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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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.

 

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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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