June 5 COVID-19 Virtual Policy & Action Update

Add your reaction Share

Help us find our new Director of Engagement & Organizing

Since its founding in 2012, MASSCreative has worked to build a more vibrant, healthy, and equitable Massachusetts by advocating for the resources and policies necessary for the arts, cultural, and creative sector to thrive.

A few weeks ago, our Program Director, Tracie Konopinski, announced that after seven years at MASSCreative, she is leaving the organization on June 26 to take on the next phase of her career. Since her arrival in 2013, Tracie’s work strengthened the collective advocacy voice of the creative community through hundreds of online actions, annual #ArtsMatterDays, and dozens of regional trainings and gatherings, including three bi-annual Arts Advocacy Days at the State House. Thank you, Tracie for your leadership.

MASSCreative’s success is tied directly to passionate, hard workers, including advocates like you who’ve chosen to add your voice to something larger than yourself.

Now, we need your help in our search for our new Director of Engagement & Organizing to join the MASSCreative team and lead the organization’s community engagement and grassroots organizing efforts.

Please take a look at the Director of Engagement & Organizing job description.

Reporting to the Executive Director, this senior level position will direct and implement the organization's grassroots communications, community organizing, and coalition building efforts. We seek an experienced, creative, and collaborative individual who shares our deep belief that arts and culture are essential to a stronger, more equitable Massachusetts.

This is an exciting moment for MASSCreative as we develop the next phase of our policy advocacy and grassroots network building towards a more inclusive and better supported creative sector. We hope this might be someone in your network.

We hope to have our new Director of Engagement & Organizing start by the end of June. Please pass this job description along to other colleagues, friends, and family who may be interested.

Add your reaction Share

May 26 Policy & Action Reveiw


Virtual Policy & Action Updates

Policy___Action_Updates.png

Every Friday from 9:45-10am, the MASSCreative team hosts our COVID-19 Virtual Policy & Action Updates. These 15-minute updates are meant to provide you with what you need to know about COVID-19 policy advocacy and actions you can take to support the creative community.

Check out MASSCreative’s May 22 Policy & Action Update

Register for MASSCreative’s May 29 Policy & Action Update

mc_news_dotLine.jpg

Top Policy Update

On May 18, Gov. Baker announced a four-phase plan for reopening the Massachusetts economy based on public health measures. While some retailers and businesses started to reopen in a limited capacity on Memorial Day, we know that it will not be safe for many arts and cultural organizations and venues to reopen their spaces until Phase 3 or Phase 4.

We know many are struggling to reimagine the future while also trying to figure out when to reopen, restart, and begin to recover. MASSCreative is here to help you make sense of the MA reopening plan and direct you to some easy, effective actions.

Read more on Reopening: Four-Phase Approach

mc_news_dotLine.jpg

Top Actions

Top_Action_Update.png

The creative community will need significant resources in order to recover during and after Massachusetts' four reopening phases. Our members of Congress play a significant role in ensuring any emergency recovery loans or programs make their way to cities and towns in MA.

Contact your Member of Congress to make sure the HEROES Act gets the attention it deserves:

Email your Members of Congress

Call your Members of Congress

mc_news_dotLine.jpg

Some Good News

We at MASSCreative firmly believe that the arts should be woven into all young people’s lives. We also recognize that access to opportunities in the arts is not equal for all students, and that the pandemic has only heightened these inequities.

That’s why we were thrilled to hear about the efforts of Open Door Arts and EdVestors who, as part of Boston Public Schools (BPS) Arts Expansion Initiative, distributed 4,400 art kits to students across Boston. 

Read MASSCreative’s Spotlight: Open Door Arts & EdVestors Help Equalize Access to the Arts

mc_news_dotLine.jpg

So mark your calendars for every Friday from 9:45-10am and look out for this Policy & Action Review in your inbox at the start of the week. If you’re looking for more COVID-19 resources, you can check out MASSCreative’s COVID-19 pages, including updatesresourcesadvocacypolicy recommendations, and policy & action updates.

Add your reaction Share

Spotlight: Open Door Arts & EdVestors Help Equalize Access to the Arts

In last week’s Spotlight, we spoke about the effects the current public health emergency are having on students who participate in the arts. While the specific impact there is great, we at MASSCreative firmly believe that the arts should be woven into all young people’s lives. We also recognize that access to opportunities in the arts is not equal for all students, and that the pandemic has only heightened these inequities.

That’s why we were thrilled to hear about the efforts of Open Door Arts and EdVestors who, as part of Boston Public Schools (BPS) Arts Expansion Initiative, distributed 4,400 art kits to students across Boston. Open Door Arts has been a longtime supporter of bringing art to youth in the community, and with a coordinated effort with BPS Visual and Performing Arts Department and funding from the Wellington Management Foundation and Liberty Mutual Foundation, the partners secured the kits with help from Crayola, and immediately set to work on putting them in the hands of students. The kits are being distributed in two ways, with an emphasis on increasing equity and fulfilling need; some are being delivered directly to the homes of students and some are being made available through meal distribution sites. The distribution was made possible with aid from the Mayor’s Office of the City Boston,  Northeastern University, Boston Centers for Youth & Families (BCYF), and the YMCA of Greater Boston.

This incredible undertaking is in addition to other programs that were created under the umbrella of the BPS Arts Expansion during the current public health emergency, with the help of partners like Open Door Arts. Online arts classes have become a staple for many students, and #BPSArtsChallenge is constantly encouraging students to flex their creative muscles. Now, even more students can participate, thanks to the equalizing efforts of so many incredible organizations.

At MASSCreative, we believe in the strength of partnership and activating networks to uplift communities. The collaboration between Open Door Arts, Edvestors, and so many more organizations is the perfect demonstration of what can be accomplished when we work together towards a common goal for the benefit of those around us. We’re proud to see the community come together to support the youth of our City, joined by the belief that the arts matter to us all. 

Read more about the Initiative at Edify - WBUR

Add your reaction Share

May 29 COVID-19 Virtual Policy & Action Update

Add your reaction Share

Call your Members of Congress

  1. Look up your Members of Congress HERE
  2. Prepare what you’re going to say over the phone. You can use our TEMPLATE.
  3. Call your Members of Congress.
  4. Report your call to MASSCreative HERE. It will only take a few minutes and this information is crucial to informing MASSCreative’s future advocacy actions.

TEMPLATE:

Hi. My name is ____________ and I live in _____________. I’m calling to thank Senator/Congressman/Congresswoman ____________________ for keeping public health and safety a priority during the COVID-19 pandemic.

I’m also calling because I’m an artist/arts advocate/parent/work at [insert cultural institution] and I’m concerned about the arts & cultural community’s ability to recover. Gov. Baker released his four-phase plan to reopen the Massachusetts economy, and it’s clear that it won’t be safe for most arts and cultural organizations and venues to reopen until Phase 3 or 4. 

The creative community will need significant resources in order to recover during and after these reopening phases. If we want arts and culture to exist after the public health emergency as an economic driver for our downtowns and a resource for community connection, we need government support to make sure they can exist on the other side of this pandemic.  

I know that the House just passed the Heroes Act, which includes additional funding through Small Business Association emergency loans, unemployment insurance, Community Development Block Grants, the National Endowments for the Arts and Humanities, and the Institute for Museum and Library Services. Please do everything you can to see these provisions advanced by the Senate and continue to advocate for arts and cultural organizations, artists, and independent contractors in all government stimulus, emergency funding, and economic recovery efforts.

Add your reaction Share

Reopening MA: What it means for the creative community

On May 18, Governor Baker announced a four-phase plan for reopening the Massachusetts economy based on public health measures. While some retailers and businesses will start to reopen in a limited capacity on May 25, we know that it will not be safe for many arts and cultural organizations and venues to reopen their spaces until Phase 3 or Phase 4.

We know you’re struggling to reimagine the future while also trying to figure out when your work, your organization, and the creative community can reopen, restart, and begin to recover. As a statewide arts and culture advocacy organization, MASSCreative is here to help you make sense of the MA reopening plan and direct you to some easy, effective actions you can take to support the creative community.

mc_news_dotLine.jpg

Main take-aways from the Reopening Plan


Massachusetts’ arts and culture sector will be among its last to reopen, with many organizations unable to safely reopen until Phase 3 or 4. In the meantime, organizations and individuals must follow public health directives to ensure that reopening proceeds as planned. 

Reopening Phases and what it looks like for arts and culture organizations:

Phase 1 (May 18): Zoos, outdoor gardens, public installations, and drive-in theaters
Phase 2: Some outdoor performances, maybe some outdoor venue
Phase 3: Museums, performance venues (concert halls, theaters)
Phase 4: Large venues (arenas, stadiums, night clubs—in process of defining large venues)

All employers, employees, and individuals must adhere to collective safety standards and practices. Each sector, industry, and business must follow guidance from state administration. Both statewide and sector-specific practices will be provided. Businesses will only be eligible to reopen if they comply with all mandatory safety standards. Before reopening, all businesses must develop written COVID-19 control plans.

Each phase will last a minimum of three weeks and could last longer. Only when public health data standards are met will the next phase begin. If we assume that no negative trends in the data cause returns to prior phases, the earliest the phases would begin would be May 18 for Phase 1, June 8 for Phase 2, June 29 for Phase 3, and July 20 for Phase 4. 

mc_news_dotLine.jpg

MASSCreative Recommendations

 

 

Given the requirements of the reopening plan, it’s clear the creative community will need to collectively advocate in order for arts and culture to remain a vital part of everyday life in MA.

Here are MASSCreative’s recommendations and asks to federal, state, and municipal decision-makers:

  • Include the creative sector in developing discipline & venue-specific guidelines so that organizations can adequately apply the reopening mandates to their work.

  • Access to PPE, sanitation supplies, and contact tracing protocols to keep our artists, staff, and communities safe.

  • Access to financial supports and small business assistance to protect the creative sector through full reopening.

  • When it is safe for the creative sector to reopen and gather in large groups, we will need Massachusetts and its cities and towns to coordinate statewide & municipal messaging campaigns to rebuild consumer confidence

mc_news_dotLine.jpg

Reopening Resources

Victor "MARKA27" Quinonez's mural on Exchange Street in Lynn, MA


mc_news_dotLine.jpg

Take Action

With most arts and cultural organizations unable to reopen to Phase 3 or 4, it’s clear that the creative community will need significant resources in order to recover during and after these reopening phases. Our members of Congress play a significant role in ensuring any emergency recovery loans or programs make their way to cities and towns in MA.

On Mass Cultural Council's May 20 Town Hall Forum, Congressman McGovern emphasized the importance of the federal HEROES Act in addressing the creative community's needs.

Contact your Member of Congress to make sure the HEROES Act gets the attention it deserves:

mc_news_dotLine.jpg

Add your reaction Share

May 18 Policy & Action Review

mc_news_dotLine.jpg

Virtual Policy & Action Updates

Policy___Action_Updates.png

Every Friday from 9:45-10am, the MASSCreative team hosts our COVID-19 Virtual Policy & Action Updates. These 15-minute updates are meant to provide you with what you need to know about COVID-19 policy advocacy and actions you can take to support the creative community.

Check out MASSCreative’s May 15 Policy & Action Update

Register for MASSCreative’s May 22 Policy & Action Update

mc_news_dotLine.jpg

Top Policy Update

Top_Policy_Update.png

Today at 11AM, Gov. Baker and the Reopening Advisory Board will release their guidelines for reopening the Massachusetts economy using a four-phase approach, based on public health guidance.

In response, MASSCreative will be outlining how federal, state, and municipal decision-makers can ensure the arts and cultural sector recovers during and after the reopening phases. As this news develops, look to MASSCreative's website and social media for updates.

Read more on the Four-Phase Approach to Reopening the Massachusetts Economy

 

mc_news_dotLine.jpg

Top Actions

Top_Action_Update.png

Look out for an upcoming Action Alert in response to Gov. Baker's reopening guidelines that you can sign and share with your networks.

The action alert will outline MASSCreative's recommendations including:

  • Clear discipline & venue-specific guidelines for reopening
  • Access to PPE, sanitation supplies, and contact tracing protocols
  • Sustained financial support through full reopening
  • Coordinated State & Municipal Messaging Campaigns to rebuild consumer confidence

Prep to Share our Action Alert 

Prep your Personal Story

mc_news_dotLine.jpg

Some Good News

In Framingham Public Schools, learning has gone remote like every other district across Massachusetts. But under the leadership of Donna Wresinski, the Fine and Performing Arts Department has set up an exciting initiative for its students to make the best of their new virtual situation.

Read MASSCreative’s Spotlight on Framingham Public Schools Fine & Performing Arts Department

mc_news_dotLine.jpg

So mark your calendars for every Friday from 9:45-10am and look out for this Policy & Action Review in your inbox at the start of the week. If you’re looking for more COVID-19 resources, you can check out MASSCreative’s COVID-19 pages, including updatesresourcesadvocacypolicy recommendations, and policy & action updates.

Add your reaction Share

Spotlight: Framingham Schools Bring the Arts to Their Students’ Homes

The past two months have been difficult for students across the Commonwealth; as schools shut down due to the public health emergency, classes were moved online, proms were cancelled, and important milestones now must be celebrated in the safety of living rooms. For arts students and educators, the transition has been particularly difficult, as the in-person interactions that make arts and performance classes so rich now must be conducted through a screen. But despite these difficulties, some educators are going above and beyond to give their students the arts education they deserve.

In Framingham Public Schools, learning has gone remote like every other district across Massachusetts. But under the leadership of Donna Wresinski, the Fine and Performing Arts Department has set up an exciting initiative for its students to make the best of their new virtual situation. Each week, students and teachers are treated to an online workshop with a celebrity professional in the field, featuring interactive participation and in-depth Q&As. The staff is tapping into every connection they have to bring their students one-of-a-kind opportunities, even if they can’t be there in-person. Actors, singers, dancers, agents– students will meet them all! 

And to keep their creative gears going, the department has devised a new challenge for their students and students across the Massachusetts Educational Theater Guild. Entitled the METG 40 to 1 Challenge, student companies are encouraged to take their 40 minute festival pieces, shave them down to a single minute, and share them with the world. Framingham launched the initiative with their 1 minute rendition of Mary Zimmerman’s Argonautika, and five more schools are up next for the challenge.

The arts are a vital part of our students’ education, and the difficulties caused by pandemic make it very easy for them to be left behind. But now more than ever, our students need the joy, expression, and release the arts provide. We at MASSCreative celebrate the outstanding efforts of Framingham Public Schools Fine and Performing Arts Department to keep the arts in their students’ lives and develop innovative opportunities to learn and be creative. Schools may be closed, but arts education continues on vibrantly.

Read more about the Initiative in the Framingham Source

Add your reaction Share

May 22 COVID-19 Virtual Policy & Action Update

Add your reaction Share

← Previous  1  2    9  10  11  12  13  14  15  16  17    77  78  Next →

Community Impact