Mayoral Forum on the Arts To Be Held Sept. 9 At Paramount Theatre with Moderator Joyce Kulhawik

Create the Vote Coalition wants to hear candidates’ vision for the arts and culture in Boston


BOSTON, August 22, 2013—Create the Vote, a coalition of Boston arts, cultural, and creative institutions, announced today that it will host the Boston Mayoral Candidate Forum on Arts, Culture, and Creativity. Joyce Kulhawik, President of the Boston Theater Critics Association and, will moderate the forum, which will foster discussion of mayoral candidates’ vision for the arts and culture in Boston. The forum will take place at the Paramount Theatre on Washington Street on Monday, September 9 from 6-7:30pm. All members of the public are invited to attend.

Mayoral candidates Felix Arroyo, John Barros, John Connolly, Mike Ross, Charlotte Golar Richie, Marty Walsh, and Bill Walczak have confirmed their attendance at the debate. 

“The next mayor of Boston needs to be a champion of the arts,” said Matt Wilson, executive director of MASSCreative, the convening member of the Create the Vote Coalition. “Today, the city’s approach to the arts is largely piecemeal and transactional. We need a mayor who will implement a bold vision that will bring increased public support and resources to the creative sector to increase its reach and impact throughout the city.”

“For far too long, arts have been seen as nice but not necessary. Yet we know that arts and cultural activities increase learning among students from all backgrounds, can be critical tools for reducing youth violence, and are a cornerstone of the region’s economy. It’s time to bring a strategic vision to the city’s approach to arts and culture,” said Jill Medvedow, Ellen Matilda Poss Director of the Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston.

“This election has enormous potential to jumpstart a new conversation about how important the arts are to Boston,” added Catherine Peterson, Executive Director of ArtsBoston and a MASSCreative Board member. “We need the next mayor to be a catalyst for fresh, big-picture thinking about the arts, someone we’ll see in the audience, and to advocate for more funding to help the sector grow and thrive so that we can bring even more value to the city and its neighborhoods.”

“We believe in the community-building power of art, particularly its ability to  connect us more deeply to each other,” said  David C. Howse, executive director of the Boston Children’s Chorus. “We want to engage in a robust conversation about how arts and culture can make the city an even stronger community than it already is.”

Medvedow, Peterson, and Howse were among the 56 arts and cultural leaders in the city of Boston who signed an invitation to mayoral candidates to participate in the Boston Mayoral Candidate Forum on Arts, Culture, and Creativity.

In addition to hosting the September 9 mayoral forum, the Create the Vote Coalition is meeting with candidates and sharing what they learn from these meetings with the public. For more information about the coalition and the Create the Vote campaign, visit


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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.

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