2022: A Year in Review

MASSCreative is dedicated to advocating for a more equitable and inclusive arts and cultural sector for all residents of the Commonwealth. Here are a few of the ways we pursued these goals in 2022:

Securing Recovery for the Sector

We know that artists, creative business and cultural organizations were hit hard by the pandemic and continue to feel the economic impact nearly three years later. That's why MASSCreative focused much of our time and energy building a case for Creative Sector Relief funding.  Thanks to our collective advocacy, the Massachusetts state legislature include $135 million for arts and cultural recovery in their American Rescue Plan Spending Plan. This includes $60 million in grants that the Mass Cultural Council is distributing through their Cultural Sector Recovery grant programs. 

Supporting Advocacy Leaders’ Growth

MASSCreative Staff and 2022 Create the Vote FellowsIn 2022, we launched our newest program The Create the Vote Fellowship for regional advocacy leaders in Massachusetts. The Fellowship provided nine leaders a $5,000 stipend, monthly training and mentorship as each fellow focused on cultural policy needs in their communities. Create the Vote 2022 Fellows included artists and arts administrators from Berkshire County, Provincetown, New Bedford, Worcester, Fitchburg, the North Shore and Metro Boston. We’ve learned a great deal from our nine inaugural fellows and look forward to inviting applications for a new cohort soon.

Reversing A Dangerous Trend

Since MASSCreative’s founding, our top priority is protecting and increasing public funding for arts, culture and creativity. This year we hit an important milestone: $22.5 million in annual state funding for the creative sector. This represents a 12% increase from 2021 and TRIPLE the amount allocated a decade ago. 

Educating Voters and Candidates

As part of the Create the Vote Coalition MASSCreative worked to educate candidates running for Governor and Lt. Governor on the needs of the creative sector and organize arts voters. For only the second time the Create the Vote Coalition issued a Policy Platform outlining common sense actions the next Governor of Massachusetts can take to ensure a stronger and more equitable creative sector. Over 200 arts and cultural organizations, individual artists, creative workers and arts supporters have endorsed the platform.

The Coalition hosted a Create the Vote Forum featuring the majority of candidates running for Lieutenant Governor. Thanks to the Forum, voters had the opportunity to hear directly from candidates running for Lieutenant Governor on their vision for the creative sector. The Forum also showcased a variety of Massachusetts artists and was hosted by the Jean McDonough Arts Center in Worcester, MA.

Raising the Visibility of the Sector

Recently, MASSCreative’s Executive Director, Emily Ruddock and Mass Cultural Council’s Executive Director, Michael J. Bobbitt co-authored a letter to the Boston Globe Editor highlighting the vital role public funding can play in building more equitable support for the creative sector. The letter included examples of state and local leaders who increased public dollars for arts and cultural sector recovery. (click here to download the letter)

Providing the Tools You Count On

Throughout 2022, MASSCreative continued to host our popular Policy & Action Webinar series - a 15 minute recap for arts and cultural advocates in Massachusetts. Since its inception more than 400 participants have joined one of these webinars. In November, we held our second Election Debrief Webinar, featuring national and local policy experts to help break down what the 2022 Election results mean for the creative sector. We also continued to share calls to action that provided direct communication with your elected officials. 

Focusing on What Matters Most

To cap off our year, MASSCreative traveled the Commonwealth for our Arts and Cultural Policy Input Gatherings. Each of the nine sessions offered participants the opportunity to share the challenges they currently face and imagine policy solutions that best solve them. The feedback we received from these events will directly inform MASSCreative’s policy agenda in 2023. For each of our Gatherings we worked with community partners to cohost the events. Gathering Co hosts: Assets for Artists, Arts Foundation of Cape Cod, The Cordial Eye, Cotuit Center for the Arts, Co-Creative Center, Discovery Museum, Fitchburg Art Museum, Fall River Arts & Culture Coalition, MCLA Arts & Culture, New Bedford Creative, New England Museum Association, Peabody Essex Museum, South Shore Art Center, and the Cultural Equity Incubator.

2023: New Opportunities

As we look ahead to a new Legislative Session and the incoming Healey-Driscoll Administration, there will be plenty of opportunities for us to work together towards a more inclusive, equitable and connected creative sector in Massachusetts. At MASSCreative, we are energized by the passion, creativity and collaboration of artists, creatives, cultural leaders and political changemakers in Massachusetts and we can’t wait to get to work. 

Please consider making a gift to our Winter Annual Fund Campaign or start a new sustaining monthly gift today.

Featured Photos
Image 1: MASSCreative staff, partners and Create the Vote 2022 Fellows during the Kickoff Retreat. Credit: MASSCreative
Image 2: Create the Vote Forum moderator Ilana Brownstein and Lueitentant Governor Candidates answer questions during the 2022 Create the Vote Forum. Credit: Mike Hendrickson
Image 3: Participants raise hands during a Arts and Cultural Policy Input Gathering at the Cotuite Center for the Arts. Co-hosted by the Arts Foundation of Cape Cod, The Cotuit Center for the Arts & The Cordial Eye. Credit: Chris Kazarian

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published this page in News and Views 2022-12-19 16:22:18 -0500

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