On Monday March 17, 2014 State Representative Tricia Farley-Bouvier listened to “15 representatives from local [Pittsfield] schools, theatrical groups and museums” at the Lichtenstein Center for Arts to explain their programs and need for funds. At the meeting, “Farley-Bouvier said she believes art is critical in assisting at-risk children”, and stated that “she backs the Massachusetts Cultural Council's request to increase its spending from $11.1 to $16.1 million, starting July 1”.
Shirley Edgerton, director of Youth Alive Step Team & Band, explained to Rep. Farley-Bouvier why it’s important to invest resources in children at a young age:
"We can invest in the beginning with the hope that our kids will stay on a positive road or we can invest our taxes in supporting them on the system and in the corrections system, and my choice is to invest in them now because I know they have a lot to offer us.” – via iberkshire.com
In addition The Barrington Stage managing Director Tristan Wilson went on to say that the 15 groups in attendance are all part of a larger unit that can benefit from investments:
"We are all connected -- truly an arts community. What you see [gathered] here is the payoff of past investment. – via The Berkshire Eagle
Thanks for the Pittsfield Office of Cultural Development and Berkshire Creative for their help in organizing the meeting and State Rep. Farley-Bouvier for her support in the arts.