BOSTON, May 14, 2014— Statement by Matt Wilson, MASSCreative Executive Director on Senate Ways and Means Committee Recommended Funding of the Massachusetts Cultural Council in FY15 State Budget

“We are disappointed with the Senate Ways and Means Committee’s recommended funding for the Massachusetts Cultural Council, which would cut the state’s investment in arts and culture by more than 13%.

“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 budget proposed today by the Senate Ways and Means Committee is a step backwards.

“Over the past 25 years, the Commonwealth’s investment in the creative community has declined nearly 60 percent. 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 and the Senate Ways and Means proposal would cut it to $9.6 million. Arts organizations in Massachusetts, particularly the smaller and community-based ones that do so much for the downtowns of our Gateway Cities, and enhance the educations of under-resourced youth, operate below full capacity and are not having the impact that they could be having on the economic health and educational success of our cities and towns.

“Sen. Kathleen O’Connor Ives (D-Newburyport) has filed an amendment to reverse the proposed cut and increase the Massachusetts Cultural Council budget to $12 million in the final Senate budget. MASSCreative will work with its statewide members to urge their Senators to support this amendment. MASSCreative and cultural leaders will continue to meet with lawmakers to request increased investment in the arts in Massachusetts.”

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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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Majority of House members support budget amendment seeking increase in MCC funding

BOSTON, April 11, 2014—MASSCreative announces today that a majority of state representatives have signed on as sponsors of an amendment filed by Rep. Cory Atkins (D-Concord), chairwoman of the Committee on Tourism, Arts and Cultural Development. The amendment would reverse a proposed 54% cut and increase funding for the Massachusetts Cultural Council (MCC) to $16 million in the final House budget. A total of 103 state representatives out of 155 current members of the House signed the amendment #357.

On April 9, the House Ways and Means Committee released a proposed budget for the House of Representatives that would cut the state’s investment in arts and culture by more than half from $11.1 million to $5 million. Arts and cultural leaders around the state took to the phones and social media to express their anger and disappointment in the proposed allocation. A storify by MASSCreative captures the reaction on Facebook and Twitter.

“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,” said MASSCreative Executive Director Matt Wilson. “Core to the success of these cultural institutions is public investment in the arts through the Massachusetts Cultural Council. The budget proposed by the House Ways and Means Committee is a step backwards. We are grateful for the leadership shown by Rep. Atkins and for all of the state reps who have signed onto her amendment.”

In the last 25 years, the Commonwealth’s investment in the creative community has declined nearly 60 percent. 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 and the House Ways and Means proposal would cut it to $5 million.

MASSCreative and cultural leaders around the state have been meeting with lawmakers in their district to talk about the impact that art has on local economic development, education, and communities. MASSCreative will continue this work, and will continue to encourage its members statewide to urge their Representatives to support this amendment. 

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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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BOSTON, April 9, 2014— Statement by Matt Wilson, MASSCreative Executive Director on House Ways and Means Committee Recommended Funding of the Massachusetts Cultural Council in FY15 State Budget

“We are deeply disappointed with the House Ways and Means Committee’s recommended funding for the Massachusetts Cultural Council, which would cut the state’s investment in arts and culture by more than 50%.

“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 budget proposed today by the House Ways and Means Committee is a step backwards.

“Over the past 25 years, the Commonwealth’s investment in the creative community has declined nearly 60 percent. 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 and the House Ways and Means proposal would cut it to $5 million. Arts organizations in Massachusetts, particularly the smaller and community-based ones that do so much for the downtowns of our Gateway Cities, and enhance the educations of under-resourced youth, operate below full capacity and are not having the impact that they could be having on the economic health and educational success of our cities and towns.

“Rep. Cory Atkins (D-Concord), chairwoman of the Committee on Tourism, Arts and Cultural Development, has filed an amendment to increase funding for the MCC to $16 million in the final House budget. MASSCreative will work with its statewide members to urge their Representatives to support this amendment. MASSCreative and cultural leaders will continue to meet with lawmakers to request increased investment in the arts in Massachusetts.”

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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 for All’ Initiative Seeks Arts Education Requirement for Entry to MA State Universities

BOSTON, April 2, 2014—Seeking to better prepare students for academic and professional success, MASSCreative and Arts|Learning have launched Arts for All, an initiative to make one year of visual, media, or performing arts education a requirement for admission to the Massachusetts State University System and the University of Massachusetts System. Arts for All is backed by nearly 200 leaders from the state’s arts, culture, and education sectors, all of whom have endorsed a report making a detailed case for the arts requirement that was delivered Wednesday to the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education.

“Making arts education a requirement for entrance to our state universities is a matter of simple common sense,” said Arts|Learning Executive Director Jonathan C. Rappaport. “Arts learning improves students’ self-motivation, critical thinking, and problem solving skills—all of which are critical to their success in college and in today’s highly competitive job market.”

The Board of Elementary and Secondary Education’s recommended high school course of study (MassCore) calls for at least one year of arts education at the secondary level. However, the current Board of Higher Education (BHE) admissions policies for four-year public universities and the University of Massachusetts have no general admission criteria in the area of the arts (dance, media arts, music, theatre, visual arts). In fact, arts learning is the only MassCore subject area not currently required for entrance into the state university and UMASS system. Mandating it would bring BHE admission requirements into alignment with MassCore.

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BOSTON, March 4, 2014— Statement by Matt Wilson, MASSCreative Executive Director on House Ways and Means Committee Proposed Cut to Bond Bill Impacting Funding for Cultural Facilities:

“Now is not the time to take a step backwards. Last fall, Gov. Deval Patrick recognized how important the Cultural Facilities Fund is for repairing and rebuilding the Commonwealth’s aging cultural venues and he allocated $15 million to the Cultural Facilities Fund. To keep the funding at that level going forward, H.3920 needs to be funded at $75 million, which is what the House Committee on Bonding recently recommended. We are disappointed with the House Ways and Means Committee’s decision to recommend funding the H.3920 at $50 million. The House is expected to take up an amendment Wednesday, March 5 offered by Rep. Cory Atkins, Chair of the Tourism Arts, and Cultural Development Committee recommending funding in H.3920 at $75 million.

“The need is high among the state’s hundreds of cultural institutions. The Massachusetts Cultural Council, which is charged with reviewing applications for funding for repairs from the Cultural Facilities Fund has received requests this year totaling $50 million, when there is only $15 million to spend.

“In 2007, the Massachusetts Legislature passed a bill creating the Cultural Facilities Fund, and the governor signed it into law. 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 allocated $54.8 million to 269 organizations for the development of cultural facilities in 99 cities and towns. This work has resulted in the creation of 14,808 jobs to architects, engineers, contractors, and construction workers; and created 1,412 new permanent jobs. A healthy arts sector helps build connected communities and vibrant, thriving economies throughout the Commonwealth.”

 

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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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Statement by Matt Wilson, MASSCreative Executive Director on Boston Mayor Marty Walsh’s Announcement That There Will Be a Chief of Arts and Culture In His Cabinet:

“History was made last week when Boston Mayor Martin Walsh announced that there will be a Chief of Arts and Culture in his cabinet. This position will report directly to the Mayor alongside the Police Commissioner, Superintendent of Schools, and seven other cabinet officials.

“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 including Philadelphia and Chicago show what can be accomplished with a cabinet-level cultural officer working directly with the Mayor to build community. We look forward to working with the Administration and its new Chief of Arts and Culture on strategic arts initiatives that will impact the entire Greater Boston area.”

 

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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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Statement by Matt Wilson, MASSCreative Executive Director on Gov. Deval Patrick’s Cuts to the Massachusetts Cultural Council in State Budget

BOSTON, January 22, 2014— “We are disappointed with Gov. Deval Patrick’s proposed allocation to the Massachusetts Cultural Council, which cuts the state’s investment in arts and culture by $1.5 million. 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 budget released today by Governor Deval Patrick is a step in the wrong direction.

“Over the past 25 years, the Commonwealth’s investment in the creative community has declined nearly 60 percent. 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 and Gov. Patrick’s proposal would bring it to $9.6 million. Arts organizations in Massachusetts, particularly the smaller and community-based ones that do so much for the downtowns of our Gateway Cities, and enhance the educations of under-resourced youth, operate below full capacity and are not having the impact that they could be having on the economic health and educational success of our cities and towns.

“Last week, MASSCreative delivered petitions to the State House signed by more than 3,000 voters voicing strong support for a $5 million increase to the Massachusetts Cultural Council budget, bringing it to $16.1 million. We look forward to reversing the Governor’s proposed cuts and working with lawmakers to achieve this goal and support the creative community as it continues to make Massachusetts a desirable place in which to live, work, and play.”

 

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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 Coalition Congratulates Mayor-Elect Marty Walsh

    

Coalition of arts groups looks forward to working with new mayor, who will be a champion of the arts 

 

BOSTON, November 6, 2013—The Create the Vote Coalition congratulates Mayor-Elect Marty Walsh, and looks forward to partnering with him to bolster the city’s arts and cultural sector. It also offers thanks to John Connolly for engaging in a thoughtful, issues-based campaign that drew attention to the role that arts and cultural organizations play in the city of Boston, and the need for political leadership and support for the sector.

“We look forward to working with Mayor-Elect Marty Walsh to build a more vibrant and connected city. He has promised to hire a cabinet-level arts commissioner who will advocate for arts and cultural organizations, and work on a strategic cultural plan for the city that can be integrated with other priorities such as education, economic development, public safety, housing, and transportation,” said Matt Wilson, executive director of MASSCreative, the convening member of the Create the Vote Coalition. “Mayor-Elect Walsh has also committed to invest in arts and cultural initiatives, reform the permitting process, bolster arts education, and employ arts as a tool to spur neighborhood development.”

“Creativity is powerful. It increases economic activity, boosts educational opportunities for young people, and helps build strong communities,” said David Howse, executive director of the Boston Children’s Chorus. “We look forward to collaborating with Mayor-Elect Walsh on his first order of business, which is selecting his cabinet, which will include the city of Boston’s first cabinet-level commissioner of the arts.”

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Create the Vote Coalition to host public meetings with Mayoral Finalists John Connolly and Marty Walsh

BOSTON, October 15, 2013—Create the Vote, a coalition of Boston arts, cultural, and creative institutions, announced today that it will host public meetings with Boston mayoral finalists John Connolly and Marty Walsh. Joyce Kulhawik, President of the Boston Theater Critics Association and JoycesChoices.com, will moderate both meetings. The public is invited to attend.

The Create the Vote Forum with Marty Walsh will be held Friday, October 18 at the African Meeting House of the Museum of African American History at 46 Joy Street on Beacon Hill. The event will run from 9-10AM. The public is invited to arrive by 8:30AM for breakfast.

The Create the Vote Forum with John Connolly will be held Friday, October 25 at the Villa Victoria Center for the Arts, 85 West Newton Street in the South End. Villa Victoria is a program of IBA-Inquilinos Boricuas En Acción. The event will run from 4:15-5:15 PM. The public is invited to arrive by 3:45.

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Statement by MASSCreative on Boston Preliminary Election Results

    

BOSTON, September 25, 2013—On Tuesday, Boston mayoral candidates John Connolly and Marty Walsh emerged as the two finalists for the November 5 election. MASSCreative Executive Director Matt Wilson issued the following statement in response to the election results:

“We don’t know who the next mayor of Boston will be. Voters will make that decision on November 5. But we already know that the next mayor of Boston will be a champion of the arts. Both candidates have committed to hiring a cabinet-level arts commissioner. This commissioner will advocate for the sector and work on a strategic cultural plan for the city that can be integrated with other priorities such as education, economic development, and public safety. Both candidates have also committed to funding the creative sector, reforming the permitting process; bolstering arts education; and employing arts as a tool to spur neighborhood development. 

“Creativity is powerful. It increases economic activity, boosts educational opportunities for young people, and helps build strong communities. We look forward to collaborating with the next mayor of Boston to support the arts and cultural community in working to its fullest capacity.” 

 

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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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