MASSCreative statement on Baker Administration’s plan to distribute American Rescue Plan stimulus funds to municipalities

BOSTON, June 17, 2021—Today, Gov. Charlie Baker announced plans to invest $2.8 billion in federal COVID-19 funding from the American Rescue Plan to support economic recovery in communities hit hardest by pandemic. The plan allocates $450 million in direct economic development efforts, with $100 million reserved for cultural facilities and tourism assets. MASSCreative Executive Director Emily Ruddock issued the following statement in response: 

“These funding choices are incredibly disappointing and do not reflect lessons learned over the last year about the ways in which art kept people connected throughout COVID as well as the ways that systemic racism contributes to inequities throughout our civic and cultural institutions. By choosing to only focus on a part of the arts and cultural sector hundreds of organizations - not to mention creative workers and artists - will be cut off from American Rescue Plan funds that are desperately needed to reopen and rehire people. 

“Without bold, comprehensive public funding for reopening the arts and cultural sector, Massachusetts stands to lose key members of the vibrant arts and cultural community that have long been an economic engine in cities and towns throughout the state. Before the pandemic, cultural nonprofits in Massachusetts supported more than 73,000 full time jobs, generated over $2.3 billion in total spending, and brought in nearly $100 million in state tax revenues. Every dollar spent by an arts and cultural organization generates $2.30 in sales for nearby businesses, and in 2018, there were more than 21 million attendees for art and cultural events in the Greater Boston area, which is more than four times that for all major Boston sporting events combined.

“Community-based arts activities build bridges across neighborhood, ethnic, and class divides in ways that many other forms of civic engagement do not. Throughout the pandemic, arts organizations found creative ways to keep people connected and have been vital to sustaining personal and community connections.

The pandemic has devastated the arts and cultural sector, which has reported over $588 million in lost revenue. Sector reported reopening costs for arts and cultural organizations is estimated to be more than $100 million. Immediate assistance is needed to pay for the technological innovations needed to safely reopen, re-create jobs, and sustain and advance racial diversity and equity and diversity of programming in arts and cultural organizations across the state.”

About MASSCreative

MASSCreative works with artists, cultural councils, arts organizations and the broader creative community to build a Commonwealth where arts and creativity are an expected, recognized, and valued part of everyday life. Working with our coalition of 400 arts and cultural organizations and artists from across the Commonwealth, MASSCreative uses public education and awareness, grassroots organizing, advocacy campaigns, and other civic and political engagement to ensure that arts, culture, and creativity are considered when important policy and political decisions get made at the state and local level.

Do you like this post?

Showing 1 reaction

published this page in Press 2021-06-17 17:00:10 -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...