Join Arts and Culture Leaders and Supporters:  Arts Matter Advocacy Day - March 28

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Join 300 other arts and culture leaders, supporters and partners for MASSCreative’s Arts Matter Advocacy Day.

As we gear up for another budget and legislative season here in the Commonwealth, we’re reminded that democracy starts at home. Come for a day of issue briefings, networking with your colleagues from across the state, and meeting with your legislator about the importance of arts and culture in your community.

Channel your arts advocacy energy into our second Arts Matter Advocacy Day on March 28 to show our state political leaders that arts still matter in Massachusetts.

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State Proposal puts Arts Education in Curriculum Standards

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After six months of research and outreach to Massachusetts residents, on January 23rd , the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) proposed draft regulations that include access and participation in arts education as an indicator in its school accountability plan. DESE’s commitment to including arts education in the Commonwealth’s plan would put arts education back into the core learning of all Massachusetts students.

“This proposal puts arts education squarely in the core curriculum for schools and students. By measuring participation of students in arts education from grades K-12 as criteria for school success, state leaders have recognized the impact that that arts have on college readiness, school climate, and teaching our kids valuable 21st century skills,” said Matt Wilson, MASSCreative’s Executive Director.

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State House support grows for Massachusetts Public Art Program

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Just two weeks after submitting legislation, 38 Representatives in the Massachusetts House have signed on as co-sponsors to the Massachusetts Public Art Program bill, which will bring public art to newly constructed state buildings.

Emerging from a task force consisting of artists, planners, community developers, and legislators, An Act To Establish a Massachusetts Percent for Arts Program, is sponsored by Representatives Chris Walsh and Cory Atkins in the House and Senator Eric Lesser in the Senate.

Modeled on the nation’s oldest state public art program based in Hawaii, the Massachusetts Public Art Program, or MPAP, would invest an estimated $2 million dollars a year towards the creation and preservation of public art on Commonwealth-owned properties. By guaranteeing a percent of new capital expenditures being spent on projects, a guaranteed stream of revenue will be available for public art. These art projects will help to invigorate and vitalize the communities in which they are located as well as promote engagement with the Commonwealth’s civic infrastructure.

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 Baker proposes modest 2% Increase to MCC

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On, January 25, Governor Baker released his FY18 state budget proposal, recommending a 2 percent bump to the Commonwealth’s investment in the arts and cultural community. This proposal increases the Massachusetts Cultural Council’s budget to $14.3 million. Although modest, this is the first time in nearly a decade that a Massachusetts Governor’s budget has proposed an increase in funding for the Massachusetts Cultural Council.

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 Municipal Breakthrough on Arts Funding in New Bedford

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New Bedford became the first municipality in Massachusetts to create a dedicated funding stream for its city’s cultural and tourism sector, passing a local home-rule petition that commits 50% of its hotel tax revenue to the arts.

On January 13th, Governor Baker signed the legislation approving the fund, which will generate an estimated $100,000 a year to the arts community.

A number of towns and cities invest in their local arts scene and cultural institutions through yearly approved allocations from their municipality’s general fund. New Bedford’s ordinance creates a permanent and stable funding stream on which the arts community can depend on year after year.

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 Thank you, Members!

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Shout out to the organizations that recently joined and renewed their memberships with MASSCreative to support arts advocacy in Massachusetts. Thanks for all you do to build healthy, vibrant, and equitable communities through arts and culture. Our membership now represents 383 arts and cultural organizations, and individual artists and sector supporters. If you have not done so, please consider joining MASSCreative as a member organization or individual advocate

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  MASSCreative's New Digital Organizer and Operations Manager

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This September, MASSCreative hired Merissa Magdael-Lauron to direct its social media outreach and education. As Digital Organizer and Operations Manager, Merissa develops and implements digital strategy and curated social media content to support MASSCreative’s statewide grassroots advocacy campaigns. In addition to running social media campaigns, Merissa manages office operations, and supports the organization’s campaign organizing efforts. 

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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...