Sentinel & Enterprise: Make arts part of the campaign for Fitchburg mayor

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FITCHBURG -- With a firm belief that focusing on a city's arts and culture community can provide a boost to local economies, a statewide nonprofit group is partnering with the Fitchburg Art Museum and Cultural Alliance to push mayoral candidates to make arts funding a part of their platform.

"We work with local art leaders to bring more resources and support to the community," said Tracie Konopinski, senior campaign organizer for MassCreative, a statewide nonprofit agency that has lobbied since 2012 for greater structural and financial emphasis on arts and culture in the state.

"We've also worked to create state and municipal funding for arts and culture," Konopinski said. "We've worked to keep arts education in schools, and we've run some electoral campaigns to elevate arts and culture in the conversation."

She said partnering with local arts groups is the most important aspect of the agency's efforts, and its success has not gone unnoticed in Fitchburg.

"It is beyond excellent," Fitchburg Art Museum Director Nick Capasso said about MassCreative's efforts so far.

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