Creative Sector Advocates Request $5 Per Resident in Healey’s FY24 Proposal

BOSTON (2/8/23) - On Wednesday, February 8, 2023, MASSCreative submitted a letter endorsed by 595 individuals and organizations throughout the Commonwealth to Governor Healey, Lieutenant Governor Driscoll, and Secretary Gorzkowicz encouraging the Healey Administration to increase the Mass Cultural Council line item to $35 million, equaling $5 per capita, in the FY24 budget. The Mass Cultural Council line item capped at $23.4 million in FY23, approximately $3.28 per capita, which was a 9.4% increase from the year prior. The letter states that the US Bureau of Economic Analysis rates the economic value of arts and cultural production in Massachusetts at $23.7 billion, yielding more than retail or construction. 

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MOAC Cultural Investment Grant Announcement

Last week, the Mayor’s Office of Arts and Culture (MOAC) for the City of Boston announced that they are establishing a $10 million multi-year Cultural Investment Grant funded through local ARPA appropriations. The purpose for the grant is to grow and sustain arts and cultural organizations that have a clear vision of a creative, equitable, and more just city. These funds will in turn build capacity for organizations working with communities in Boston who have been most harmed by the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly communities of color. The deadline to submit a letter of inquiry for Cultural Investment Grant funding is February 1, 2023 at 11:59pm. 

This represents a significant win for arts and cultural organizations in the City of Boston that would not have been possible without the steadfast and coordinated advocacy that our larger creative community demonstrated. Together, we elevated our voices, our needs, and our resources to those with direct decision-making authority and now we are enjoying the rewards of that labor.

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Take Action Alert: City of Boston

Boston, January 17th, 20223– MASSCreative Inc. is proud to support the Drawing Democracy Coalition (DDC) and Massachusetts Voter Table (MVT) and stand in solidarity with the people of Boston, who have long awaited the passing of the Unity Map by the Boston City Council members and Boston Mayor Michelle WU. The Unity Map proposes redistricting Boston so that Black residents and residents of color are fairly represented in elections. Advocates for the Unity Map believe the proposed redistricting will abolish voter suppression and “make sure districts are of roughly equal size to ensure that each resident’s vote is weighted the same” The BayState Banner, 2022

 The Unity Maps is the result of significant community effort, where numerous community voices were heard both in favor and against this initiative. Organizers from DDC and MVT have worked tirelessly with elected officials and community members  to shift the racial gap from Cedar Grove, Neponset and Adams Village from 9.5% to 14.5%. In hope of giving an impactful voting experience to community members in districts like district 4. Because many members of Boston’s arts and cultural community - including artists, creative workers and arts administrators live in these communities and are at risk of experiencing voter suppression, MASSCreative is proud to support this call to action - the last push needed to get it codified. We are concerned that without the adoption of the Unity Map residents will continue to be at risk of voter suppression and displacement. 

The MASSCreative team is excited to see a brighter Boston, where artist displacement is a myth of the past, and there’s a place for everyone and their stories. Most importantly, we are proud to stand in solidarity with you as you fight to ensure your vote matters, irrespective of your voting zip code.  Which is why we are asking everyone to take the pledge with us toward creating a more opportunistic, and equitable Boston by signing the petition in favor of the Unity Map. 

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MASSCreative Appoints New Senior Leadership in Organizing and External Relations

BOSTON (1/17/23) - MASSCreative is pleased to announce the appointments of Richeline Cadet as director of organizing and Kelsey Rode as director of external relations. Both Cadet and Rode will work directly with Emily Ruddock, the executive director, as members of the organization’s senior leadership team.

“Richeline and Kelsey are inspired leaders who have already proven themselves as effective political organizers and communications professionals,” said Ruddock. “As MASSCreative turns its attention to the upcoming legislative session and the incoming Healey/Driscoll Administration, Richeline and Kelsey will play vital roles in ensuring the creative sector is unified in its advocacy efforts.”

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Congratulations to Governor-Elect Healey and Lieutenant Governor-Elect Driscoll

December 21, 2022 - The Create the Vote Coalition composed and sent a letter of congratulations to Governor-Elect Maura Healey and Lieutenant Governor-Elect Kim Driscoll. The letter offered congratulations, welcomed the pair to their new roles and thanked them both for their time engaging with the Create the Vote Coalition during their campaigns. 

The letter also reiterated the policies within the coalition’s Arts and Culture Policy Platform that the Create the Vote MA Coalition urges the new administration to implement to strengthen a more inclusive and equitable arts and cultural economy and offered coalition members as a resource. 

Throughout the summer and fall, cultural organizations and individuals were invited to endorse the Coalition’s Policy Platform to express their support, and 125 individuals and 63 organizations added their names. Endorsers include organizations varying in size from small to very large and individuals from all across the Commonwealth. 

Read the full letter below.

Download a PDF printable version of the letter

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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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How Do You Add Color to the Commonwealth?

Artists, creative workers & cultural organizations bring color and vibrancy to the Commonwealth in many ways. They build inclusive, connected, and more equitable communities. They animate our main streets and downtowns. They help young people develop into empathetic and innovative leaders. 

And they change how we experience the world. 

Use our Statehouse coloring sheet to envision a more creative and vibrant Massachusetts.

Be sure to join the conversation & share photos of how you #ColorTheCommonwealth with #CTVMA2022 by tagging us on Twitter @CreateTheVoteMA and on Instagram @ctv_ma.

Time to get creative!

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Voting Details for the Nov 8 General Election

Register or verify your voter registration

You must be registered to vote on or before Saturday, October 29, 2022 in order to vote in the November 8 General Election. Register online, in person, or by mail. If you’re already registered, verify your registration or if you’ve moved, update your registration with your new address. 


Important deadlines

Voter Registration Deadline: Sat October 29, 2022
Vote by Mail Application Deadline: Tues November 1, 2022
Early Voting: Sat October 22 - Fri November 4
Election Day: Tues Nov 8, 7am – 8pm


Ways to vote

You can cast your vote by:

  • Vote-by-mail
  • Early Voting
  • In person voting on Election Day
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MASSCreative Seeks Candidates for Two Senior Leadership Positions

MASSCreative seeks candidates for two newly created positions, Director of External Relations and Director of Organizing. In collaboration with the Executive Director, these two roles will help direct MASSCreative's advocacy, learning and case making strategies. 

The Director of External Relations will lead MASSCreative communications strategies and fundraising efforts to increase awareness of MASSCreative’s impact on the sector, advance our policy goals and develop iterative strategies to build support for MASSCreative’s work. 

The Director of Organizing lead MASSCreative's political mobilization strategies, direct our advocacy training and skills building programming and build strong partnerships with creative sector leaders, stakeholders and organizations to achieve shared policy priorities. 

MASSCreative is an Equal Opportunity Employer: Black, Indigenous and People of color, women, LGBTQ-identified persons, and others from historically underrepresented communities are encouraged to apply.

To learn more about these positions, click on the links below to download the full posting.

Download the Director of External Relations job summary.

Download the Director of Organizing job summary. 

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CTVMA Forum Highlights

The Create the Vote Coalition’s 2022 Candidate Forum and Celebration of the Arts featured a moderated conversation with candidates running for Lieutenant Governor, an exhibit of art and creativity across disciplines, snacks, drinks, and a great location at the JMAC in Worcester. 

The evening started with a meet and greet cocktail hour, with catering provided by Kim Jones of Strong Style Coffee. Along with the social time, Worcester Interfaith and Mass Voter Table were there sharing information about the Fair Share Amendment which is endorsed by the CTV coalition. The Create the Vote policy platform and invitations to endorse the platform were also available. Artwork by Julia Csekö, Hank von Hellion, Ashlee Leffita, and John Powers was on display for participants to enjoy. 

The forum was opened with a music performance from Candida Rose Baptista of Golden Rose Music. Candida Rose had the audience singing, clapping, and moving to the music.

Watch a video of Candida Rose's performance 

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