BOSTON, January 13, 2017— Statement by Matt Wilson, MASSCreative Executive Director on Gov. Charlie Baker’s Signing of Measure Permitting City of New Bedford To Create a Dedicated Arts Fund From a Portion of the City’s Hotel Tax:

“We applaud New Bedford municipal leaders for creating a dedicated fund for arts and culture, and also applaud Gov. Baker for supporting this measure. New Bedford receives approximately $70,000 annually in state funding for the arts, and dedicating a portion of the city’s hotel tax to an arts, culture, and tourism fund will raise an additional $100,000 for the city’s cultural initiatives. Combining state funding with municipal investment creates the best possible partnership to ensure that local arts and cultural institutions have the resources they need to thrive.

“It is no accident that in 2016, New Bedford saw the sharpest drop in rates of unemployment among urban areas around the country. Incorporating arts and culture into city planning, as New Bedford does, contributes to the health of a city across all sectors from education to community building to the economy. New Bedford is setting a high bar for other Gateway Cities around the Commonwealth.”

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Street Pianos Boston State House Opening Ceremony to Take Place Wednesday, September 28, 2016 at 1 pm

Join State Legislators, MASSCreative and Celebrity Series of Boston
at Ashburton Park to Celebrate Street Pianos Boston

Boston, MA September 21, 2016 - On Wednesday, September 28, 2016 at 1p.m. at Ashburton Park, State Representatives Jay Kaufman and Cory Atkins will join with Celebrity Series of Boston and MASSCreative to officially open up the piano at the State House, part of the public art installation Street Pianos Boston. 

Gary Dunning, executive director of Celebrity Series of Boston and Matt Wilson, executive director of MASSCreative will join the legislators for the official unveiling. Musical entertainment will be provided by State Representative Jay Kaufman, one of the first to test out the ivories of the piano at Ashburton Park.

From September 23 – October 10, 2016, sixty pianos, created by local artists, will be placed in public outdoor space in every Boston neighborhood and select Cambridge locations for the public to play and enjoy. Each piano will feature a simple invitation: “Play Me, I’m Yours.” 

Celebrity Series of Boston first produced the installation in Boston in 2013 when more than 500,000 people across the city engaged with Street Pianos Boston, sharing music and song in a citywide festival.

In 2016, the Freedom Trail will figure prominently in the Street Pianos Boston installation. In addition to the piano located at the Massachusetts State House, pianos will be found at King’s Chapel on Beacon Hill, at the Old North Church in the North End of Boston and in the Charlestown Navy Yard, near the U.S.S. Constitution. 

What: Opening Event for 2016 Street Pianos Boston,
Produced by Celebrity Series of Boston 

Where: Ashburton Park, Beacon Hill, Boston

Who: Representative Cory Atkins
Representative Jay Kaufman
Celebrity Series President & Executive Director Gary Dunning
MASSCreative Executive Director Matt Wilson

When: Wednesday, September 28, 2016 at 1:00 PM

Contact: Matt Wilson, Executive Director, MASSCreative
617-515-2326
mwilson@mass-creative.org

For more information about Street Pianos Boston visit www.streetpianosboston.org

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BOSTON, July 31, 2016— Statement by MASSCreative Executive Director Matt Wilson on Legislature’s Override of Gov. Baker’s Veto of 55% of Funding for Massachusetts Cultural Council

“We applaud the Massachusetts Legislature―particularly Senate President Stan Rosenberg, House Speaker Robert DeLeo, and our legislative champions, Senators Dan Wolf and Eric Lesser and Representatives William “Smitty” Pignatelli and Cory Atkins―for overriding Governor Charlie Baker’s veto of more than half of the Massachusetts Cultural Council’s budget. When the news of Gov. Baker’s veto broke, the arts community was shocked, but quickly moved to action. We sent more than 12,000 messages to lawmakers requesting an override of the governor’s veto. Every single lawmaker heard from a constituent on this issue, and 135 lawmakers signed a letter and committed to the override. 

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MASSCreative statement on city of Boston arts and culture plan

BOSTON, June 17, 2016―Today, the city of Boston released “Boston Creates: A Time for Action,” a cultural plan for the city. It was created after gathering public input over a one-year period, and is a 10-year roadmap for creating a more culturally vibrant city. MASSCreative Executive Director Matt Wilson offered the following statement in response: 

“We applaud Mayor Marty Walsh for the creation of this plan. It is a strong show of support for the arts, which was a central theme of his mayoral campaign. We also applaud the widespread involvement of the city’s creative communities in this planning process, which saw the direct involvement of more than 5,000 people. This confirms what the arts community has long known: there is a great hunger within the city to maximize the potential of the arts to build and strengthen our neighborhoods, schools, and economic health. 

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BOSTON, May 17, 2016— Statement by MASSCreative Executive Director Matt Wilson on Senate Ways and Means Recommended Budget for Funding of Massachusetts Cultural Council

“Over the last four years, lawmakers have recognized the tremendous value of arts and culture in the Commonwealth by providing steady increased investment in the Massachusetts Cultural Council, which makes grants to arts institutions and local cultural councils across the state. Today’s recommendation by the Senate Ways and Means Committee to fund the MCC at $13 million represents a 7 percent cut from last year’s budget of $14 million.

“The creative community is a critical partner in building a vibrant, healthy, and equitable Massachusetts. It makes vital contributions to the economic development of neighborhoods and downtowns around the state, particularly in Gateway Cities. Nonprofit arts and cultural organizations in Massachusetts support more than 45,000 jobs, spend $2.1 billion annually, and generate another $2.5 billion of economic activity. Additionally, every dollar spent by an arts and cultural organization generates $2.30 in sales for nearby businesses. The funding recommendation by the Senate Ways and Means Committee would put these gains at risk.

“That is why we are seeking an increase in state investment in arts and culture, and we urge state senators to co-sponsor Sen. Eric Lesser’s amendment to fund the MCC at $17 million. This amount is necessary to ensure that arts institutions and local cultural councils across the Commonwealth can provide the diverse array of cultural activities that make the downtowns of our cities more attractive to residents and visitors alike; promotes educational programming that helps students of all abilities to excel across all academic disciplines; and builds more vibrant, healthy, and equitable communities.” 

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BOSTON, April 27, 2016— Statement by MASSCreative Executive Director Matt Wilson on House Budget for Funding of Massachusetts Cultural CoStatement by MASSCreative Executive Director Matt Wilson on House Budget for Funding of Massachusetts Cultural Council

“The House vote today to cut funding for the Massachusetts Cultural Council is deeply disappointing. The creative community is a critical partner in building a vibrant, healthy, and equitable Massachusetts. It makes vital contributions to the economic development of neighborhoods and downtowns around the state, particularly in Gateway Cities. Nonprofit arts and cultural organizations in Massachusetts support more than 45,000 jobs, spend $2.1 billion annually, and generate another $2.5 billion of economic activity. Additionally, every dollar spent by an arts and cultural organization generates $2.30 in sales for nearby businesses.

“Local cultural councils across the Commonwealth organize a diverse array of arts activities that make the downtowns of our cities more attractive to residents and visitors alike, and promote educational programming that helps students of all abilities excel across all academic disciplines. The House vote to cut funding to the MCC by 14 percent to $12 million puts this progress at risk.” 

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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. MASSCreative has more than 300 arts and cultural member organizations from around the state.

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BOSTON, April 13, 2016— Statement by MASSCreative Executive Director Matt Wilson on House Ways and Means Recommended Budget for Funding of Massachusetts Cultural Council:

“Over the last four years, lawmakers have recognized the tremendous value of arts and culture in the Commonwealth by providing steady increased investment in the Massachusetts Cultural Council, which makes grants to arts institutions and local cultural councils across the state. Today’s recommendation by the House Ways and Means Committee to fund the MCC at $10 million is a deeply disappointing—and abrupt—u-turn from that community investment.

“If enacted, this recommendation would represent a 28 percent cut from last year’s budget of $14.16 million. The creative community is a critical partner in building a vibrant, healthy, and equitable Massachusetts. It makes vital contributions to the economic development of neighborhoods and downtowns around the state, particularly in Gateway Cities. Nonprofit arts and cultural organizations in Massachusetts support more than 45,000 jobs, spend $2.1 billion annually, and generate another $2.5 billion of economic activity. Additionally, every dollar spent by an arts and cultural organization generates $2.30 in sales for nearby businesses. The funding recommendation by the House Ways and Means Committee would put these gains at risk. 

“We urge state representatives to co-sponsor Rep. Cory Atkins’ amendment to increase state investment in arts and culture to $17 million, which is necessary to ensure that arts institutions and local cultural councils across the Commonwealth can provide the diverse array of cultural activities that make the downtowns of our cities more attractive to residents and visitors alike; promotes educational programming that helps students of all abilities to excel across all academic disciplines; and builds more vibrant, healthy, and equitable communities.”

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Sara Stackhouse to Assume Leadership of MASSCreative Board of Directors

Businesswoman brings two-plus decades of experience in local, national arts production, administration, and education to organization as it implements plan for strategic growth

 

BOSTON, Feb. 8, 2016—MASSCreative announces today that Sara Stackhouse has been elected the new chair of its board of directors. Stackhouse, principal at the consulting firm Stackhouse Creative LLC, brings more than 20 years of experience in arts and cultural production, administration, and education to MASSCreative as the organization seeks to develop long-term sustainability and grow its advocacy capacity.

“Since 2012, MASSCreative has made great gains advocating for arts and culture as a path to economic prosperity and better quality of life in the Commonwealth. As a result, state investment in our cultural community has increased by 66 percent,” said Executive Director Matt Wilson. “Sara Stackhouse is a creative and strategic leader in the state’s arts community, and will provide the strong guidance and counsel we need to build on this momentum.”

Prior to founding Stackhouse Creative, which handles artistic, educational and creative projects, as well as organizational development and fundraising work, Stackhouse served for 11 years as executive producer at Actors’ Shakespeare Project, where she produced 48 professional productions and helped developed its youth, education, and community programs. She was supervising producer of A&E's INSIDE The Old House, and worked for nearly six years as project manager for cellist Yo-Yo Ma, including work internationally on artistic collaborations, education projects, and numerous films. Stackhouse also has experience in public broadcasting, serving as the first director of education for NPR’s From the Top and producing A Taste of Chanukah for PBS, PRI and Rounder Records. Stackhouse also served as executive producer of MIT Media Lab’s Toy Symphony, and as a consultant for many years to the Berkshire Institute for Theology and the Arts. She is currently an affiliated faculty member in Emerson College’s Department of Performing Arts.

MASSCreative is governed by a 13-member board of directors. Stackhouse, who previously served as co-vice chair of the board, will succeed Rus Peotter as chair. Peotter will remain as a crucial advisor and member of the board's executive committee as chair emeritus. 

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BOSTON, January 27, 2016— Statement by MASSCreative Executive Director Matt Wilson on Gov. Baker’s Recommended Funding of the Massachusetts Cultural Council in State Budget:

“Governor Charlie Baker’s recommendation to fund the state’s investment in arts and culture in FY17 at $14.16 million will fund the Massachusetts Cultural Council at the same level as this past year. We see this as a great starting point, but not the end point. Art and culture is a gateway to economic development, higher achievement in education, and building more connected communities.

“Leaders interested in building communities that support local businesses, attract new residents, and nurture a spirit of civic engagement govern with artists and cultural leaders in mind. Providing a well-rounded education requires inclusion of arts and culture. Fostering creativity is a linchpin to building a talented workforce, and a vibrant arts scene helps businesses, both large and small, attract workers. 

“We urge lawmakers to support a $17 million investment in the arts. This will ensure the ability of arts institutions and local cultural councils across the Commonwealth to provide the diverse array of cultural activities that help the downtowns of our cities be more attractive to residents and visitors alike; promotes educational programming that helps students of all abilities to excel across all academic disciplines; and builds more vibrant, connected and equitable communities.” 

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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. More than 300 arts and cultural organizations from around the state are members of MASSCreative. 

  

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Arts and Cultural Community Unites behind Keep the #HuntingtonOnHuntington Campaign

January 20, 2016―Citing the important role that the Huntington Theatre Company plays in the Boston region’s arts and cultural scene, leading arts and cultural organizations today launched the #HuntingtonOnHuntington campaign to show support for keeping the Huntington at its current location on Huntington Avenue.

In October, after 33 years in which the Huntington served as the primary tenant of the BU Theatre in partnership with Boston University, the university announced it was selling its Huntington Avenue properties, which may leave the Huntington Theatre Company without a mainstage home.

On Sunday January 17, The Boston Globe reported that an investment group has emerged as a front-runner to buy the company’s Huntington Avenue theater. The Boston Globe indicates that the administration of Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, officials from Boston University, representatives of the Huntington Theatre Company, and an investment group led by Boston-area developer John Matteson, are actively engaged in finding a solution to keep the Huntington Theatre Company in its home on Huntington Avenue.

The Tony Award-winning Huntington Theatre Company is a cornerstone of Boston’s theatre community. It routinely stages productions that continue to live on around the country and on Broadway, including its famous collaborations with the late August Wilson. It draws 200,000 audience members a year to its two venues – the BU Theatre on Huntington Avenue and the Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA in the South End. The Calderwood Pavilion facility serves dozens of other companies each year, from SpeakEasy Stage to Company One. In total, the Huntington employs over 400 full-time equivalent staff members and artists each year, and generates more than $19 million annually in economic activity. Through its youth education programs, the Huntington also provides programs for more than 33,000 youth and community members, many of them from Boston’s under-resourced neighborhoods.

The campaign to keep the #HuntingtonOnHuntington, organized by ArtsBoston, StageSource, The Fenway Alliance, and MASSCreative, believes that it is vital that the city and the community come together to support keeping the Huntington Theatre Company in its home on Huntington Avenue. It is also calling on Boston residents, artists, and cultural leaders to voice their support to keep the Huntington Theatre Company on Huntington Avenue by adding their names to a statement of support and to share stories about the Huntington’s value to the community.

“The potential loss of the Huntington Theatre Company’s longtime artistic home is not the only issue facing the arts community in the city. But it is arguably the most important in its potential to negatively impact the cultural landscape of Boston,” said Matt Wilson, Executive Director of MASSCreative, the statewide advocacy group for the arts and cultural community. “We look forward to the city continuing its efforts to keep the Huntington Theatre Company in its home on Huntington Avenue.”

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