Tracie Konopinski

published volunteer2018 in Take Action 2018-11-21 11:55:47 -0500

published MASSCreative Statement on Question 3 in Press 2018-11-07 10:31:56 -0500

MASSCreative Statement on Question 3

November 6, 2018—Today, Massachusetts voters approved Ballot Question 3, which preserves a 2016 law prohibiting discrimination against transgender people in public places. MASSCreative Executive Director Matt Wilson offered the following statement in response:

“We congratulate transgender residents and their families, as well as the rest of the state, on this important electoral defense of the 2016 civil rights law. Transgender people must have the same basic protections enjoyed by everyone else in Massachusetts so they can live their lives with safety, privacy, and dignity. Although much of the focus on this law centered on access to public restrooms, the law also prohibits discrimination in museums, theaters, and art galleries.

“Creativity in all its forms helps build more vibrant, equitable and connected communities and every resident, regardless of gender identity, must be able to safely access the spaces in which we display, express, and showcase art. Today, the arts community joined others across the state in voting yes on Question 3, and we are proud of our participation in the coalition to preserve civil rights protections for transgender residents.”


Get out the Vote Email/Newsletter

Sample Get out the Vote email:

Dear – Copy_of_GOTV_social_(2).png

Tuesday, November 6 is Election Day in Massachusetts.

Over the past six months, MASSCreative's Create the Vote coalition engaged candidates and voters around the role that culture, creativity, and the arts play in building vibrant, connected communities. Through candidates questionnaires, sit-down meetings, and forums, Create the Vote has shown that arts matter in Massachusetts and matter in this election.  

Now, we need to make sure the creative community turns out to vote. 

Before you vote on November 6, check out the candidates’ positions on arts and culture and share with friends, family, and fellow voters. 

Don’t know your polling location? Find out here

Sample Get out the Vote newsletter:

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Tuesday, November 6 is Election Day in Massachusetts.

Elections provide a great opportunity for candidates and voters to come together and talk about the strength of our communities, the challenges, and the vision of what’s going to make Massachusetts a healthy place to live, work, and play. 

At a time when technology and politics tend to divide us, MASSCreative's Create the Vote coalition has brought together candidates and voters to discuss the ways that arts and creative expression connect and engage us, improve schools, strengthen local business districts, and build vibrant neighborhoods. 

Now, we need to make sure the creative community turns out to vote. 

Before you vote on November 6, check out the candidates’ positions on arts and culture and share with friends, family, and fellow voters. 

Don’t know your polling location? Find out here


BOSTON, August 27, 2018 - MASSCreative Announces New Policy and Government Affairs Director

BOSTON, August 27, 2018—MASSCreative announces today that it has named Emily Ruddock as its new Director of Policy and Government Affairs, where she will advance MASSCreative’s policy platform with government officials, opinion leaders, and advocacy partners. MASSCreative hired Ruddock in 2017 as a program advocate but promoted her in less than a year to direct the organization’s policy and government advocacy efforts. She brings 13 years of experience working in strategic and management positions for non-profit arts organizations, including government service as the first director of the City of Lynn’s Downtown Cultural District. In her role as director of policy and government affairs, Ruddock will continue this work on a broader scale.

“Emily is a skilled communicator and leader who can bring people together to get things done. Her passion for the arts and arts advocacy is palpable,” said Matt Wilson, MASSCreative’s executive director. “MASSCreative has made great gains at the State House and in the broader political realm, advocating for arts and creativity as a path to prosperity and better quality of life in the Commonwealth. But political and policy support for arts, culture, and creativity is never a given. It requires ongoing organizing and advocacy and the continued cultivation of municipal and state leaders. Emily is the perfect person to lead us in this work.”

Before joining MASSCreative, Ruddock was the artistic producer at Merrimack Repertory Theatre (MRT), where she managed the day-to-day operations of the Artistic Department, including all hiring, resource logistics, and budgeting for at least three annual theatrical productions. She also developed and supervised MRT’s first education department-focused effort, strengthening partnerships with local social service organizations and schools.

As director of Lynn’s Downtown Cultural District, Ruddock was highly regarded by city officials and local arts leaders for her leadership in coordinating arts and cultural organizations for neighborhood revitalization and economic development. Ruddock worked with elected city and state officials on a range of projects to promote downtown Lynn and the arts community, including drafting legislation establishing the city’s first Public Art Commission. She also organized and executed free public events featuring local arts and community groups.

Ruddock holds a BA in Critical Social Thought from Mount Holyoke College and a Master’s in Public Administration from the Maxwell School at Syracuse University.


BOSTON, July 26, 2018—MASSCreative Urges State Legislature To Override Gov. Baker’s Veto of Spending on Art, Culture, and Creativity

BOSTON, July 26, 2018— Today, Governor Charlie Baker vetoed $2 million in funding for the Mass Cultural Council, reducing the recommended funding for the organization from $16.1 million to $14.1 million. MASSCreative Executive Director Matt Wilson offered the following statement in response:

“We are deeply dismayed by Gov. Baker’s veto of funding for the Mass Cultural Council approved by lawmakers. This is the fourth year in a row that Gov. Baker has vetoed increased funding for the Mass Cultural Council. For the past three years, lawmakers have overridden his vetos by overwhelming margins. We are incredibly grateful to state lawmakers for their continued leadership and urge them to once again fully override Gov. Baker’s veto.

“The local cultural councils and other nonprofit arts organizations funded by the Mass Cultural Council infuse our cities and towns with creative activities and events making our neighborhoods more connected, vibrant, and equitable. The benefits of these intentional investments in art and creativity can be seen in our schools and communities. Our state and local economies are made up of hundreds of downtown districts that rely upon the contributions of nonprofit arts organizations, who generated more than $2.2 billion in activity in 2015 alone. These organizations rely on support from the Mass Cultural Council which, in turn, is used to leverage additional, private investment.”

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#ArtsMatterDay October 26, 2018: Sign Up!

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On #ArtsMatterDay October 26, 2018 the creative community will flood social media with images and videos celebrating why arts matter in Massachusetts. 

Sign up here to say that you're joining our online day of celebration and receive our #ArtsMatterDay toolkit. We'll list you as a partner on our website, and we invite you to:

  • Share that you're celebrating #ArtsMatterDay and invite others to join on social media.
  • Celebrate #ArtsMatterDay on October 26 by posting pictures and videos on October 26 and using #ArtsMatter to highlight your organization's events and programs.


donated via 2017-11-18 05:47:34 -0500

Give as an Individual Member

Support the creative community. 

Your donation will help us bring together the collective voice of the creative community to advocate for the resources necessary to build healthy, vibrant, and equitable communities.
Thank you.

Feel free to join by mail instead by sending a check and your organization's information to:
MASSCreative 
15 Channel Center St, Suite 103
Boston, MA 02210

Monthly donations do even more to help us support the creative community. Click here to make a monthly donation.

If your organization is interested in becoming a MASSCreative Action Network Member Organization or renewing its membership, click here.


Over 600 Arts Leaders and Supporters Attend Arts Matter Advocacy Day!

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In the largest gathering of arts supporters in more than a decade, MASSCreative’s Arts Matter Advocacy Day at the Paramount Center and the MA State House on March 28 sent a clear message to our State Senators and Representatives that arts matter. The energy was infectious, and the advocacy, effective.  

Over 600 (we had expected 300) arts and cultural leaders and supporters and young people gathered for a day of networking with old friends and meeting new ones. We honed our advocacy and storytelling skills and traveled through the Boston Common in an ‘Arts Matter March’ to the State House to meet with legislators on arts and cultural issues.


House Budget Cuts Arts Funding by 13%

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On April 26, the Massachusetts House passed its FY18 budget that will fund the Massachusetts Cultural Council at $12.1 million, a significant cut from the current year.

This appropriation represents an increase over the original House Ways and Means proposal of $10 million, yet the budget is still a 13% cut from last year’s appropriation to the MCC, which provides funding to the arts and cultural community to build a more vibrant, healthy, and equitable Massachusetts.


MASSCreative Fights Trump’s Proposal to Eliminate the National Endowment for the Arts & National Endowment for the Humanities

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In his first budget proposal, President Trump called for the elimination of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). MASSCreative proudly stood with arts advocacy groups across the country, as well as the national arts advocacy group Americans for the Arts (AFTA), in opposition to any cuts in NEA and NEH funding. This broad-based coalition sent out a call to reverse the cuts and instead is asking Congress to increase funding to the NEA and NEH at $155 million each. 


Youth Artists Gather for Action Retreat

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When students and families across the Commonwealth were relaxing during April vacation, over 50 teens and youth workers from nine Boston-area youth arts organizations came together for the 3rd Annual Youth Arts Action Retreat on April 21 at Zumix in East Boston.

Teens and youth workers from Zumix, Boch Center, Boston Youth Symphony Orchestra, Community Art Center, Hyde Square Task Force, Inquilinos Boricuas en Acción (IBA), Massachusetts Cultural Council, Mayor’s Youth Council of Boston, Sociedad Latina, and Urbanity Dance gathered to learn advocacy and storytelling skills and take action to build the youth arts community.


published Thank You Member Organizations in May 2017 News 2017-05-08 14:40:08 -0400

Thank You Member Organizations

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Shout out to the organizations that recently joined and renewed their memberships with MASSCreative to support arts advocacy in Massachusetts. Thanks for all you do to build healthy, vibrant, and equitable communities through arts and culture. Our membership now represents 383 arts and cultural organizations, and individual artists and sector supporters. If you have not done so, please consider joining MASSCreative as a member organization or individual advocate


MASSCreative Has Opened Up its Search to Hire a Deputy Director

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Coming off the heels of its successful Arts Matter Advocacy Day in March, MASSCreative has opened up its search to hire a Deputy Director.

MASSCreative's Deputy Director will lead an initiative to diversify and increase the organization's revenue streams, develop a stronger narrative and communications strategy to decision makers and the public, and strengthen its organizational infrastructure, through board and staff development. The Deputy Director will work hand in hand with our small by mighty staff to continue MASSCreative’s growth to build its capacity to boldly advocate for the arts, cultural, and creative community. 


MASSCreative and MA Association of Community Development Corporations Partner on Creative Placemaking Workshops


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MASSCreative is partnering with the Massachusetts Association of Community Development Corporations (MACDC) to engage in an intensive, one-year program to build knowledge and advance creative placemaking with artists and community developers across the Commonwealth.

Creative placemaking is a strategy to shape, reshape, or preserve communities and local economies by intentionally leveraging the power of arts, culture, and creativity.

As part of this work, MASSCreative and MACDC are hosting a series of workshops to bring together artists, designers, planners, architects, and community developers. Workshops are scheduled for Salem (May 16th), Worcester (June 27th), and Holyoke (June 29th).


Final ESSA State Plan includes Arts Education in the Mix!

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On March 28, after ten months of work, the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) presented the final version of its plan to guide the Commonwealth’s public education priorities over the next decade. The good news is that access and participation in quality arts education is included on the Department’s priority list.

Working with the Arts for All Coalition (Arts|Learning, Boston Public Schools, EdVestors, the Massachusetts Cultural Council, MassINC, Project LEARN, and Young Audiences of Massachusetts), MASSCreative strongly advocated for arts education to be part of the new state plan as required by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). Responding to over a thousand e-mails from members of the arts and education communities, the plans adopted by DESE, call for the development of a “report card” that will track schools and districts on a number of measures, including for the first time, access and participation in arts education.


BOSTON, April 10, 2017— Statement by MASSCreative Executive Director Matt Wilson on House Ways & Means Committee Recommended Funding of the Massachusetts Cultural Council in State Budget:

“Lawmakers recognize the tremendous value of arts and culture in the Commonwealth. That’s why they have approved steady increases in funding for the Massachusetts Cultural Council over the last five years. Today’s recommendation by the House Ways and Means Committee to fund the MCC, which makes grants to arts institutions and local cultural councils across the state, at $10 million is a deeply disappointing step back from that community investment, and represents a 28 percent cut from last year’s funding for the MCC.

“Adding to our disappointment is that this recommendation comes just a few short weeks after 600 artists, cultural leaders, and arts supporters turned out for Arts Matter Advocacy Day at the State House to rally for public investment in the arts. Across the state, from Williamstown to Provincetown, community-based arts organizations are improving the quality of life in all 351 of our cities and towns by creating events and places where people want to gather and connect. They are also driving local economies, and creating educational opportunities, particularly in under-resourced communities.

“At a time when the Culture Wars have been revived in Washington, and the Trump Administration has proposed eliminating funding for the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities, we need to look to our local leadership to show support for the arts in Massachusetts. Governor Baker, in proposing a modest increase to the MCC budget, showed that there’s a bipartisan place for such leadership. Democracy starts at home, and it’s important that policymakers and legislators understand the value of investing in the arts and cultural sector, and our creative communities.

“We urge lawmakers to support state Representative and House Chair of the Joint Committee on Tourism, Arts and Cultural Development Cory Atkins’s amendment #6 calling for a $2 million increased investment in the arts for a total appropriation of $16 million. This will ensure the ability of arts institutions and local cultural councils in every region of the state to provide the diverse array of cultural activities that help our cities and towns to 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.” 


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Tracie Konopinski

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