Submit Written Testimony for American Rescue Plan Act Hearings

An important part of the legislative process is legislative hearings where committees hear from experts and constituents on the issues. 

The Legislature is holding hearings on the allocation of American Rescue Plan Act state funding and we encourage arts and cultural advocates submit written testimony in support of arts and cultural recovery. 

What is Written Testimony?

Writing testimony is an excellent way to add your voice to the public record. Written testimony is considered by committee members and staff when making final decisions. Below are some tips and talking points for writing testimony in support of arts and cultural recovery funding:

  • Testimony can be submitted via email to [email protected] and SenateCommittee.Ways&[email protected] 
  • Please submit testimony by Friday September 17 at 5pm.
  • Use "APRA Hearing on Economic Development Testimony" in the subject line.
  • You should address the testimony to:
    • Hon. Michael J. Rodrigues, Senate Chair, Ways and Means Committee

    • Hon. Aaron Michlewitz, House Chair, Ways and Means Committee

    • Hon. Eric P. Lesser, Senate Chair, Economic Development and Emerging Technology

    • Hon. Ann-Margaret Ferrante, Vice Chair, House Ways and Mean Committee

    • Hon. Daniel J. Hunt, Chair, House Committee on Federal Stimulus and Census Oversight

Talking Points For Written Testimony

  • The arts and cultural sector was among the first to close and eighteen months later we are not fully reopened. 
  • In the last 18 months 981 nonprofit arts and cultural organizations reported $588 million in lost revenue, impacting 30,000 jobs.
  • Artists and creative workers reported $30 million in lost income over the same time period. 
    • Please add specifics about the negative impact of COVID-19 to your creative practice or organization's operations.
  • These numbers do not include for profit arts businesses including independent live venues and creative consultancies. 
  • In 2019, the arts and cultural sector in Massachusetts generated $100 million in state tax revenue and contributed $2.3 billion to the state economy. 
  • Beyond economic impact, artists and cultural organizations have connected individuals isolated due to quarantine and public health closures, supported youth disconnected from school resources and after school programs and created  programs to improve public health educational outcomes.
    • Please add specific examples of how your creative practice or organization has supported the communities you serve over the 18 months. 
  • As the legislature considers the use of $5.8 billion in State Fiscal Recovery Funds from the federal government, it is essential that support for the recovery and growth of a sector essential to the identity and economic activity of the Commonwealth is considered.
  • Over the summer, the legislature established a special commission to evaluate the impact of COVID-19 to the cultural sector and make recommendations for the its recovery.
  • The Commission submitted a report to the legislature that recommends $575 million in state fiscal recovery funding over the next four years to the arts and cultural community
  • We support the immediate allocation of $375 million of American Rescue Plan Act state funding for recovery grants to stabilize the sector. Specifically:
    • $75 million for independent, for-profit venues, and cultural service organizations.
    • $100 million for individual, practicing artists.
    • $100 million for non-profit and municipal performing arts organizations, and cultural service organizations and venues.
    • $100 million for museums, visual arts, humanities, and cultural heritage organizations.
  • This initial allocation will be transformative for a sector that has experienced negative economic impacts caused by the public health emergency. 
  • Additionally, the $375 million in recovery funding will preserve jobs and get creative workers back to work. 
  • Offer your contact information for any follow up the committee might like to do.
  • Thank the committee Chairs for their service to the Commonwealth and leadership.
Do you like this page?

Showing 1 reaction

published this page in Legislature Holds Hearing on American Rescue Plan Act Funding 2021-09-08 17:50:15 -0400

Community Impact

The Drama Studio is one of a handful of youth theatres in the United States that offers quality, range, and depth in its acting training programs. For Springfield-area youth, the Studio's conservatory program offers an unusual opportunity for training that prepares its graduates (all of whom are college bound) to...