Artists, mayors, organizations to mark ‘Arts Matter Day’ Oct. 26

More than 600 artists, organizations, advocates, and leaders statewide will participate to celebrate creativity in our communities

October 3, 2018—MASSCreative announces that Arts Matter Day, an online celebration of arts, culture, and creative expression, will take place Friday, October 26. More than 600 artists, arts and cultural organizations, creative leaders, and advocates across the state will mark the day by holding events or participating in the #ArtsMatterDay social media campaign to celebrate creativity in our communities and show the power of art in our lives.

“With competitive campaigns underway for governor and the Massachusetts Legislature, this year’s Arts Matter Day is an opportunity for voters to share their passion for arts, culture, and creativity with the candidates, and for candidates to also share why art matters to them,” said Matt Wilson, executive director of MASSCreative.

On Arts Matter Day, the Jewish Arts Collaborative will present Arts Matter Shabbat, a celebration of Jewish journeys through the arts at local synagogues and organizations in Boston, Brookline, Needham, Newton, Sudbury, Swampscott, Wayland, and Wellesley.

In New Bedford, the New Bedford Art Museum, AHA! New Bedford, Destination New Bedford, and New Bedford Arts and Culture are organizing local artists and politicians to gather for a community photo.

“It’s hard to imagine community life without creativity. Concerts, plays, and even displays of student artwork in public places brighten our environments,” added Wilson. “Community-based arts organizations are integral to educating our children, growing local economies, and creating places and experiences that strengthen our neighborhoods and improve our quality of life.”

Last year, the creative community shared more than 15,000 photos, videos, and messages on social media showing why arts matter. Launched in October 2014, Arts Matter Days are an opportunity to educate the public and political leaders about the need to support artists and arts organizations. Past Arts Matter Days have featured a host of arts programming around the Commonwealth, as well as social media campaigns targeting candidates for gubernatorial, legislative, and municipal office with emails, videos, and posts demonstrating the impact of arts and culture in Massachusetts.

###

Read more
Add your reaction Share

State Sen. Adam Hinds meets with district arts leaders and submits Create the Vote questionnaire

BOSTON, August 27, 2018―Members of MASSCreative’s Leadership Council and creative leaders in the Berkshires met with state Sen. Adam Hinds Aug. 15 as part of its Create the Vote 2018 initiative. During the meeting, which was held at the Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, Hinds addressed questions from leaders of the local creative community, including Lucis Castaldo, IS183 Art School; Michele Daly, Mass College of Art’s Berkshire Cultural Resource Center; Adam Davis, Shakespeare and Company; Lisa Dorin, Williams College Museum of Art; Matthew Glassman, Double Edge Theatre; Jen Glockner, Office of Cultural Development for the City of Pittsfield; Sally and Fred Harris, Saint James Place, Donna Hassler, Chesterwood and Olivier Mesley, The Clark Art Institute.

Create the Vote 2018 is a nonpartisan campaign to raise awareness of the ways that arts and creative expression improve schools, strengthen local business districts, and build vibrant neighborhoods in which people want to live, work, and play. Members of the campaign are meeting with state and municipal political candidates to discuss the candidates’ views on the arts and cultural community and the role that culture, creativity, and the arts should play in state and local government.

As part of the campaign, a Create the Vote questionnaire has been distributed to candidates running for state legislative office this year. It seeks information from candidates about the role that arts and culture currently plays in their district; ideas they have for using art to spur economic development and address social problems; and whether they support increased public investment in the arts through the Massachusetts Cultural Council and passage of a Percent for Art Program in the Commonwealth.

Hinds’ questionnaire is available online here: http://www.mass-creative.org/ctv18hinds

Hinds is seeking a second term in the Massachusetts Senate representing the Berkshire, Hampshire, Franklin & Hampden District—the largest geographic territory in the legislature and an area with a significant creative economy. Thomas Wickham, a Lee selectman, is challenging Hinds in the Democratic primary, which will be held Sept. 4.

Wickham has not yet returned his Create the Vote questionnaire or responded to requests for a meeting with the Create the Vote campaign.

In his questionnaire, Hinds noted that he had requested to chair the Senate’s Committee on Tourism, Arts, and Cultural Development because of the central role that the creative economy plays in the Berkshire, Hampshire, Franklin & Hampden Senate District.

“Arts are central to most issues in the district. We have an economy that requires we support our arts institutions, utilize it to bolster the tourism economy,” he wrote. “A vibrant arts scene in northern Berkshire county has led to serious economic investment by outside investors. We have income levels that create pockets of at risk youth and arts have proven critical for accessing those youth.”

“Although creativity builds more vibrant, equitable and connected communities, political and policy support for the arts isn’t a given,” said MASSCreative Executive Director Matt Wilson. “It comes from deliberate, strategic organizing and advocacy by the creative community, and cultivation of municipal and state leaders. We’re excited to work with community partners across the state to ensure that the benefits of our creative economy—and how to grow it—are part of the political discourse in this election season.”

MASSCreative has collaborated with community leaders on Create the Vote campaigns in communities across the Commonwealth since 2013, when its inaugural campaign secured a pledge from Boston mayoral candidate Marty Walsh to hire an arts commissioner, a promise he fulfilled after being elected. Create the Vote campaigns have also been instrumental in persuading municipal officials in Medford and Medfield to provide matching funds for their local cultural councils. In New Bedford, Create the Vote spearheaded the successful effort to establish a dedicated arts fund using revenue from the city’s lodging tax. The fund required the support of Mayor Jon Mitchell and the City Council, along with Gov. Charlie Baker’s approval of a home-rule petition.

Last year, MASSCreative partnered with local arts leaders, advocates, artists, creative entrepreneurs and other stakeholders in 13 cities and towns and three state senate districts. Participating municipalities included Barnstable, Boston, Brockton, Cambridge, Framingham, Franklin, Holyoke, Lowell, Lynn, Newton, Springfield, Somerville, and Worcester. In 2014, Create the Vote hosted the Commonwealth’s first-ever gubernatorial arts debate, drawing more than 500 people to Worcester’s Hanover Theatre to hear candidates explain their vision for our creative economy.

“Elections are when we hear candidates’ best ideas for meeting the challenges our communities are facing,” Wilson added. “Given the important role that the arts play in educating our students, building strong neighborhoods, and generating economic activity, Create the Vote provides a valuable platform for candidates to share their ideas and policy positions on arts, culture and creativity.”

Follow the campaign on Twitter with the hashtag #CreateTheVote. You can also “like” us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter @MASSCreative, and visit http://www.mass-creative.org/ctv2018.

###

Read more
Add your reaction Share

BOSTON, August 27, 2018 - MASSCreative Announces New Policy and Government Affairs Director

BOSTON, August 27, 2018—MASSCreative announces today that it has named Emily Ruddock as its new Director of Policy and Government Affairs, where she will advance MASSCreative’s policy platform with government officials, opinion leaders, and advocacy partners. MASSCreative hired Ruddock in 2017 as a program advocate but promoted her in less than a year to direct the organization’s policy and government advocacy efforts. She brings 13 years of experience working in strategic and management positions for non-profit arts organizations, including government service as the first director of the City of Lynn’s Downtown Cultural District. In her role as director of policy and government affairs, Ruddock will continue this work on a broader scale.

“Emily is a skilled communicator and leader who can bring people together to get things done. Her passion for the arts and arts advocacy is palpable,” said Matt Wilson, MASSCreative’s executive director. “MASSCreative has made great gains at the State House and in the broader political realm, advocating for arts and creativity as a path to prosperity and better quality of life in the Commonwealth. But political and policy support for arts, culture, and creativity is never a given. It requires ongoing organizing and advocacy and the continued cultivation of municipal and state leaders. Emily is the perfect person to lead us in this work.”

Before joining MASSCreative, Ruddock was the artistic producer at Merrimack Repertory Theatre (MRT), where she managed the day-to-day operations of the Artistic Department, including all hiring, resource logistics, and budgeting for at least three annual theatrical productions. She also developed and supervised MRT’s first education department-focused effort, strengthening partnerships with local social service organizations and schools.

As director of Lynn’s Downtown Cultural District, Ruddock was highly regarded by city officials and local arts leaders for her leadership in coordinating arts and cultural organizations for neighborhood revitalization and economic development. Ruddock worked with elected city and state officials on a range of projects to promote downtown Lynn and the arts community, including drafting legislation establishing the city’s first Public Art Commission. She also organized and executed free public events featuring local arts and community groups.

Ruddock holds a BA in Critical Social Thought from Mount Holyoke College and a Master’s in Public Administration from the Maxwell School at Syracuse University.

Read more
1 reaction Share

BOSTON, July 30 2018—Statement by MASSCreative Executive Director Matt Wilson on Legislature’s Override of Gov. Baker’s Veto of Mass Cultural Council Funding Increase:

“We applaud the Massachusetts Legislature―particularly House Speaker Robert DeLeo, Senate President Karen Spilka, House Ways and Means Chair Rep. Jeffrey Sanchez, Sens. Harriette L. Chandler and Adam Hinds, Reps. Cory Atkins and Stephen Kulik, and Cultural Caucus Chairs Sen. Julian Cyr and Rep. Mary Keefe and Cultural Caucus Vice Chair Rep. Sarah Peake―for overriding Governor Charlie Baker’s veto of $2 million from the Mass Cultural Council’s $16.1 million budget.

“This is the fourth year in a row that that lawmakers have overridden vetoes of Mass Cultural Council funding by Gov. Charlie Baker, and the fourth year that they have done so by an overwhelming margin. The Mass Cultural Council is a model for how public funds can be invested for an outsize impact. Our state and local economies are made up of hundreds of downtown districts that rely upon the contributions of nonprofit arts organizations, who generated more than $2.2 billion in activity in 2015 alone. These organizations rely on support from the Mass Cultural Council which, in turn, is used to leverage additional, private investment. Taken together, these investments infuse our cities and towns with creative activities and events that make our neighborhoods more connected, vibrant, and equitable. We are incredibly grateful to our Legislature for recognizing this and for continuing to invest in art, culture, and creativity.”

###

Read more
Add your reaction Share

BOSTON, July 26, 2018—MASSCreative Urges State Legislature To Override Gov. Baker’s Veto of Spending on Art, Culture, and Creativity

BOSTON, July 26, 2018— Today, Governor Charlie Baker vetoed $2 million in funding for the Mass Cultural Council, reducing the recommended funding for the organization from $16.1 million to $14.1 million. MASSCreative Executive Director Matt Wilson offered the following statement in response:

“We are deeply dismayed by Gov. Baker’s veto of funding for the Mass Cultural Council approved by lawmakers. This is the fourth year in a row that Gov. Baker has vetoed increased funding for the Mass Cultural Council. For the past three years, lawmakers have overridden his vetos by overwhelming margins. We are incredibly grateful to state lawmakers for their continued leadership and urge them to once again fully override Gov. Baker’s veto.

“The local cultural councils and other nonprofit arts organizations funded by the Mass Cultural Council infuse our cities and towns with creative activities and events making our neighborhoods more connected, vibrant, and equitable. The benefits of these intentional investments in art and creativity can be seen in our schools and communities. Our state and local economies are made up of hundreds of downtown districts that rely upon the contributions of nonprofit arts organizations, who generated more than $2.2 billion in activity in 2015 alone. These organizations rely on support from the Mass Cultural Council which, in turn, is used to leverage additional, private investment.”

###

Read more
1 reaction Share

July 19, 2018 - MASSCreative launches Create the Vote 2018 in communities across the state

BOSTON, July 19, 2018—MASSCreative announces today that Create the Vote 2018 will launch next week with events in Boston, Easthampton, Lowell, New Bedford, North Adams, Somerville, and Worcester. Create the Vote is a non-partisan, grassroots campaign to engage voters and candidates for office in Massachusetts on the vital role that arts, culture and creative expression play in improving our schools, strengthening our economy, and building neighborhoods where people want to live, work, and play.

During Create the Vote campaigns, local advocates encourage candidates to develop cultural policies for their cities, towns, and school districts, and to lead by example by convening community leaders on the arts and by attending arts and cultural events. Create the Vote campaigns include public meetings with candidates, artists, and cultural leaders; candidate debates and forums; and publicizing candidates’ answers to a questionnaire about the arts.

“Although creativity builds more vibrant, equitable and connected communities, political and policy support for the arts isn’t a given,” said MASSCreative Executive Director Matt Wilson. “It comes from deliberate, strategic organizing and advocacy by the creative community, and cultivation of municipal and state leaders. We’re excited to work with community partners across the state to ensure that the benefits of our creative economy—and how to grow it—are part of the political discourse in this election season.”

MASSCreative has collaborated with community leaders on Create the Vote campaigns in communities across the Commonwealth since 2013, when its inaugural campaign secured a pledge from Boston mayoral candidate Marty Walsh to hire an arts commissioner, a promise he fulfilled after being elected. Create the Vote campaigns have also been instrumental in persuading municipal officials in Medford and Medfield to provide matching funds for their local cultural councils. In New Bedford, Create the Vote spearheaded the successful effort to establish a dedicated arts fund using revenue from the city’s lodging tax. The fund required the support of Mayor Jon Mitchell and the City Council, along with Gov. Charlie Baker’s approval of a home-rule petition.

Last year, MASSCreative partnered with local arts leaders, advocates, artists, creative entrepreneurs and other stakeholders in 13 cities and towns and three state senate districts. Participating municipalities included Barnstable, Boston, Brockton, Cambridge, Framingham, Franklin, Holyoke, Lowell, Lynn, Newton, Springfield, Somerville, and Worcester. In 2014, Create the Vote hosted the Commonwealth’s first-ever gubernatorial arts debate, drawing more than 500 people to Worcester’s Hanover Theatre to hear candidates explain their vision for our creative economy.

“Elections are when we hear candidates’ best ideas for meeting the challenges our communities are facing,” Wilson added. “Given the important role that art plays in educating our students, building strong neighborhoods, and generating economic activity, Create the Vote provides a valuable platform for candidates to share their ideas and policy positions on arts, culture and creativity.”

Follow the campaign on Twitter with the hashtag #CreateTheVote. You can also “like” us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter @MASSCreative, and visit http://www.mass-creative.org/ctv.

###

Read more
Add your reaction Share

BOSTON, July 18, 2018 - MASSCreative Urges Governor Baker to Approve Arts Funding Increase

Today, the Massachusetts Legislature approved the Conference Committee’s FY19 budget recommendations, which include a $2 million increase for the Mass Cultural Council to bring the state’s investment in arts, culture, and creativity to $16.1 million. MASSCreative Executive Director Matt Wilson offered the following statement in response:

“We’re incredibly thankful to House Speaker Robert DeLeo, Senate President Harriette L. Chandler, Ways and Means Chairs Sen. Karen Spilka and Rep. Jeffrey Sanchez, Reps. Cory Atkins and Stephen Kulik and Sen. Adam Hinds, and Cultural Caucus Chairs Sen. Julian Cyr and Rep. Mary Keefe, for their leadership advocating for an increased public investment in the Mass Cultural Council.

“We urge Gov. Charlie Baker to sign the budget with this increase included. Our state and local economies are made up of hundreds of downtown districts that would be diminished without the contributions of nonprofit arts organizations, who generated more than $2.2 billion in activity in 2015 alone. Our community life is also much richer when the arts are a part of it. Creativity and culture are the building blocks for vibrant, equitable, and connected neighborhoods, and arts education benefits learners of all ages and across fields of study.

“These economic and community benefits do not happen incidentally. They are the result of deliberate choices to invest in local cultural councils that provide free opportunities for arts and creative events and programs to all members of our communities. They happen when we nurture the development of the Commonwealth’s vast and diverse community of artists, who are driving the reinvigoration of the state’s gateway cities including Lynn, New Bedford, and Springfield. And they happen when we invest in arts education and field trips to museums, theatrical productions and musical performances so that every student has access to art, culture, and creativity.”

###

Read more
Add your reaction Share

BOSTON, May 25, 2018— Statement by MASSCreative Executive Director Matt Wilson on Senate Budget for Funding of the Massachusetts Cultural Council:

“We applaud state senators who have approved an increase in funding for the Mass Cultural Council from $14 million to $16 million. We’re thankful to Senate President Harriette L. Chandler, Senate Ways & Means Committee Chair Karen Spilka, and the 22 cosponsors on Senator Adam Hinds’ Mass Cultural Council Amendment.

“The Senate budget must now be reconciled with the House budget, which recommended funding the Mass Cultural Council at $14.5 million. As the two legislative bodies work on a final number, we urge them to keep in mind the short and long-term benefits that creativity, culture, and art bring to the Commonwealth.

“Our state and local economies made up of hundreds of downtown districts, would be diminished without the contributions of nonprofit arts organizations, who generated more than $2.2 billion in activity in 2015 alone. Our community life is also much richer when the arts are a part of it. Creativity and culture are the building blocks for vibrant, equitable, and connected neighborhoods, and arts education benefits learners of all ages and across fields of study.

“None of these benefits occur incidentally. They come only by deliberately choosing to invest in arts education and field trips to museums, theatrical productions and musical performances. They happen when we fund local cultural councils that provide free opportunities for arts and cultural events and programs to all members of their communities. They happen when we nurture the development of the Commonwealth’s vast and diverse community of artists, who are driving the reinvigoration of the state’s gateway cities including Lynn, New Bedford, and Springfield, and often through projects funded by Mass Cultural Council.”

###

Read more
Add your reaction Share

BOSTON, May 10, 2018 - Statement by MASSCreative Executive Director Matt Wilson on Senate Ways & Means Committee Recommended Funding of the Mass Cultural Council in State Budget

“The Senate Ways and Means Committee’s recommendation to fund the Mass Cultural Council at $14 million would see the agency funded as the same amount as the previous three years, and is $500,000 less than the amount recommended by the House. This simply isn’t enough to support a cultural sector that plays such a central role in enriching our communities. 

“The local cultural councils and other nonprofit arts organizations funded by the Mass Cultural Council infuse our cities and towns with creative activities and events making our neighborhoods more connected, vibrant, and equitable. The benefits of these intentional investments in art and creativity can be seen in local economies, schools, and public health and safety.

“Arts education improves the learning of students of all ages and across varying fields of study. Addiction experts have long-recognized the value of art-based therapy in improving the health and resiliency of people recovering from addiction. And the nonprofit arts sector generated more than $2.2 billion in economic activity in 2015.

“The Mass Cultural Council ensures that these benefits are available to everyone regardless of where they live or how much money they make. Grants from the Mass Cultural Council also bring stature, attention, and additional private-sector investments to otherwise low-profile installations, exhibits, and performances which means that decisions about what kinds of creative endeavors get produced are not solely based on already-existing financial resources.

“The positive impact of creativity on our communities is undeniable and cannot be taken for granted. That is why we will continue to support a $3 million increase in the Mass Cultural Council, bringing its total funding to $17 million. We urge state senators to support State Senator Adam Hinds’ Mass Cultural Council amendment, calling for this $3 million increase.

“This will ensure that the Mass Cultural Council can carry out its work of promoting excellence, inclusion, education and diversity in the arts, humanities and sciences across the state.”

###

Read more
Add your reaction Share

BOSTON, April 26, 2018— Statement by MASSCreative Executive Director Matt Wilson on House Budget for Funding of the Mass Cultural Council:

BOSTON, April 26, 2018— Statement by MASSCreative Executive Director Matt Wilson on House Budget for Funding of the Mass Cultural Council:

“We applaud House lawmakers who have approved an increase in funding for the Mass Cultural Council from $14 million to $14.5 million. We’re thankful to Speaker Robert DeLeo and Chairman Jeffrey Sánchez, the 103 cosponsors on state Rep. Cory Atkins’ Mass Cultural Council Amendment and Rep. Stephen Kulik, an arts champion who cited the increase in funding for the Mass Cultural Council in his floor speech about the final House budget.

“The Massachusetts economy would be diminished without the contributions of nonprofit arts organizations, who generated more than $2.2 billion in activity in 2015 alone. Our communities would be much poorer as well. Creativity and culture are the building blocks for vibrant, equitable and connected neighborhoods. Arts education benefits learners of all ages and across fields of study. Art-based therapy improves health and resiliency in people recovering from addiction or suffering from memory impairment and military veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

“None of these benefits occur incidentally. They come only by deliberately choosing to invest in arts education and field trips to museums, theatrical productions and musical performances. They happen when we fund local cultural councils that provide free opportunities for arts and cultural events and programs to all members of their communities. They happen when we nurture the development of the Commonwealth’s vast and diverse community of artists, who are driving the reinvigoration of the state’s gateway cities including Lynn, New Bedford and Springfield, and often through projects funded by Mass Cultural Council.

“We now look forward to working with arts leaders in the Massachusetts Senate as they build their budget. Given the many benefits that art, culture, and creativity imbue across industries and communities, we’ll continue to advocate for a total appropriation for the Mass Cultural Council of $17 million. This will ensure that it can carry out its work of promoting excellence, inclusion, education and diversity in the arts, humanities and sciences in our Commonwealth.”

###

Read more
Add your reaction Share

1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  Next →

Community Impact

The Drama Studio is one of a handful of youth theatres in the United States that offers quality, range, and depth in its acting training programs. For Springfield-area youth, the Studio's conservatory program offers an unusual opportunity for training that prepares its graduates (all of whom are college bound) to...