Orange and Wendell Area Arts, Culture, and Creative Leaders Meet With State Rep. Denise Andrews

October 30, 2014—MASSCreative announced today that leaders and supporters of arts and culture in Orange and Wendell met with state Rep. Denise Andrews at Bohemian Kitchen in Orange on October 28. They discussed the candidate’s vision for the creative community in the 2nd Franklin district.

Andrews described the role arts and culture play in bringing tourism to the district and revitalizing the area. While discussing the challenges Franklin and Worcester County artists and arts organizations have in access to capital, innovative space, and business networks, Andrews emphasized the need to connect artists and arts organizations with the area chambers of commerce and tourism bureaus, community development corporations, and local banks.

Andrews also described her personal connection with the arts as starting at a young age when playing the saxophone and being nurtured by arts and cultural organizations in her district, including the 1974 Meeting House.

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Falmouth Area Arts, Culture, and Creative Leaders Meet With State Sen. Candidate Vinny DeMacedo; Candidate Praised Economic Impact of Arts and Culture

October 29, 2014—MASSCreative announced today that leaders and supporters of arts and culture on Cape Cod and the South Shore met with state Rep. Vinny DeMacedo, who is seeking election to the state senate to represent the Plymouth and Barnstable District. They discussed the candidate’s views on state investment in the arts, and efforts to include more arts instruction in public education.

DeMacedo noted that tourism, arts and culture has a major economic impact in the district, citing popular iconic cultural and historical attractions such as Plimoth Plantation. He said he was excited about the potential impact on the district in 2020 of the 400th anniversary of the Pilgrims’ arrival. He also noted that he is committed to funding those sectors of the arts, cultural, and creative economies that can show a return on investment. DeMacedo also passionately described the work that he has done with Youth Development and said that the arts can be an effective tool in combating the growing threat from drug addiction with at-risk youth.

Arts and community leaders including Eve Montague of the South Shore Conservatory; Mark Schmidt of the Falmouth Historical Society; Judy Day from Arts Falmouth; Stephanie Weaver of the Cape Conservatory; and Suzy Bergmann of the Falmouth Arts Center. Peter Franklin, the new Executive Director of Highfield Hall, hosted the meeting at Highfield Hall and Gardens on Tuesday, October 28. 

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Arts Leaders Meet With Candidate for State Rep. Marty Green; Green Pledges To Support Increased Investment in Arts Community

October 27, 2014—MASSCreative announced today that leaders and supporters of arts and culture met with Candidate for State Rep. Marty Green in Northbridge to discuss the candidate’s vision for the creative community in the 9th Worcester district.

The candidate described how the arts not only bring quality of life to the Blackstone Valley, but also economic value. In founding the Blackstone Valley Celtic Festival, Green said he saw how these types of events bring the community together and help drive people to the Blackstone Valley.

The candidate also described how his personal experience with the arts began when he was young, in attending Drum Corp International Competitions and seeing his father drum in the Drum and Bugle Corps. He added that as Executive Director of the Blackstone Valley Chamber of Commerce, he saw how arts and culture helped to drive tourism in the Blackstone Valley.

The candidate said he supports growing the Massachusetts Cultural Council budget and the Cultural Facilities Fund, and emphasized the importance of funding organizations and projects of varying size and geographic scope. 

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Barnstable Area Arts, Culture, and Creative Leaders Meet With State Rep. Randy Hunt; Hunt Pledges Continued Support of Arts Community

October 27, 2014—MASSCreative announced today that leaders and supporters of arts and culture in Sandwich, Bourne, Barnstable, Plymouth and surrounding areas met with State Rep. Randy Hunt to discuss the candidate’s vision for the creative community in the 5th Barnstable District.

The candidate talked about the deep connection on Cape Cod among tourism, arts and culture and said that he thinks supporting the arts should be see in terms of return on investment.

Rep. Hunt, who is a past sponsor of House Bill 3837 which called for the addition of the Massachusetts Cultural Council as a beneficiary listed on the state's tax returns, also talked about his personal connection to music from his days playing trombone in the band in his native Texas.

“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,” said Matt Wilson, Executive Director of MASSCreative. “We see the impact of the arts locally here in Sandwich, Bourne, Barnstable and throughout the Cape through the work of the local cultural councils, which make the arts accessible to young children, students, families, and older adults. They also help support working artists. We look forward to working with lawmakers in the next legislative session to ensure that the Commonwealth is getting the most out of its investment in the arts.” 

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Statement by MASSCreative Executive Director Matt Wilson on Candidate for Governor Martha Coakley’s Campaign Arts Platform

BOSTON, October 24, 2014— Statement by Matt Wilson, MASSCreative Executive Director, on Candidate for Governor Martha Coakley’s Campaign Arts Platform:

“Martha Coakley’s arts platform is a clear outline of how she would champion the arts, cultural, and creative sector as governor. Her promise to explore the creation of a new cabinet position to integrate the arts across all domains including education, economic development, transportation, housing, and environmental affairs, shows an understanding of the role that the arts already play in these areas. Past approaches to planning, which have taken the arts for granted, have resulted in multiple lost opportunities to leverage arts and culture to their fullest extent.

“We also applaud her plan to work with the state legislature to double the funding for the Massachusetts Cultural Council, and to build on Governor Patrick’s strong support for the Cultural Facilities Fund. These investments in the arts are critical to leveraging additional private investment in state cultural and creative endeavors.

“The governor’s race has focused on the myriad ways in which our next governor can strengthen our economy, improve our schools, and make our communities healthier and safer. Arts matter in Massachusetts and they should be part of this discussion. Our state is home to large-scale museums, theaters, and orchestras, and thousands of working artists, as well as numerous community-based playhouses and art centers that drive our economy, enhance the academic performance of our students, and build vibrant, connected communities. Core to the success of these cultural institutions is public support of the arts.

“The arts community looks forward to partnering with our next governor to champion these efforts, and we encourage voters to consider where the candidates stand on the arts when they make their decision about who to support on November 4.”

Note to editors: Today, October 24, 2014 is Arts Matter Day. Thousands of artists, cultural leaders, and supporters of the arts will be emailing candidates, sharing videos, and posting to Facebook and Twitter with the hashtags #ArtsMatter, #MaGov14, and #mapoli to share stories of the impact art has in Massachusetts.

More than 30 leaders have recorded Arts Matter videos including Museum of Fine Arts Ann and Graham Gund Director Malcolm Rogers; Massachusetts Cultural Council Executive Director Anita Walker; University of Massachusetts Dartmouth College of Visual and Performing Arts Dean Adrian Tió; New Bedford Symphony Orchestra Education Director Terry Wolkowicz; Celebrity Series of Boston Executive Director Gary Dunning; StageSource Executive Director Julie Hennrikus; Somerville Mayor Joe Curtatone; and Pittsfield Mayor Dan Bianchi.

 

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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.

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Artists and cultural leaders set to raise their voices for the arts

Arts Matter Day to be held Friday, Oct. 24; voters to share stories with candidates about why arts matter in Massachusetts

October 17, 2014—MASSCreative announced today that members of the arts, cultural, and creative community will share stories with gubernatorial and state legislative candidates to show them that Arts Matter in Massachusetts.

On Friday, Oct. 24, thousands of artists, cultural leaders, and supporters of the arts will email candidates, share videos, and post to Facebook and Twitter with the hashtags #ArtsMatter, #MaGov14, and #mapoli to share stories of the impact art has in Massachusetts.

Hundreds of arts and culture organizations from around the state are expected to participate. More than 30 leaders including Museum of Fine Arts Ann and Graham Gund Director Malcolm Rogers; University of Massachusetts Dartmouth College of Visual and Performing Arts Dean Adrian Tió; New Bedford Symphony Orchestra Education Director Terry Wolkowicz; Celebrity Series of Boston Executive Director Gary Dunning; StageSource Executive Director Julie Hennrikus; and Pittsfield Mayor Dan Bianchi have recorded Arts Matter videos. Somerville Mayor Joe Curtatone and Cambridge Mayor David Maher will release their Arts Matter videos on Arts Matter Day, Oct. 24. 

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Newburyport Area Arts, Culture, and Creative Leaders Meet With State Rep Candidates Ed Cameron and Ari Herzog; Both Candidates Pledge To Work To Restore Arts Funding To Previous Levels of $27M

October 20, 2014—MASSCreative announced today that leaders and supporters of arts and culture in Newburyport and the First Essex District have met with candidates for state representative Ed Cameron and Ari Herzog. Candidates Cameron and Herzog are competing to represent the First Essex District in the state legislature; the district had previously been represented by Michael Costello, who resigned in September to focus on his law practice. Arts leaders met separately with the candidates on Thursday, October 16 to discuss their vision for the creative community for the towns of Newburyport, Amesbury, and Salisbury.

Cameron emphasized the importance of connecting the deep history of Newburyport and the surrounding area with the richness of the arts community. He talked about his work as both an historic preservationist and his personal love of music and theater. The candidate also described his work at nonprofits organizations such as the Pine Street Inn and Community Teamworks in Lowell and said he understands the struggles non-profits go through to fund their work.

Cameron acknowledged that the area’s arts, cultural, and creative community could not reach its full potential with the level of funding currently provided by the state. He pledged to work to increase state and local investment in the arts, cultural, and creative community to pre-1990 levels when the Massachusetts Cultural Council (MCC) was funded at approximately $27 million annually; today the MCC receives about $12 million annually. Cameron also said he would like to identify a dedicated source of revenue that will significantly increase resources to the community. Said Cameron, “I will champion your causes.”

Herzog talked about the need to build collaborations and work with creative entrepreneurs who are key players in the North Shore economy. The candidate also described his personal connection to the arts through music and drama in high school and college, as well as performing in “The Laramie Project” in Newburyport.

Herzog pledged to work to increase state and local investment in the arts, cultural, and creative community. He emphasized the need for support for arts and culture given that nearly everyone in the community is impacted by the work of the sector. He said he believes that funding for the statewide arts community should be at levels seen decades ago when the state was investing $27 million a year into the community. Said Herzog, “We need to invest in what makes people smile.”

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Statement by MASSCreative Executive Director Matt Wilson on Boston Mayor Marty Walsh’s Appointment of Boston’s New Arts Commissioner

BOSTON, September 23, 2014— Statement by Matt Wilson, MASSCreative Executive Director, on Boston Mayor Marty Walsh’s Appointment of Boston Arts Commissioner Julie Burros:

 

“We applaud Boston Mayor Martin Walsh for his appointment of Julie Burros as the city’s Arts Commissioner. Burros is a highly-regarded urban planner with significant background in the arts. She will report directly to the Mayor alongside the Police Commissioner, Superintendent of Schools, and seven other cabinet officials. This is a history-making appointment by Mayor Walsh, and we look forward to working with Burros as the Walsh administration moves forward with strategic arts initiatives that will impact not just the city of Boston, but the entire Greater Boston area.

“During the mayoral campaign, Walsh was the first candidate to pledge to hire a cabinet-level arts commissioner, and his fulfillment of that promise is truly groundbreaking. Boston has never reaped the benefits that can come with coordinated and strategic arts planning taking place hand in hand with other city priorities including education, public safety, and economic development. Other municipalities around the country, most notably Chicago, where Burros most recently worked as the city’s Director of Cultural Planning, show what can be accomplished with a cabinet-level cultural officer working directly with the Mayor to build community.”

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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.

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Create the Vote Campaign Reaching Out to Legislative Candidates

From now through Election Day, group will inject arts and culture into legislative campaigns 

BOSTON, September 12, 2014—Create the Vote, a coalition of artists and arts, cultural, and creative institutions based throughout Massachusetts, announced today that it will bring its campaign to legislative races throughout the state.

“Candidates for office throughout Massachusetts are discussing how to best strengthen our economy, improve our schools, and make communities healthier and safer. Arts matter in Massachusetts and they should be part of this discussion,” said Matt Wilson, Executive Director of MASSCreative, which has convened the Create the Vote Coalition.

Legislative candidates will be asked to fill out a questionnaire about how arts and culture have impacted their district; what they intend to do to support that work; and how they bring more arts to education. Local arts and cultural leaders will meet with candidates to learn more about their views on arts, culture, and creativity.

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Create the Vote Coalition Meets With Gubernatorial Candidate Jeff McCormick

BOSTON, September 4, 2014—Continuing its series of sit down meetings with candidates for governor of Massachusetts, members of the Create the Vote coalition met with gubernatorial candidate Jeff McCormick at MASSCreative in Boston to talk about McCormick’s views on the arts and cultural community and the role it would play in his administration.

The Coalition—a collaboration of Massachusetts arts, cultural, and creative institutions convened by MASSCreative—met with McCormick June 25. Representatives from [Stage Source, Ballet Theatre of Boston, Boston University Arts Initiative, and Boston Gay Men’s Chorus] met with McCormick to talk about his vision for the arts in the Commonwealth.

McCormick said that creativity, innovation, and creative thinking were valuable skills for business and finance. He said that the next governor needed to rally support for the arts and cultural sector by thinking of it as an investment.

He said that creating more jobs, making housing more affordable, and improving transportation were all inter-related and that arts was an important component of economic improvement. He added that he is a huge proponent of early childhood education and that the arts should be a part of that.

He said that much of the talk in education reform around STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) should be reframed as STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math). Students need to be creative and know how to solve problems, McCormick said, and the arts are critical to developing those skills.

 

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