August 21 Policy Update

MASSCreative continues to monitor and report on state and federal policy that supports equitable communities and a stronger, more inclusive creative sector. Here's the Policy Update from the last two week including:

  • School reopening plans and arts education guidance
  • What we can expect from federal and state government this fall.
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CTV Updates: 3 Questions for Candidates

As we approach the September 1 primary, volunteers and staff from candidate campaigns are busy reaching out to voters via calls and texts to urge support for their candidates. This is an excellent opportunity to learn more about a candidate’s platform and issues - especially how the candidate sees arts and culture as a vital part of community cohesion and economic vibrancy for their district. Instead of quickly and politely signing off, be sure to engage the candidate or their campaign in a quick conversation on arts and culture. Here are three questions that we encourage voters ask to learn more about a candidate’s support for arts and culture:

When candidates get more questions on an issue they are more inclined to develop policies that support the issue. By asking questions you help ensure the issues and challenges facing the creative community rise to the top. 

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August 21 MASSCreative Virtual Policy & Action Update

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CTV Updates: Become a Poll Worker or Census Worker

Fall 2020 is a pivotal year for civic engagement and there is paying work available to ensure a strong and healthy democracy in our nation and commonwealth. 

While the presidential election often takes center stage, a wide array of local and national elections (Nov. 3) and Massachusetts primaries (Sept. 1) are taking place this year, with the potential to shape the future of the Commonwealth. Additionally, 2020 is a Census year. Census data directly impacts the allocation of billions of Federal funding dollars, as well as determines congressional, state, and local district boundaries. It is vital that we complete the count in Massachusetts to ensure everyone is represented.

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Urgent Action: Tell Congress to pass Save Our Stages and RESTART Acts

The National Independent Venue Association (NIVA) that represents live music venues and promoters put out the following statement in support of the Save our Stages Act:

"Independent live music and entertainment venues have been hard-hit during the coronavirus pandemic, with 90 percent of venue owners, promoters, and bookers reporting they are at risk of closing permanently without additional financial assistance. If ticket sales do not resume until 2021, the industry will have lost an estimated $9 billion in ticket sales alone. The Save Our Stages Act:

  • Establishes a $10 billion grant program for live venue operators, promoters, producers and talent representatives
  • Directs the Small Business Administrator to make grants to eligible recipients equal to the lesser of either 45% of gross revenue from 2019 or $12 million
  • Allows the Small Business Administrator to issue supplemental grants in the future if funding remains available and applicants can demonstrate continued need
  • Permits recipients to use grants for costs incurred during the COVID pandemic
  • Permits recipients to use grants for rent, utilities, mortgage obligations, PPE procurement, payments to contractors, regular maintenance, administrative costs, taxes, operating leases, and capital expenditures related to meeting state, local, or federal social distancing guidelines
  • The Save Our Stages Act is endorsed by (NIVA) and the National Independent Talent Organization (NITO).

This is our final push to Congress and there won’t be another opportunity. We NEED the #SaveOurStagesAct and the #RestartAct passed in order to keep independent venues nationwide from closing permanently."

The arts and cultural sector of Massachusetts includes for profit and nonprofit organizations as well as artists, culture workers, creatives and administrators.  Our vibrancy and economic value to the Commonwealth is directly related to our diversity. Massachusetts cannot afford to lose live music and performance venues.  We encourage arts and cultural advocates and supporters to reach out to your Senators and members of Congress to support Save Our Stages and CREATE Act.

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August 11 Policy & Action Review

As we enter the second week of August, new orders from Governor Baker will impact the arts and cultural community’s reopening preparations. We’ve included a summary of the new executive order in this bi-weekly Policy and Action review, as well as a recording of last Friday’s Policy and Action Update webinar, updates on bills we are tracking, updates on arts education, and ways to take action on the municipal, state and federal level.

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Policy Update

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MASSCreative continues to monitor and report on state and federal policy that supports equitable communities and a stronger, more inclusive creative sector. 

Learn more in MASSCreative's Federal & State Policy Updates, including:

  • Chamber of Commerce letter to Congress
  • Gov. Baker’s new gathering requirements
  • Arts education reopening guidance

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Currently, the Massachusetts House and Senate are in conference committee debating H.4887 and S.2842, An Act Enabling Partnerships for Growth, which includes authorized spending to protect the arts and cultural sector.

We’re asking our legislators to retain both the House and Senate’s provisions that would add authorize a combined $31M for arts and cultural protection.

Join us and write to your legislators today!

In partnership with arts and cultural leaders in the city of Somerville, MASSCreative is hosting a petition to Mayor Curtatone, City Councilors and the Somerville Arts Council to advocate for protection and relief for arts and culture in Somerville.

If you are a Somerville resident or work in Somerville, please add your name to the petition.


Create The Vote brings the arts and culture community together to play our part for a more, inclusive representative democracy for all. Will you pledge to #CreateTheVote?

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Spotlight: Community Conversations on Martha's Vineyard

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit the Commonwealth back in March, uncertainties abounded: how long would the lockdown last? How could we keep safe? That the nature of the virus required us to isolate and be apart from our communities only heightened our anxieties. In the arts & cultural sector, where community connection is so often at the very core of our work, the loss felt particularly devastating. In that moment, the only solution seemed to be to find a way to come together. 

Ann Smith, the executive director of Martha’s Vineyard’s Featherstone Center for the Arts, who chaired Arts Martha’s Vineyard (ArtsMV) for a decade, knew to start with a conversation.

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Virtual Policy & Action Updates

Thank you to the hundreds of advocates that have joined the MASSCreative team for our weekly Virtual Policy & Action Updates on Fridays from 9:45-10:00am.

Check out MASSCreative’s August 7 Policy & Action Update

Register for MASSCreative’s August 21 Policy & Action Update

 

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Spotlight: Community Conversations on Martha's Vineyard

 

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit the Commonwealth back in March, uncertainties abounded: how long would the lockdown last? How could we keep safe? That the nature of the virus required us to isolate and be apart from our communities only heightened our anxieties. In the arts & cultural sector, where community connection is so often at the very core of our work, the loss felt particularly devastating. In that moment, the only solution seemed to be to find a way to come together. 

Ann Smith, the executive director of Martha’s Vineyard’s Featherstone Center for the Arts, who chaired Arts Martha’s Vineyard (ArtsMV) for a decade, knew to start with a conversation.

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August 10 Policy Update

MASSCreative continues to monitor and report on state and federal policy that supports equitable communities and a stronger, more inclusive creative sector. Here's the Policy Update from the last two week including:

  • Federal legislation
  • State legislation
  • MA reopening
  • Arts Education and school reopenings
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Senate HEALS Act - urge support for the Arts in COVID-19 Relief Legislation

Via Americans for the Arts:

"On July 27, U.S. Senate Republicans released their proposal for the next COVID-19 relief bill - the HEALS Act (an acronym for "Health, Economic Assistance, Liability protection, Schools"). Now, crucial negotiations will take place in the coming days to move the legislation through the Senate in a way that will allow a compromise bill with the HEROES Act which the House approved in May." 

Contact Congress and urge support for the arts in COVID-19 relief legislation.

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CTV Updates: Vote-By-Mail

UPDATE: As of 8/24/20 Secretary Galvin recommends mail-in ballots be delivered directly to local election offices instead of sent by mail. Learn more via MALC's blog post

With the COVID-19 pandemic currently affecting the safety of in-person polls, a number of states across the country have adapted to expand mail-in-voting, including the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. We're encouraging our creatives to #CreateTheVote and vote by mail, to both protect your own health and safety, but also to protect the health and safety of your communities. However, we recognize that this process is new to many and presents its own complications. That's why the #CreateTheVote campaign has put together some resources to help you figure it out!

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