheco (D), Candidate for State House, 8th Plymouth

 

“I was fortunate to contribute to fund-raising and planning for a program that permitted two hundred fifty high school students to attend master classes with members of the Broadway cast of “Wicked”. The students studied vocal technique, ensemble performance, choreography, makeup, and special effects. Seven visiting artists provided a connection to Broadway through workshops in dance, audition techniques, scene study, and theater photography. Members of the band and chorus rehearsed with the Boston show’s musical director. The program ended with an evening concert featuring student performers and a faculty choir.  There wasn’t an empty seat in the house.”

- Karen Spiewak (D), Candidate for State House, 6th Worcester

 

 

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Boston’s next game-changer for the arts

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Boston’s next game-changer for the arts

 

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This week, Boston Mayor Marty Walsh fulfilled a pledge he made to the creative community when he hired Julie Burros to the new position of Chief of Arts and Culture. For the first time in 20 years Boston will have a dedicated Arts Chief, serving alongside 10 other advisors in the mayor’s cabinet.

Steve Annear quotes MASSCreative executive director Matt Wilson in Boston Magazine, sharing the significance of this announcement: “During the mayoral campaign, Walsh was the first candidate to pledge to hire a cabinet-level arts commissioner, and his fulfillment of that promise is truly groundbreaking.”

Boston’s new arts czar comes to the city off the heels of her success in developing a robust cultural plan for Chicago. Currently, Burros serves as the Director of Cultural Planning at the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events in Chicago (DCASE), a city that serves as a strong model of what can be accomplished in Boston. Check out our blog post from last fall where we take a look at the work of Chicago Mayor Rahm Emmanuel and DCASE in bolstering the city’s arts and culture.

Congratulations to Julie Burros, and we look forward to working with both her and Mayor Walsh to help elevate Boston’s rich arts and cultural sector. Read more coverage of this exciting development for the arts in WBUR and Boston Magazine. And check out the Boston Globe article, featuring a quote from MASSCreative board member and Executive Director of Arts Boston, Catherine Peterson.

 

[Photo: WBUR, The Artery]  

 


            

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NALAC offers Regional Arts Training Workshop

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The National Association of Latino Arts and Cultures (NALAC) is hosting Regional Arts Training Workshops to strengthen local networks and build leadership of Latino artists and Latino arts and cultural organizations. The next workshop will be held October 10-11 at Roger Williams Park Casino in Providence, RI.

NALAC workshops will offer training and strategy that applies to the current needs of artists and arts professionals. Workshop tracks for artists and organizations focus on research, capacity building, strategic planning and business skills for artists.

In partnership with the Barr Foundation, NALAC is offering scholarships for the workshop. See more information here

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mc_cms_blueSq.jpg Who are Our Arts and Culture Champions?

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Over the next seven weeks the candidates for governor, the MA Senate, and the MA House will be talking about the strengths, challenges and opportunities for the Commonwealth and debating their vision for Massachusetts over the next 5-10 years.  The Create the Vote Coalition is working with leaders in the creative community to elevate the issues of arts and culture in that debate and discussion.  Our goal is to make sure that the candidates champion robust arts and cultural platforms. 

This month, MASSCreative sent out the Create the Vote Questionnaire to the candidates running in Massachusetts House and Senate races.

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mc_cms_blueSq.jpg #ArtsMatter Highlights

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The MASSCreative team is out in the community with Create the Vote coalition partners at local arts and cultural events talking about why arts matter in Massachusetts state elections. 

Last week, we spread the word that Arts Matter to a responsive crowd at the Greater Boston Theater Expo. Working with Julie Hennrikus and Emma Putnam at StageSource we engaged arts supporters from across the Commonwealth who shared why arts matter to them, and why arts should matter in our state elections.

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mc_cms_blueSq.jpg Engage your audience with Create the Vote materials

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Get your audiences and office engaged with the Create the Vote campaign with our campaign swag. We have buttons, signs, flyers, and ads to put in your programs. 

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mc_cms_blueSq.jpg Advocacy Webinar helps nonprofits take part in political process

Yesterday, MASSCreative and the Barr Foundation hosted a Political Advocacy 101 Webinar on engaging your 501(c)(3) organization’s audience in arts advocacy during the 2014 state elections. The webinar featured speakers Kelly Bates of The Elma Lewis Center for Civic Engagement, Learning, and Research at Emerson College, Isaiah Castilla of Alliance for Justice, and Jerry Wedge of Umbrella Community Arts Center all sharing their knowledge and experience about engaging their organization in advocacy campaign work.

Check out the webinar and learn what your organization can do to elevate arts and culture during election season.  

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mc_cms_blueSq.jpg Senate President: Arts & Cultural Sector an Economic Engine

therese-murray.pngMassachusetts Senate President Therese Murray wrote a thoughtful column describing the arts and cultural sector as a powerful economic engine in her district and across the Commonwealth:

“To protect our growing creative economy, we must continue supporting important organizations like the MCC. Millions of visitors travel to Massachusetts every year, especially for our history, culture and art, and the dollars they spend here directly increase our bottom line. For that reason, it is clear that our creative sector and economy share an inextricable link. However, our creative sector offers so much more than its economic impact. It helps residents – both adults and children – to realize their true potential and create new ideas.”

Read more of Sen. Murray’s encouraging words of support for MCC and the creative community. 

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mc_cms_blueSq.jpg Baker and Coakley Win Primaries – Election Day Just 8 Weeks Away


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With Primary Day behind us, the arts and cultural community is ready to join together and work hard to make sure that arts and culture are part of the conversation leading up to the November 4th Election for the gubernatorial and legislative candidates.

In eight weeks, the Commonwealth will elect a new governor and the new senators and representatives for the next two years. Primary winners Charlie Baker and Martha Coakley will be joined on the statewide ballot by Independent candidates Evan Falchuk and Jeff McCormick on Election Day. Congratulations to the candidates, and we look forward to discussing and analyzing their arts and cultural platforms.

The Create the Vote coalition has reached out to Baker and Coakley to invite them to separate Town Hall meetings to meet and have a conversation with the community. In the meantime, make sure you look for candidates' visits to your community so you can ask them a question about the arts.

 

With the primaries over, the Create the Vote Coalition issued its questionnaire to the candidates running for Massachusetts House and Senate seats. We are looking for arts leaders and supporters to follow up with their local candidates on their questionnaires and to hold sit-down meetings with them to discuss their priorities for the arts and cultural sector.

Let us know if you want to follow up with your local candidates for state representative or state senator.

As you know, our state senators and representatives make decisions that effect the creative community, from passing the Massachusetts Cultural Council budget, to passing policy that keep arts education in schools and supports working artists. It’s up to the creative community to show that arts matter to voters and should matter in this election.

As we receive responses to the questionnaire from candidates, we’ll post them to our website and promote these responses in a nonpartisan manner to inform you about the candidates’ stances on arts, culture, and the creative community. If you’re interested in sitting down with candidates to chat about their answers to the questionnaire, share information and discuss the opportunities and challenges of the sector, please sign up here to work with others in your community.

Congrats to Rep. Angelo J. Puppolo Jr. – the first legislative candidate to answer our questionnaire. Check out a segment highlighting the impact that local cultural institutions have in his district:

"As you know, Springfield is a Gateway City, and I am very supportive of local venues including Symphony Hall and City Stage, the East Longmeadow Summer Concert Series, The Wilbraham Summer Concert Series and the Wilbraham United Players to name a few - these are great local venues that provide top notch performances but also have a great impact on the local economy in terms of economic spin off and enriching the quality of life of our residents."

 

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mc_news_blueSq.jpg #ArtsMatter Day highlights

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Happy #ArtsMatter Day! As part of our Arts Matter Days happening today and on October 24th, we’re asking folks to share why arts matter to them and why they should matter in state elections.  Arts and cultural leaders and organizations are joining the conversation and engaging their audiences in arts advocacy. Check out some of our favorite projects below and get your wheels turning for #ArtsMatter Day on October 24th! Contact Tracie (tkonopinski@mass-creative.org) if you need help formulating your plan.

Pittsfield – Berkshire Museum knows that funding for the arts is so very important to the Berkshires - that's why they're participating in Arts Matter Days. In the week leading up to Arts Matter Day, September 12, the museum posted an #ArtsMatter video from Van Shields, the executive director. Throughout the week, they invited their supporters to show that Arts Matter to them and post their responses online. Today, in the lobby of the museum, there are chalkboards asking visitors to share why arts matter to them and should matter in this election. They'll be capturing participation of visitors and staff through photos and videos and showcasing them on the museum's social media pages.

Amherst – UMass Arts Extension ServiceDee Boyle-Clapp is encouraging students in her Arts Management class to participate in ‘Arts Matter Day’ by offering extra credit to those who share their ‘Arts Matter’ stories on social media using the hashtag #ArtsMatter. 

Northampton – Arts night outPenny Burke, Director of the Northampton Center for the Arts, will be making an ‘Arts Matter’ announcement, sparking chalk artists and attendees to share their ‘ArtsMatter’ stories.  The chalk will wash away, but the message will sustain: arts matter to Northampton.

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