BOSTON, July 31, 2016— Statement by MASSCreative Executive Director Matt Wilson on Legislature’s Override of Gov. Baker’s Veto of 55% of Funding for Massachusetts Cultural Council

“We applaud the Massachusetts Legislature―particularly Senate President Stan Rosenberg, House Speaker Robert DeLeo, and our legislative champions, Senators Dan Wolf and Eric Lesser and Representatives William “Smitty” Pignatelli and Cory Atkins―for overriding Governor Charlie Baker’s veto of more than half of the Massachusetts Cultural Council’s budget. When the news of Gov. Baker’s veto broke, the arts community was shocked, but quickly moved to action. We sent more than 12,000 messages to lawmakers requesting an override of the governor’s veto. Every single lawmaker heard from a constituent on this issue, and 135 lawmakers signed a letter and committed to the override. 

“Funding decisions must be prudent, and the Commonwealth should be investing in proven programs that make a demonstrable impact. The Massachusetts Cultural Council is a model for how public funds can be invested for an outsize impact. By funding approximately 6000 projects through the local cultural council network, the MCC financially supports arts and cultural groups in every municipality. It also makes direct grants to approximately 400 nonprofit arts and cultural organizations that, in turn, use these public funds to leverage private dollars. As a result, these organizations sustain nearly 33,000 jobs and pay approximately $36 million in payroll taxes. By creating events and performances that people want to attend, arts and cultural organizations are supporting the local economies of downtown districts in cities and towns across the state. Art in Massachusetts isn’t just nice, it’s necessary to the creation of neighborhoods in which people want to live, work, and play. We are grateful to our Legislature for recognizing this and for continuing to support the arts.” 

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Founded in 2012, MASSCreative works with creative leaders and entrepreneurs, working artists, arts educators, and arts and cultural supporters to empower creative organizations and the public with a powerful voice to advocate for the resources and support necessary to build vibrant and connected communities. MASSCreative has more than 400 arts and cultural member organizations from around the state. 

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