It's grant season for the Commonwealth's 329 Local Cultural Councils, which means that $2.63 million of state funding is about to be infused into every city and town in Massachusetts to support local arts and history, fund school field trips, and sponsor local concerts and exhibitions.
In Medford, the pot is now $13,000 larger, thanks to some creative pioneers.
At a city council meeting in September, Maria Daniels, co-chairwoman of the Medford Arts Council, voiced the need for municipal support for local arts and cultural projects.
"We see arts and culture here in Medford as a driver of economic development," said Daniels. "We can pat ourselves on the back, but the reality is there's not funding in a significant way for these activities. We rely on state funds, and that's not enough."
Daniels certainly made a compelling case. By October 1st, City Councilors Robert Penta and Michael Marks had introduced a joint resolution requesting the city allocate $10,000 for the arts in next year's budget. The resolution to add $10,000 to $20,000 was approved with a 5-2 vote.
It all become reality during the Arts on the Mystic Festival on Saturday, October 5th when Mayor McGlynn announced the city would allocate $13,000 to the Medford Arts Council.
Read the full article in the Medford Transcript here.
At MASSCreative, we believe that arts, culture, and creativity is a public good that deserves public investment - not just on the federal and state level, but on the municipal level, as well. Just over a dozen of the 329 local cultural councils - less than 4% - receive municipal support for local arts and cultural projects. We're working to increase that number by working with local cultural councils to provide them with the strategies and backup on how to effectively ask your town or city for increased allocations to your local arts scene.
Please contact Tracie, our Senior Campaign Organizer, if you would like assistance in working with your municipal leaders to match state funding allocated to your local cultural council.