Create the Vote Coalition Meets With Gubernatorial Candidate Evan Falchuk

Candidate would increase public investment in the arts, and be a champion for the sector

BOSTON, September 4, 2014— Continuing its series of sit down meetings with candidates for governor of Massachusetts, members of the Create the Vote coalition have met with gubernatorial candidate Evan Falchuk to discuss his 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—have met with Falchuk at six regional meetings around the state. The most recent meeting took place July 21 at New Bedford Art Museum/ArtWorks! Representatives from AHA! New Bedford, the College of Visual and Performing Arts at the University of Masssachusetts Dartmouth, RopeWorks, and New Bedford Art Museum/ArtWorks! attended. Other meetings have taken place at Easthampton City Arts+, Barrington Stage Company, Mechanics Hall, and Arts League of Lowell. To date, representatives of 29 arts and cultural organizations have met with Falchuk.

On May 22, arts leaders from ArtsFalmouth, Arts Foundation of Cape Cod, Cotuit Center for the Arts, Cultural Center of Cape Cod, the Falmouth Historical Society, MassCreative, and Mid-Cape Cultural Council questioned Falchuk about his vision for the arts in the Commonwealth.

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Create the Vote Coalition Meets With Gubernatorial Candidate and State Treasurer Steve Grossman

Candidate would increase public investment in the arts, and be a champion for the sector

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 and state Treasurer Steve Grossman at the Museum of African American History on Boston’s Beacon Hill to talk about Grossman’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 Grossman July 9. Representatives from Stage Source, Lyric Stage Company, Fort Point Artists Association, Cambridge Center for Adult Education; Dance Alliance; Arts and Business Council of Greater Boston, and BostonAPP/Lab: Art in Public Places, as well as the Museum of African American History, questioned Grossman about his vision for the arts in the Commonwealth.

Grossman said that the most important thing that the next governor could do was use the power of the bully pulpit to show support for the sector. “In a $36 billion state budget you should be able to do more for the arts than $12 million,” Grossman said, referring to the amount budgeted by lawmakers for the Massachusetts Cultural Council. “It speaks so much to who are as a society.” 

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Create the Vote Coalition Meets With Gubernatorial Candidate Don Berwick

Candidate would tie arts and culture to social justice policy

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 Don Berwick to talk about Berwick’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 Berwick via conference call July 11. Representatives from The Art Connection, Boston Gay Men’s Chorus, Boston University Arts Initiative, AHA! New Bedford, StageSource, Boston Symphony Orchestra, New Repertory Theatre, The Hanover Theatre for the Performing Arts, Berkshire Creative, and The Cultural Center of Cape Cod questioned Berwick about his vision for the arts in the Commonwealth.

Berwick said that he supported the arts for its own sake. “I am deeply committed to what you are trying to accomplish,” he said. “To me, art isn’t an add-on, it’s the point.”

Berwick referenced the Forward he wrote for the 2009 book, “Transforming the Healthcare Experience Though the Arts,” by Blair L. Sadler and Annette Ridenour. In it, he wrote, “I think [the authors] may be reminding us of first principles―the meaning and purpose of care, itself. … Maybe, just maybe, a new idea gestates in this lovely book: not that art can serve healthcare, but that healthcare can serve art.”

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Create the Vote Coalition Meets With Gubernatorial Candidates

Arts and cultural leaders discuss education, economic and community impact of the arts

BOSTON, September 4, 2014—The Create the Vote coalition announced today that it has met with four of the seven candidates for governor: Steve Grossman, Don Berwick, Evan Falchuk, and Jeff McCormick. Approximately 50 arts and cultural leaders from around the state have met with the candidates to discuss the role that arts and culture should play in the Commonwealth.

The Coalition—a collaboration of Massachusetts arts, cultural, and creative institutions convened by MASSCreative—has also collected questionnaires from Grossman, Berwick, Falchuk, Martha Coakley, and Mark Fisher.

The questionnaires are available here

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500 Attend First-Ever Gubernatorial Forum on the Arts

   

Six candidates addressed arts funding, education, and economic development

BOSTON, July 15, 2014—Create the Vote, a coalition of artists and arts, cultural, and creative institutions based throughout Massachusetts, announced today that 500 artists, cultural leaders, and members of the public attended the first-ever gubernatorial debate about arts and culture at The Hanover Theatre in Worcester July 15.

The historic Gubernatorial Forum on Arts, Culture, and Creativity was moderated by arts critic Joyce Kulhawik. Candidates Don Berwick, Attorney General Martha Coakley, Evan Falchuk, Mark Fisher, Treasurer Steve Grossman, and Jeff McCormick answered questions from Kulhawik and arts leaders from around the state including: Kelly Bates, Executive Director of the Elma Lewis Center for Civic Engagement, Learning, and Research at Emerson College; Stacy Lord,  a middle school arts teacher in Worcester; Kristen Gregory of Jacob’s Pillow Dance;  Kevin Howard, President and CEO of the Arts Foundation of Cape Cod; Masiel Encarnacion, Program Director of RAW Art Works in Lynn; Erin Williams, Cultural Development Officer for the City of Worcester; and Xavier Harvey, a peer counselor at the Actors Shakespeare Project and assistant director for the Project’s summer production of As You Like It.

The candidates talked about the importance of increased funding for the arts, expanded access to arts education, cultural tourism, economic development, and their personal experiences with art.

“This was an important first step in our campaign to elevate discussion of arts and culture in the gubernatorial campaign,” said Matt Wilson, executive director of MASSCreative, the convening member of the Create the Vote Coalition. “This was the first time in Massachusetts that artists and cultural leaders sponsored a gubernatorial debate. Our state is home to large-scale museums, theaters, and orchestras, 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. Our governor should be championing these efforts.”

More than 250 artists and arts and cultural leaders throughout the state signed an invitation to gubernatorial candidates to participate in the Gubernatorial Candidate Forum on Arts, Culture, and Creativity to hear what the candidates have to say on the role the next governor “should play in driving arts and cultural policy and supporting the work of the sector.”

In addition to hosting the July 15 gubernatorial forum, the Create the Vote Coalition is meeting with candidates and sharing what they learn from these meetings with the public. For more information about the coalition and the Create the Vote campaign, visit Mass-Creative.org.

 

Follow @MASSCreative on Twitter and Instagram

Find us on Facebook at Facebook.com/MASSCreativeOrg

 

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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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MASSCreative Praises Gov. Patrick for $15M Allocation to Cultural Facilities Fund

July 7, 2014—MASSCreative today praised Gov. Deval Patrick’s announcement that he is allocating $15 million in his administration’s final state capital plan to the Cultural Facilities Fund for the repair and rebuilding of the Commonwealth’s aging cultural venues. This marks the second year in a row that Gov. Patrick has directed $15 million to the fund after allocating just $5 million annually since 2007.  

“These funds are critical to sustaining the Commonwealth’s aging infrastructure of cultural facilities which range from theaters, to concert halls, to dance studios, and museums. The arts and cultural community’s health depends, in part, on sustaining and expanding these venues for community use,” said Matt Wilson, Executive Director of MASSCreative. “These are the places that people in our communities come to meet and gather. They are centers that make possible the creation, practice, and presentation of art. They are often the anchor of a neighborhood’s development or redevelopment.”

The Cultural Facilities Fund was created by the Massachusetts Legislature in 2007. The purpose of the fund is to provide resources to maintain and rebuild the Commonwealth’s cultural venues. Since its creation, the Cultural Facilities Fund has invested $70 million to the development of cultural facilities in 118 cities and towns, and four of five of these grants have been awarded to Gateway Cities with struggling downtowns. These investments have leveraged more than $1.6 billion in spending on arts, history, and science building projects, and support more than 16,000 jobs for architects, engineers, contractors, and construction workers.

The governor’s support for the Cultural Facilities Fund came after a dedicated advocacy campaign by MASSCreative, and the Gov. Patrick made his announcement at a ceremony in Pittsfield today celebrating the most recent round of grantees from the Cultural Facilities Fund.

The Cultural Facilities Fund is jointly administered by MassDevelopment, the state’s finance and development agency, and the Massachusetts Cultural Council. This year’s grants included 81 capital projects and another 48 planning projects. A full list can be found online at http://www.massculturalcouncil.org/facilities/facilities.htm.

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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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Arts and Cultural Community Cheers State Budget Investment in Arts Community

Final budget increases funding for the Massachusetts Cultural Council by eight percent

 

BOSTON, June 30, 2014— MASSCreative today praised state lawmakers for passing the FY2015 state budget, which includes a $12 million investment in the arts, cultural and creative community. The $12 million allocation for the Massachusetts Cultural Council (MCC) represents an eight percent increase in funding for the MCC over last year. MASSCreative Executive Director Matt Wilson issued the following statement: 

We are grateful to state lawmakers and legislative leaders for this investment in the Commonwealth’s creative community. Massachusetts is home to large-scale museums, theaters, and orchestras, 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 investment in the arts through the Massachusetts Cultural Council.

The $12 million in funding for the MCC will result in increased access to arts education that teach our students creativity and innovation; increased economic activity, particularly in the downtowns of our Gateway Cities; and more vibrant and connected communities that make our neighborhoods places where we want to play, work, visit and raise our kids.

We congratulate the House and Senate leadership and the 141 state legislators who supported budget amendments to increase funding. Credit also goes to the leaders and supporters of the creative community who effectively told their collective stories to the Massachusetts legislature.

Specifically:

  • More than 500 arts and cultural supporters met with 33 representatives and senators out in their communities to tell them about the impact that the arts community has on our neighborhoods.
  • In just four days, arts and cultural supporters sent more than 3,000 emails to the State House urging representatives and senators to reverse the cuts and increase the MCC budget.
  • Arts and cultural supporters recruited 114 representatives and 27 senators, a total of 141 out of 200 state legislators, to sign on to amendments reversing cuts and calling for increases in the MCC budget.
  • Arts and cultural supporters raised the profile of the creative community by submitting op-eds to regional daily papers such as the Greenfield Recorder, Fitchburg Sentinel & Enterprise, Lynn Daily Item, Milford Daily News, New Bedford Standard Times, and the Hampshire Gazette.

The budget now heads to Governor Patrick’s desk, where he has 10 days to sign off on the plan.

 

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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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MASSCreative Praises State’s Issuance of $14M in Arts Facilities Grants

June 12, 2014—MASSCreative today praised Gov. Deval Patrick for issuing grants from the Cultural Facilities Fund totaling nearly $14 million. The grants will be used to repair and rebuild aging cultural venues that serve arts organizations, schools, and communities across the Commonwealth. The Cultural Facilities Fund is jointly administered by MassDevelopment, the state’s finance and development agency, and the Massachusetts Cultural Council.

“These spaces are the places that people in our communities come to meet and gather. They are centers that make possible the creation, practice, and presentation of art. They are often the anchor of a neighborhood’s development or redevelopment,” said Matt Wilson, Executive Director of MASSCreative. “It is vitally important that we sustain and expand these venues for community use.”

The need for these grants is high among the state’s hundreds of cultural institutions, and it continues to outpace supply. Until last year, the Cultural Facilities Fund was allocated approximately $5 million annually. After a grassroots campaign titled “Invest the Rest,” Gov. Patrick tripled the annual allocation to $15 million.

“Even with that significant increase, demand continues to outpace supply. Out of the $15 million being awarded today, the Massachusetts Cultural Council received applications that would have totaled more than $50 million,” Wilson said. “The state legislature is currently considering reauthorizing the Cultural Facilities Fund over the next five years. We strongly urge lawmakers to reauthorize the Cultural Facilities Fund at $75 million, which would support annual grants of $15 million over the next five years. These grants are transformative for communities and organizations, and strengthen our Commonwealth.”

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New Report Highlights Impact of Arts Community

   

Arts Matter to the Greater Boston region’s economy and quality of life

June 10, 2014—MASSCreative today praised a new report released by ArtBoston titled “The Arts Factor 2014 Report,” for quantifying the impact of arts, culture, and creativity on the Greater Boston region.

Using information from the Massachusetts Cultural Data Project, which collects longitudinal data about the arts and cultural sector, ArtsBoston found that arts and cultural organizations in the Greater Boston region support 26,000 jobs and account for $1 billion of economic activity. More than 18 million people attend arts events annually, which is more than four times the total combined attendance for the Boston Red Sox, New England Patriots, Boston Bruins, and Boston Celtics.

“This report shows that arts matter in Massachusetts. The arts and cultural sector is an important driver of the local economy and it is the glue that knits communities together,” said Matt Wilson, Executive Director of MASSCreative. “Lawmakers in the House and Senate are currently finalizing next year’s budget. This report shows the vital role that public investment in the arts plays in the health of the Commonwealth. Twenty-five years ago, the state invested $27 million in the creative community; 10 years ago that investment was $19 million. Today, it stands at $11.1 million. We are urging lawmakers to allocate $12 million for the Massachusetts Cultural Council.”

The full report is available online here.

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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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Gubernatorial Forum on the Arts To Be Held July 15 At The Hanover Theatre in Worcester with Moderator Joyce Kulhawik

     

Create the Vote Coalition wants to hear candidates’ vision for the arts and culture in Massachusetts

BOSTON, May 22, 2014—Create the Vote, a coalition of artists and arts, cultural, and creative institutions based throughout Massachusetts, announced today that it will host the Gubernatorial Forum on Arts, Culture, and Creativity. Moderated by arts critic Joyce Kulhawik, the forum will foster discussion of the gubernatorial candidates’ vision for the arts and culture in Massachusetts. The forum will take place at The Hanover Theatre of the Performing Arts in Worcester on Tuesday, July 15 at 6pm. All members of the public are invited to attend.

More than 260 artists and arts and cultural leaders throughout the state signed an invitation to gubernatorial candidates to participate in the Gubernatorial Candidate Forum on Arts, Culture, and Creativity to hear what the candidates have to say on the role the next governor “should play in driving arts and cultural policy and supporting the work of the sector.”

“The next governor of Massachusetts needs to be a champion of the arts,” said Matt Wilson, executive director of MASSCreative, the convening member of the Create the Vote Coalition. “Our state is home to large-scale museums, theaters, and orchestras, 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. Our governor should be championing these efforts.”

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