mc_cms_blueSq.jpg Join our growing movement: Become a member today

2014 has been a great year for arts advocacy in Massachusetts.

Your financial support and political engagement provided MASSCreative with the tools we needed to lead campaigns to increase state and municipal investment in the arts, inject arts and cultural issues into the 2014 elections, and ensure quality arts education for all.

We need your help again in 2015 to continue our work to build more vibrant communities across the Commonwealth. Your support as an organizational or individual member makes our work possible.

Please join 285 other arts and cultural institutions as a member organization of MASSCreative.  Your support provides us with both the political and financial capacity we need to make sure arts and culture are a priority of the Baker Administration and the new legislature.

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[Ean Spangler for the Boston Globe] 

mc_cms_blueSq.jpg Globe calls on Governor Elect Baker to be Arts Champ

In its lead editorial in the November 16th edition, The Boston Globe called on Governor-elect Charlie Baker to be a champion of the arts in its editorial “Making Arts Policy a Priority.”

The editorial declared “arts are not merely an add-on – a luxury, but an essential component of the state’s quality of life,” and laid out a bold program for Governor–elect Baker to build a healthy and vibrant Commonwealth. The editorial was a fitting coda to the MASSCreative-led Create the Vote campaign which worked with more than 450 creative institutions to put arts and culture on the map during the race.

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mc_cms_blueSq.jpg "Good for artists, good for business, good for communities"

In the waning days of his administration, Governor Deval Patrick made a bold show of support for the arts community this week by signing a public art commission into law. Under the Executive Order, a minimum of .5% of the costs of construction and renovation of state-owned property in Boston and Gateway Cities will be dedicated to the preservation of and creation of public art.    

These direct sources of funding will help spur economic development and build a sense of community in our downtowns and cultural districts. As Gov. Patrick puts it: “Good for artists, good for businesses, good for communities.”  

MASSCreative Board Member Erin Williams, Worcester’s Cultural Development Officer, was a member of a 12 member statewide task force that developed the program for the new Public Art Commission.

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[photo credit: Brian Foote]

mc_cms_blueSq.jpg Building arts support, from Pittsfield to Boston, Lowell to New Bedford

Earlier this month, MASSCreative convened municipal arts and culture officials from around the Commonwealth to discuss their work in local communities and opportunities for collaboration.

Looking across the map, from Pittsfield to Boston, Lowell to New Bedford, there is a common narrative: the role of the arts is integral to the vitality of their communities.

Municipal officials found common ground based on the strengths and challenges in the cities they represent. From city-to-city, the local creative community is passionate and engaged, supportive and collaborative, and deeply ingrained in the region’s cultural identity. Despite this vibrancy, most cities’ creative populations struggle with funding and political hurdles that threaten their capacity to thrive and utilize the community to its fullest.

To serve these cities and the whole Commonwealth, municipal leaders agree that collective advocacy is a part of the solution to building creative, connected communities.  

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mc_cms_blueSq.jpg Trainings build capacity and skills for advocacy

Last month, Associated Grant Makers (AGM) chose MASSCreative to present on a panel of nonprofits to discuss effective use of social media. Joining Science Club for Girls and Mass Mentoring Partnership, we discussed best practices and shared case studies from our own work.

Our insight was direct and simple, asking attendees to think of their social media platforms as an extension of their organizations, a tool to accomplish organizational goals. For MASSCreative, that means using social media to propel our grassroots advocacy campaigns. And for many organizations – especially in the arts community – that means working together to prop each other up. 

On the message of supporting the whole arts community, MASSCreative and the Barr Foundation hosted a webinar to familiarize the arts community to the state budget process. 

Noah Berger, Director of the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center, provided necessary context in understanding the whole state budget and its major components. Senior Campaign Organizer Tracie Konopinski laid out the budget timeline, noting the public’s opportunities to take part. Stepping in to demonstrate how an art organization can get involved, Bridge O’Leary of New Repertory Theater shared how her organization reached out to local legislator, Rep. Jonathan Hecht, to discuss the impact of art in the community. 

If you missed the webinar and want to know how to make your voice heard in the legislative process, watch ‘State Funding for the Arts & Cultural Sector: FY16’ on our site.

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mc_cms_blueSq.jpg New Year, New Campaigns

As a new year rolls in, there will be new opportunities for arts advocacy. Calendars are already marked for January 8, the day that Gov-elect Baker takes office. In March he will announce his first budget and lay out his priorities for the Commonwealth.

To show him what we think his priorities should be, we’ll be circulating a petition urging him to increase investment in arts, culture, and creativity. Sign up here to help circulate the petition to your networks.

Following the new governor’s budget, the House and Senate will release their respective budgets. During this three-month spanning public process, the arts community will need to make their collective voice heard. Our message will come across loud and clear when we meet with legislators. Through building relationships with our elected officials, we can establish an understanding in the State House of the impact of arts and culture in Massachusetts.

Most exciting, MASSCreative will host a day of action at the State House*. This event will provide opportunities for arts leaders to meet their local legislators face-to-face. Through sharing our stories, the creative community can make the case that the arts aren’t just nice, they’re necessary

Sign up here to receive our State Arts Funding toolkit, with sample materials on how to personally and collectively engage in arts advocacy. 



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Community Impact

The Drama Studio is one of a handful of youth theatres in the United States that offers quality, range, and depth in its acting training programs. For Springfield-area youth, the Studio's conservatory program offers an unusual opportunity for training that prepares its graduates (all of whom are college bound) to...