Boston Now Has a Cultural Plan
On June 17, the city of Boston released “Boston Creates: A Time for Action,” a cultural plan for the city. It was created after gathering public input over a one-year period, and is a 10-year roadmap for creating a more culturally vibrant city.
The plan is a strong show of support for the arts, which was a central theme of Marty Walsh’s 2013 mayoral campaign. The plan confirms what the arts community has long known: there is a great hunger within the city to maximize the potential of the arts to build and strengthen our neighborhoods, schools, and economic health.
The Huntington Theatre Company is keeping its home on Huntington Avenue
Ending more than eight months of uncertainty, Mayor Marty Walsh helped broker a deal this month with the Huntington Theatre Company and the real estate development group QMG Huntington LLC to keep the city’s largest theater company in its mainstage home on the Avenue of the Arts in the South End of Boston.
Over the past several months, the #HuntingtononHuntington coalition―MASSCreative, ArtsBoston, StageSource, and The Fenway Alliance―rallied public support to keep the Huntington Theatre Company in its home on Huntington Avenue. Nearly 3,000 artists, Boston residents, and cultural leaders publicly voiced their support to keep the Huntington Theatre Company on Huntington Avenue by signing on to a statement of support and sharing stories about the Huntington’s value to the community.
Americans for the Arts Convention brings national arts leaders to Boston
On June 17 - 19, Americans for the Arts held its national convention in Boston, and more than 200 leaders of the local arts community showed up in full force to represent arts and culture in Massachusetts. The conference was packed with dynamic speakers and performances (including Boston’s own Genki Spark drummers, MassLEAP youth slam poetry team, and Boston Arts Academy’s chorus). Amongst other speeches and presentations, Mayor Marty Walsh announced the details of his Boston Cultural Plan, marking an important stage in the Boston Creates process.
Budget Update: Just a couple of steps away from the final MCC budget
So far, the arts community’s collective advocacy has helped fight off a cut to the FY17 MA Cultural Council, and get the budget back on track for an increase. Now we’re just a couple steps away from a final budget.
In July, the House and Senate Conference Committee will meet to decide at what level it will fund the Massachusetts Cultural Council budget -- whether it’s the $12 million in the House budget version, the $15 million budget in the senate version, or something in between. We’ll let you know as soon as we hear what the Conference Committee decides. In the meantime, stay tuned for our advocacy alert.
MASSCreative tours Advocacy Gatherings across the state
Throughout May and June, MASSCreative met with supporters in five areas across Massachusetts — Springfield, Worcester, Duxbury, New Bedford and Newburyport – to boost the advocacy capacity of the arts and cultural sector. Through guided discussion, we gauged the challenges to build a strong arts environment in each city, and learned about exciting opportunities to work together as advocates.
Additionally, our team led workshops to help participants build their advocacy toolkits. Executive Director Matt Wilson encouraged participants to reflect on their personal story and see storytelling as a way to gain support for the work they’re doing; Senior Campaign Organizer Tracie Konopinski led attendees through the process of running a successful campaign, such as a Create The Vote campaign; Program Associate Drew Esposito trained attendees on creating social media successful social media strategy using their online platforms to elevate not just themselves, but their whole community.
Creating Connection: Arts Leaders Convene to Discuss How to Build ‘Public Will’ for the Creative Community
On June 1, more than 200 arts leaders gathered in Emerson College’s Paramount Theater for “Creating Connection”, a forum to discuss building public will for arts and culture. Using data collected by the Metropolitan Group and Arts Midwest, the discussion centered around how to build broad based long-term support for the arts by tapping into people’s core values on creativity and connection.
“Many of our leaders and the general public look at the arts as ‘nice but not necessary’. We need to do a better job at telling the stories of the impact of the arts to the broader population to highlight how the arts connect us on so many different levels,” said MASSCreative Executive Director Matt Wilson. MASSCreative co-hosted the events that were sponsored by the Barr Foundation and the Bloomberg Foundation.
Welcome New Members
Shout out to the organizations that just joined MASSCreative to support arts advocacy in Massachusetts. Thanks for all you do to build healthy, vibrant, and equitable communities through arts and culture.
Please consider joining MASSCreative as a member organization or individual advocate.