Martin Green Response

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?

For me it began when I was young, my dad was drummer in Drum and Bugle Corps, so we would attend Drum Corp International Competitions often. As an adult I was Executive Director of the Blackstone Valley Chamber of Commerce, therefore one of our missions was to promote tourism in the Blackstone Valley. In fact I was the founder of the Blackstone Valley Celtic Festival, which had a life span of about 5-6 years. The first year we drew 8,000 people with artists from all over the North East and Canada performing.


Arts and Culture in Your District

Art and culture plays a role in the Commonwealth from Boston and the Gateway Cities and our rural and suburban towns.  Please provide us with a story of the impact a local arts or cultural institution brings to your district.

The key to tourism in the Blackstone Valley is creating an experience for people to visit or attend a local attraction like the Willard Clock Museum or an event like the annual Chain of Lights Holiday event. The Chain of Lights started in Sutton and spread to other towns in the Valley. It is a day-long event in which businesses, non-profits and local organizations create a local event that attracts people form not only the host town but surrounding towns.


Arts Education and Programs for our Youth

Creativity and innovation are vital skills in a student’s education. While many communities have access to quality arts education, many youth are still being left out of the creative community. How will you 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 to make 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 program to transform it to STEAM?

My son fell in love with the bagpipes when he saw them being played by one of the bands at the first Blackstone Valley Celtic Festival, he now plays them at our church on Christmas Eve and at events at the College of the Holy Cross where he attends. Needless to say I understand the value of providing a well rounded education for our students. While I don’t know enough about the college requirement proposal, my thought is if we can allow for students who participate in different choir, theater, and other creative art activities I would consider it.  I need to learn more about STEAM.


Economic Development

Nonprofit art and cultural organizations support more than 45,000 jobs, spend $2.1 billion annually and generate another $2.5 billion of economic activity. How will the legislature foster an ecosystem which supports the creative community and industry across the Commonwealth?  

As stated earlier I understand the economic impact of the tourism and creative arts on the local, regional and state economy. We market the Blackstone Valley as the birthplace of the industrial revolution; I saw first-hand the economic impact of the marketing. It lead to the development of the Work and History Museum in nearby R. I. and the building of the Blackstone Valley Bikeway/Greenway. I was one of the founders of the Blackstone Valley greenway Challenge after I watched the Discovery Channels Eco Challenge.


Addressing the Commonwealth’s Socioeconomic Issues

Massachusetts faces many economic and social issues, among them workforce development, public safety, and health care. Can you provide examples on how you would utilize the arts, cultural, and creative community to address the Commonwealth’s social and economic challenges?  

We need to get people more engaged and connect them to local, regional and national resources. I was a member of the visioning committee that created lead to Alternatives in Whitinsville, creating a performance center in the old Whitin Mill. The key is to keep building off your local assets, historic, natural resources and creative talent to THINK BIG.


The Commonwealth’s Support and Role in the Creative Community

  • Last year, Massachusetts invested $12 million in organizational support through the Massachusetts Cultural Council (MCC) for the creative community, ranking it ninth in the country. In 1988, the MCC gave out more than $27 million in grants, more than twice what we do now. At what level would you fund the MCC?  

Keep growing it. I know it works.

  • For the past two years, Governor Patrick allocated $15 million in matching grants through the Massachusetts Cultural Facilities Fund to support the maintenance, repair, and rebuilding of the Commonwealth’s cultural facilities. At what level do you suggest the Commonwealth fund this program?

Keep growing it.

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

Yes, as long as we are not negatively impacting other critical services like schools, roads and public safety.



Do you like this page?

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...