VICTORY: Advocates override Gov. Baker's arts veto


On July 29th, six months of advocacy by the arts, cultural and creative community paid off as the Massachusetts Legislature successfully voted to override Governor Charlie Baker’s arts veto, restoring $2.3 million to the Massachusetts Cultural Council (MCC). This unanimous vote in the Senate and a 153-2 vote in the House showed bipartisan support and said loud and clear to Gov. Baker that state investment in arts and culture should be on his list of priorities.

This vote brought the Massachusetts Cultural Council budget back to $14.16 million, the largest increase in state investment in the past nine years. 

This victory is a direct result of the creative community’s advocacy. In the week leading up to the Legislature’s vote, arts and cultural leaders and supporters sent over 4,000 messages to their Representatives and Senators. It was this flurry of activity that sparked Sen. Dan Wolf and Rep. William “Smitty” Pignatelli and 104 other legislators, a record number, to sign a letter to Leadership requesting their support for a veto override.

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  Create the Vote 2015: Injecting arts & culture into the 2015 elections


Elections are a great time to talk about the strengths and challenges our cities face and the vision for our community. That’s why, in 2013 during Boston’s mayoral election, MASSCreative launched Create the Vote to inject arts and culture into the conversation among candidates and voters. Since then, we’ve seen the Walsh Administration in Boston make good on some bold commitments, including hiring a new cabinet-level position for the arts, starting a citywide cultural planning process, and dedicating more funding in the city’s budget towards arts and culture.

Wouldn’t it be great if we could see that success in every city in Massachusetts? Now, with other cities embarking on mayoral and city council elections this fall, we’re partnering with arts and cultural leaders to bring Create the Vote to elections across the state.

Gloucester launched its own Create the Vote campaign on August 13, with their first Mayoral Debate on Arts and Culture, hosted by WBUR’s Greg Cook at the Cultural Center at Rocky Neck. A packed house heard several candidates support the idea of a cultural office and paid staffer for the City's arts and cultural sector. The Rocky Neck Art ColonyGloucester’s Committee for the ArtsArts Gloucester, and seARTS are busy planning for post-primary forums with candidates for city council and mayor in October.

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  500-member student band revitalizes struggling Springfield school


When schools are failing, the curriculum needs to make bold, progressive strides to meet the students’ needs.  In schools like the High School of Science and Technology in Springfield where the graduation rate has fallen below 50 percent, one program is leading the change.

Captured in a powerful new documentary, SciTech Band: Pride of Springfield, viewers can get an up-close look at the academic and personal impact of this adventurous new music education program.

Springfield band teacher Gary Bernice and associate teachers Shelby Carne and Colleen Peterson harnessed his passion and commitment for their students into a new program: the 500-member SciTech Band. Made up of students who represent the racial and cultural diversity of Springfield, the program enrolls not only the school’s top-performing students, but also takes care to extend its reach to students who are struggling academically.

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  Youth lead the BostonCreates conversation


With Boston's Cultural Planning Process in full-swing, youth involved in summer programs at Company One, Hyde Square Task Force, Urbano, and Actors Shakespeare Project came together to make sure that young people have a voice in BostonCreates, the city’s cultural planning process.

The August 12 gathering was facilitated by youth, with small group discussions addressing what young people want the future of arts and culture to look like in their neighborhoods and the City. The young people shared their ideas in creative ways, performing skits and spoken word.

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  Arts for All: Education leaders convene to talk arts ed

afa_picture.jpgAll Massachusetts youth deserve the chance to discover their individual passion and creative talents. It can literally be a life-changing experience. 

MASSCreative and Arts|Learning have partnered with Massachusetts Cultural Council and Boston Public Schools to advocate for quality arts education and youth arts programs for each student in Massachusetts. Supported in part by Americans for the Arts’ State Policy Pilot Program (SP3), the initiative aims to establish arts education as integral to every school district’s curriculum by:

  • Including one year of arts education in high school as a university admissions requirement. 
  • Including the arts to STEM education.
  • Measuring creativity and innovation across all subjects.

To kick off the joint initiative, we’ll be holding three regional meetings in Boston, Worcester, and Springfield. These meetings aim to gather feedback on the Arts for All Action Plan from key stakeholders in the art education community; including educators, parents, business leaders, artists, and cultural and arts organizations, and to provide clear next steps on how to gather public support for the initiative.

RSVP for Boston Arts for All Regional Meeting on October 13



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  Welcoming new & renewing members


Many thanks to these MASSCreative organizational members that joined this past month for the first time or renewed their membership. The generous support of these creative institutions and 330+ others helps MASSCreative build the financial and political capacity it needs to effectively advocate for the arts and cultural community.

If you haven't had the opportunity to join, you can support MASSCreative right now by becoming a member organization or an individual member.

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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...