On Wednesday, March 5th, the House of Representatives approved a $1.12 billion capital spending bill (Bill 3920) with a final vote tally of 148-2. Among other things, the bill included a $50 million item that will be given specifically to refund the Massachusetts Cultural Fund. Representative Peter Kocot (D-Northampton) stated that almost the entirety of the house showed support for arts programs and cultural tourism, claiming the economic rewards for other businesses such as hotels and restaurants: “We need our theaters, art galleries, performance spaces and the artists that use them to be able to reach their full potential.”
Also notable in the bill was an allocation of $24 million for the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA), which currently attracts over 125,000 visitors annually in addition to supporting 600 jobs. While the area has noticed a significant decrease in population over the past 40 years, the museum continues to encourage investment and development in the area. Kocot claims: “The community is a clear indicator of the commerce of culture in the year of 2014.”
Read the full article and see a further breakdown of the bill’s allocations.
Also, check out our work organizing the grassroots community over social media in support of Amendment #1 to the bill.