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.”

Read more
Add your reaction Share

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. 

Read more
Add your reaction Share

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.” 

###

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. 

  

Add your reaction Share

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.”

Read more
Add your reaction Share

Arts Advocates Call on MBTA to Fully Restore Public Art Program

Contact:
Tracie Konopinski, MASSCreative 617-350-7610, tkonopinski@mass-creative.org

More than 35 arts, political leaders sign letter to Interim General Manager Frank DePaola and Secretary Stephanie Pollack

BOSTON, Dec. 17, 2015—Earlier this week, a coalition of more than 35 municipal and political supporters, artists and cultural leaders encouraged the MBTA to fully reinstate funding for the Integral Art Program. Under this program, public artworks were to be created for MBTA stations across Greater Boston.

Last month the MBTA cancelled existing commissions for Green Line extension artworks in an effort to contain the rising costs of the overall expansion project. Projects have since been restored, but plans for other integrated artwork in the Chelsea Silver Line, Blue Hill Avenue, and Wollaston Stations—historically underserved neighborhoods—are still on hold.

In a letter to MBTA Interim General Manager Frank DePaola and Secretary Stephanie Pollack, the coalition thanked the MBTA for reinstating funding to the Integral Art projects on the Green Line Extension and encouraged the restoration of funds to complete public art projects along the Chelsea Silver Line, Blue Hill Avenue, and Wollaston Stations. The letter notes the MBTA’s legacy of pioneering public art programs and their benefits in encouraging ridership, deterring vandalism, and improving customer experience.

“We understand the fiscal challenges the MBTA currently faces, yet we encourage you to acknowledge the extraordinary value that this small portion of the overall budget can put towards genuinely vibrant T Stations through the MBTA’s Integral Art Program,” the arts advocates wrote. 

The budget for the Integral Art Program accounted for $1.9 million of the Green Line Expansion’s $2 billion cost, or approximately one percent. Artists had already begun work on their particular projects when the program was scrapped. 

“The Integral Public Art program is a fraction of the overall price tag for the Green Line Expansion,” said Matt Wilson, executive director of MASSCreative. “The return in terms of benefits to commuters and the communities it serves—not to mention the artists who had been working on the commissions in good faith―is certainly worth the MBTA’s small investment in these projects. This is why there is such strong support among arts advocates for restoring it.”

The signers of the letter include Thomas G. Ambrosino, City Manager for the City of Chelsea; State Rep. Cory Atkins and State Sen. Eric Lesser, the House and Senate Chairs of the Tourism, Arts, and Cultural Development Committee; Julie Burros, Chief of Arts and Culture for the City of Boston; Carole Charnow, President and CEO of the Boston Children’s Museum; Jill Medvedow, Director of The Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston; Marc Draisen, Executive Director, Metropolitan Area Planning Council; and the MBTA Integral Arts Program artists.

The letter is available online at mass-creative.org/mbtaletter. The coalition is encouraging other community members to add their voice through an online petition at mass-creative.org/mbtapetition

###

Read more
Add your reaction Share

Statement by MASSCreative Executive Director Matt Wilson on Gov. Baker’s veto of Massachusetts Percent for Art Program

   
BOSTON, November 12, 2015— Statement by MASSCreative Executive Director Matt Wilson on Gov. Baker’s veto of Massachusetts Percent for Art Program:
   
“We are disappointed with Gov. Charlie Baker’s decision to veto the legislature’s Percent for Art program. More than half the states around the country, including every other New England state have a program like this in place. Setting aside what are relatively small dollars on multi-million dollar construction projects to fund the development of arts and cultural programs would have a huge impact throughout the state. 
      
“We know that the arts community plays a vital role in the development of cities and towns -- this has been borne out over and over again through quantitative studies as well as by our own personal experience. We are encouraged by Gov. Baker’s support of a Percent for Art program in general and we hope that agreement can be reached between the governor and lawmakers for a program that will work for Massachusetts.” 
  
###
  
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. 
   
1 reaction Share

MASSCreative to Partner with Local Groups in Five Cities to Run Campaigns to Highlight Arts and Culture during Municipal Mayoral and City Council Elections

Campaigns will run in Fitchburg, Gloucester, Medford, New Bedford, and Worcester

BOSTON, October 13, 2015—MASSCreative announced today that it has partnered with local art groups in Fitchburg, Gloucester, Medford, New Bedford, and Worcester to run Create the Vote campaigns during the mayoral and city council elections. The campaigns will highlight the importance and role that arts and culture play in their respective cities.

“Elections are a great time to discuss the strengths of our cities, the challenges they face, and the vision for our communities,” said Matt Wilson, executive director of MASSCreative. “The role that arts and culture plays in our local economies, in student education, and in strengthening our communities is an important part of the political discourse. We look forward to hearing from the candidates on their vision for the role that arts and culture can play in their communities.”

Create the Vote Gloucester hosted a forum on arts and culture October 5 between mayoral candidates Sefatia Romeo Theken and Paul McGeary, that drew more than 125 people. Organized by the Gloucester Stage Company, Rocky Neck Art Colony, Gloucester’s Committee for the Arts, Arts Gloucester, and seARTS, and moderated by MASSCreative Director Matt Wilson, the event featured a robust hour-long discussion of arts and culture. 

Read more
Add your reaction Share

Legislature Overrides Gov. Baker's Arts Veto

BOSTON, July 29, 2015—Today, the Massachusetts House and Senate voted to override Governor Charlie Baker’s veto and restore $2.3 million in funding in the Fiscal Year 2016 budget for the Massachusetts Cultural Council. MASSCreative Executive Director Matt Wilson issued the following statement in response: 

“The arts and cultural community is thrilled by the bi-partisan support from the House and Senate to restore investment in the Commonwealth’s arts, cultural and creative sector. This vote shows a deep faith in the work of the creative community to help build a vibrant, healthy and equitable Commonwealth.

This unanimous vote in the Senate and a 153-2 vote in the House brings the Massachusetts Cultural Council budget back to $14.16 million – the amount originally passed by the Legislature. The override marks a 20% bump over last year and the largest increase in state investment in the past nine years. The restored money will provide increases to most MCC arts and cultural grantees and local cultural councils, provide new grants for the Commonwealth’s 29 cultural districts and provide funding for festivals.

We were extremely disappointed in Gov. Baker’s short-sighted decision to veto the Legislature’s increased investment in the Massachusetts Cultural Council. The vote today keeps up the momentum the arts and culture community has built over the past three years to increase the state’s investment in the arts by 49 percent from $9.5 million to $14.16 million. Yet, even as the House and Senate approve this generous increase, the state is still investing nearly half of what it allocated for the arts, cultural and creative community more than 25 years ago. We remain grateful to state lawmakers and legislative leaders who recognized and understood the vital need to increase investment and who voted for restoration of this money.”

 

Read more
Add your reaction Share

Majority of Legislature sign on Cultural Caucus Letter urging Leadership to override Gov. Baker’s veto of arts funding

BOSTON, July 28, 2015—Today, 106 Massachusetts legislators sent a letter to House and Senate leadership requesting support for an override of Governor Charlie Baker’s veto to restore $2.3 million in funding in the Fiscal Year 2016 budget for the Massachusetts Cultural Council. MASSCreative Executive Director Matt Wilson issued the following statement in response: 

“The arts and cultural community is encouraged by the broad show of support from the Legislature to restore investment in the Commonwealth’s arts and cultural sector. This strong bipartisan coalition of a majority of the Legislature is consistent with the broad base of support of 103 representatives and 20 senators who supported amendments to increase funding of the Massachusetts Cultural Council during budget deliberations in April and May.

MASSCreative encourages the leadership in the House and Senate to pass this override so the arts, cultural and creative community can do their work to build more vibrant, healthy and equitable communities across the Commonwealth. The restored money would provide increases to all MCC arts and cultural grantees and local cultural councils, provide new grants for the Commonwealth’s 29 cultural districts and provide funding for festivals.

We were extremely disappointed in Gov. Baker’s short-sighted decision to veto the Legislature’s increased investment in the Massachusetts Cultural Council. We have built momentum over the past three years by increasing the state’s investment in the arts by 26 percent from $9.5 million to $12 million. Even with the legislature’s generous increase, however, the state is still investing nearly half of what it allocated for the arts, cultural and creative community more than 25 years ago. We remain grateful to state lawmakers and legislative leaders who recognized and understood the vital need to increase investment and who are calling for restoration of this money.”

Read more
Add your reaction Share

MASSCreative Urges State Lawmakers to Overturn Gov. Baker’s Veto of Arts Funding

BOSTON, July 17, 2015—Today, Gov. Baker vetoed a $2 million increase in funding for the Massachusetts Cultural Council that was approved by state lawmakers. MASSCreative Executive Director Matt Wilson issued the following statement in response: 

“We are extremely disappointed in Gov. Baker’s short-sighted decision to veto the legislature’s increased investment in the Massachusetts Cultural Council. This funding is used to expand access to the arts for everyone in the Commonwealth, foster economic growth, educate our kids, and build vibrancy in our communities. But those who benefit most live in some of our most challenged and under-resourced communities.

“We have built momentum over the past three years by increasing the state’s investment in the arts by 49 percent from $9.5 million to $14.16 million. Even with the legislature’s generous increase, however, the state is still investing nearly half of what it allocated for the arts, cultural, and creative community more than 25 years ago. We remain grateful to state lawmakers and legislative leaders who recognized and understood the vital need to increase investment in the creative community by $2 million and we look forward to working with them to overturn Gov. Baker’s veto.”

Read more
1 reaction Share

← Previous  1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  11  Next →

Community Impact