Legislature Increases Investment in the Arts by $1 Million
After six months of emails, negotiations, and face-to-face meetings, Massachusetts lawmakers passed a state budget last week which included a $12 million allocation to the arts, cultural, and creative community through the Massachusetts Cultural Council (MCC) budget.
This 8% increase in the FY2015 Massachusetts Cultural Council provides the Commonwealth with an additional $1 million to invest in our arts and cultural institutions, our working artists and our arts educators.
Back in April, the House Ways and Means Committee shocked the creative community by proposing a 54% cut to the MCC budget. In response, the community fought back and made clear to our political leaders that funding the creative community isn’t just nice but necessary.
What began as a $5.1 million allocation to the Massachusetts Cultural Council is now officially $12 million, two and half times the original House Ways and Means proposal and a $1 million increase over last year’s budget.
The victory was made possible by the actions of thousands of arts leaders and supporters who let our politicians know that finding the arts was a priority.
- More than 500 Massachusetts residents met with 33 representatives and senators out in your communities to tell them about the impact that the arts community has on our neighborhoods.
- In just four days, 3,000 emails were delivered to the State House urging representatives and senators to reverse the cuts and increase the MCC budget.
- Grassroots pressure convinced 114 representatives and 27 senators, a total of 141 out of 200 state legislators, to sign on to amendments reversing cuts and calling for increases in the MCC budget.
- Op-eds in local papers raised the profile of the creative community by garnering some great media attention on social media and in the Greenfield Recorder, Fitchburg Sentinel & Enterprise, Lynn Daily Item, Milford Daily News, New Bedford Standard Times, and the Hampshire Gazette.