Governor’s budget recognizes need among artists and cultural nonprofits

BOSTON, January 26, 2022—Today, Gov. Charlie Baker released his proposed budget for Fiscal Year 2023. In it, he recommends allocating $20.4 million for the Mass Cultural Council, which is a slight increase over the FY22 annual allocation ($20M). MASSCreative Executive Director Emily Ruddock issued the following statement in response: 

“This is a great start, and we applaud Gov. Baker for recognizing the depth of need among artists and arts and cultural nonprofits. Since March 2020 and the pandemic-related closure of museums and stages and the cancellation of musical performances, plays, and other live performances, 981 arts and cultural nonprofit organizations—which represent a sliver of the state’s creative economy—have reported $588.3 million in pandemic-related losses. Nearly 3,000 creative workers in Massachusetts lost over $30 million during that same time.

“Although it’s hard to remember a time before the pandemic, it’s worth recalling that pre-COVID, the arts and cultural sector generated over $25.5 billion to the Commonwealth’s economy and supported 142,578 jobs. In Worcester, Springfield, and Lowell—communities hard hit by COVID-19—arts and cultural nonprofits supported 4,062, 1,875, and 500 full-time jobs, respectively. In Worcester, arts and cultural organizations generated over $125 million in total spending, bringing in $4.4 million in local tax revenue. In Springfield, they generated nearly $50 million in total spending, and $2.2 million in local tax revenue. In Lowell, they generated $12 million in total spending, bringing in $478,000 in local tax revenue. Local arts and cultural enterprises are key to our overall economic recovery, and public investment is urgently needed now. 

“Creative work is also essential for the health and well-being of our communities. Community-based arts activities build bridges across neighborhood, ethnic, and class divides in ways that many other forms of civic engagement do not. The connections forged by community arts non-profits throughout the pandemic have been absolutely vital to our mental, emotional, and spiritual health. 

“We look forward to working with members of the House as the FY2023 budget process proceeds. We also look forward to sharing the ways in which art, creativity, and culture have been positively affecting constituents throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.”

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.

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published this page in Press 2022-01-27 11:21:51 -0500

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