Create the Vote Coalition Meets With Boston Mayoral Candidate and District 8 City Councilor Mike Ross

Candidate would dedicate one percent of linkage funds from private development to support arts and culture; outlines vision for how arts advocacy should work with other policy initiatives 

BOSTON, September 3, 2013—The Create the Vote Coalition announced today that Boston mayoral candidate and District 8 City Councilor Mike Ross met with the Coalition Aug. 22.

The Coalition—a collaboration of Boston’s arts , cultural, and creative institutions convened by MASSCreative—met with Ross at the Lyric Stage Company of Boston. Representatives from the Celebrity Series, Huntington Theatre, Stage Source, the Lyric Stage Company, and BostonAPP/Lab: Art in Public Places questioned Ross about his vision for the arts in Boston.

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Rob Consalvo's Responses to the Create The Vote Questionnaire

Addressing Citywide Issues: Just as any other major city, Boston faces many economic and social issues. Can you provide examples on how you would integrate the arts, culture, and creative community in solving social problems? How would you use our community to drive economic development in the city? 

I recently visited Artists for Humanity in South Boston. I was impressed by their approach. Each school year they offer paid apprenticeships to urban teens. The neighborhood kids advance through a series of orientations and then are free to create, market and sell their work. The energy in the building is impressive and the skills they build are real. When I visited I could see the kids working individually and in teams in various mediums: painting, screen printing, digital media, web design, etc. The leadership of the organization really cares and told stories of kids who were not doing well in school but when they came to Artists for Humanity discovered they had a talent not previously recognized. This talent turned into a skill and the skill turned into a productive self- image.

Another group is Spontaneous Celebrations in Jamaica Plain who engage youth and adults in creative community building through its programs and festivals. They have been doing this for many years. In both cases, these organizations drive economic development. Spontaneous Celebrations provides artists an outlet to sell their work at their festivals and events and Artists for Humanity helps build job skills and then provides opportunities for youth to negotiate a deal in the market and sell their work.

These grassroots models are instructive and I think there is certainly room for more. If they strike a resonant chord in one neighborhood of Boston there is a good chance it will resonate in another neighborhood. One way to encourage good ideas and share program successes is to bring people together to learn from each other. A Boston cultural economic development summit could be a good start. This would include the diverse set of cultural institutions in Boston. Such a summit could explore the potential already here and how we can further economic benefit and social connection.

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Statement by MASSCreative on Sept. 9 Mayoral Candidate Forum on Arts, Culture, and Creativity

BOSTON, August 29, 2013—Yesterday, MASSCreative re-confirmed the participation of seven candidates running for mayor of Boston in the Create the Vote Coalition’s long-planned Mayoral Candidate Forum on Arts, Culture, and Creativity. A second mayoral debate, announced last week and organized by the Boston Herald, NECN, and Suffolk University, would have conflicted with the arts forum. After candidates pledged to keep their commitment to the Mayoral Candidate Forum on Arts, Culture, and Creativity, the media organizations changed the time of their debate so that it no longer interfered with the Mayoral Candidate Forum on Arts, Culture, and Creativity.

Matt Wilson, Executive Director of MASSCreative, the organizer of the Create the Vote Coalition, offered the following statement in response:

“We are pleased that all of the candidates running for mayor who had originally pledged to participate in the Boston Mayoral Candidate Forum on Arts, Culture, and Creativity kept their promise. This action, along with what we are learning from the candidates during our individual meetings with them, shows a deep and growing political commitment to the issues of arts, culture and creativity. 

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Nuamkeag Gardens Get Extreme Makeover

"The Trustees of Reservations was recently awarded a grant in support of its restoration of the Afternoon Garden at Naumkeag.  This favorite spot was designed between 1926 and 1928 as a collaboration between Mabel Choate and Fletcher Steele, and remains a favorite spot for visitors to rest today as they tour the Naumkeag grounds in Stockbridge. 
We could not undertake any of our restoration projects without the support of this and other state funding.  The projects are costly, complicated and important to the integrity of these heritage sites.  Designated a National Landmark, Naumkeag has been recognized for its national significance, yet it is the state-wide funds that have been our most treasured public supporters.  Naumkeag draws thousands of tourists to Stockbridge every year (as of this writing we have hosted over 7,000 this year).  As one of many cultural institutions in the Berkshires, this region more than any other understands the value of culture and nature as it drives the region’s economy. 
The support of the Afternoon Garden restoration is Phase 2 of a five-phase restoration program for the gardens, scheduled for completion in 2016.  The funds are a key piece of the larger project, used to leverage private donations, grant and foundation support for this important work. As we bring each of our culturally significant properties to life, the Cultural Facilities Fund is an integral part of our funding strategy. Just as art influences nature and nature influences art, the symbiotic balance between state and private funding maximizes the value of each individual dollar.   As we work to preserve the Commonwealth’s great heritage, and promote its artistic and cultural value, we are looking to do more than preserve a great landmark, we are looking to bring it alive, to spark the colors of community life."
- Cindy, The Trustees of Reservations

Visit the Garden's site here to earn more
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Famous Sculptor's Home in Stockbridge Rehabilitated

Daniel Chester French was the foremost American sculptor of public monuments including the Minute Man in Concord, MA and the Abraham Lincoln for the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC.  Last year, Chesterwood, a Site of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, was awarded a MCC Cultural Facilities Fund grant of $250,000.  

Located in Stockbridge, MA, Chesterwood reflects the rich cultural heritage of the Commonwealth and presents another opportunity to preserve our history. It's one of many locations around the state where investment in cultural facilities is an integral part of the community. 




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Statement by MASSCreative on Boston Media Consortium Decision To Hold Debate Conflicting With Create the Vote Mayoral Forum

August 27, 2013—Today, the Boston Media Consortium announced that it would hold a televised debate among the candidates for mayor of Boston. The event conflicts with Create the Vote’s Boston Mayoral Candidate Forum on Arts, Culture, and Creativity set to take place Sept. 9 at 6pm at the Paramount Theatre.

Mayoral candidates Felix Arroyo, John Barros, John Connolly, Marty Walsh, Charlotte Golar Richie, Mike Ross, and Bill Walzcak have already confirmed their attendance at the Mayoral Candidate Forum on Arts, Culture, and Creativity. More than 325 residents have RSVP’d for the event, including most of the nearly 60 arts and cultural leaders who signed an open letter to the candidates inviting them to the discussion, which is to be moderated by Joyce Kulhawik, President of the Boston Theater Critics Association and 

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MASS MoCA and the Impact of the Cultural Facilities Fund

MASS MoCA was one of the first institutions to receive funding from the Cultural Facilities Fund (CFF). The $429,000 grant award helped MASS MoCA renovate a 27,000 square foot mill building to house 105 wall drawings by Sol LeWitt. Besides the opening of this landmark exhibition, the renovation project better connected MASS MoCA's campus and improved visitor circulation. 

Sol LeWitt: A Wall Drawing Retrospective, which is on view until 2033, comprises of 105 of LeWitt’s large-scale wall drawings, spanning the artist’s career from 1969 to 2007. These occupy nearly an acre of specially built interior walls that have been installed—per LeWitt’s own specifications—over three stories of a historic mill building situated at the heart of MASS MoCA’s campus. The ever-popular retrospective was named the number one museum exhibit of 2008 by Time Magazine and "one of the best single-artist exhibits ever" by New York. More importantly, it continues to attract thousands of new visitors each year -- MASS MoCA has experienced a sustained increase in visitation of over 30%. Of course, this has translated into an increased economic impact for the Northern Berkshire economy.

The Cultural Facilities Fund is an important tool for cultural organizations throughout the Commonwealth as they plan for and implement mission-driven projects that also help their communities. MASS MoCA is grateful for its CFF award; it's had a tremendous impact on the institutions and our patrons. So much has been accomplished with the funds that have been allocated to date. Just imagine the impact future allocations could have on our cultural facilities and cultural economy.    

Sol1.jpeg Sol2.jpeg

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Mayoral Forum on the Arts To Be Held Sept. 9 At Paramount Theatre with Moderator Joyce Kulhawik

Create the Vote Coalition wants to hear candidates’ vision for the arts and culture in Boston


BOSTON, August 22, 2013—Create the Vote, a coalition of Boston arts, cultural, and creative institutions, announced today that it will host the Boston Mayoral Candidate Forum on Arts, Culture, and Creativity. Joyce Kulhawik, President of the Boston Theater Critics Association and, will moderate the forum, which will foster discussion of mayoral candidates’ vision for the arts and culture in Boston. The forum will take place at the Paramount Theatre on Washington Street on Monday, September 9 from 6-7:30pm. All members of the public are invited to attend.

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MASSCreative Meets With Boston Mayoral Candidate Bill Walczak

Candidate would appoint a Commissioner for Arts and Cultural Affairs and calls for dedicated revenue stream to support arts and culture 

BOSTON, August 23, 2013—MASSCreative announced today that Boston mayoral candidate Bill Walczak, founder of the Codman Square Health Center, met with the Create the Vote Coalition Aug. 15 to discuss his vision for the arts in Boston.

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The Cultural Center of Cape Cod's Plan for New Education Wing

"Without support from the MA Cultural Council’s Facilities Fund, we would not be in the midst of an exciting expansion that will radically increase our space and scope of service. When our new Education Wing is complete, we will be better able to serve the region, especially youth at risk, individuals with special needs and challenges, seniors, and other under-served populations. Plus, we’ll make even greater contributions to the cultural economy, the quality of life in our community, and the many artists we serve. We are very grateful to the MCC for its support, and we urge our government to increase the MCC’s budget so it can in turn continue to enrich the Commonwealth!"

-Lauren Wolk, Associate Director, The Cultural Center of Cape Cod


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