MASSCreative statement on city of Boston arts and culture plan

BOSTON, June 17, 2016―Today, the city of Boston released “Boston Creates: A Time for Action,” a cultural plan for the city. It was created after gathering public input over a one-year period, and is a 10-year roadmap for creating a more culturally vibrant city. MASSCreative Executive Director Matt Wilson offered the following statement in response: 

“We applaud Mayor Marty Walsh for the creation of this plan. It is a strong show of support for the arts, which was a central theme of his mayoral campaign. We also applaud the widespread involvement of the city’s creative communities in this planning process, which saw the direct involvement of more than 5,000 people. This confirms what the arts community has long known: there is a great hunger within the city to maximize the potential of the arts to build and strengthen our neighborhoods, schools, and economic health. 

“The most important ingredient to harnessing this power is leadership, and Mayor Walsh outlined his vision for elevating the cultural life of the city, in which Boston is a leader in arts and culture at every level. We wholeheartedly endorse this vision, and are excited about the Mayor’s plan to implement a percent for art program to create a dedicated stream of municipal funding for public art.

“As we know, among major US cities including Baltimore; Chicago; Cleveland; Houston; Minneapolis-St. Paul; New York; Philadelphia; Portland, Oregon; San Francisco; and Seattle, Boston ranks last in terms of municipal support for the arts per capita. We applaud the Mayor’s percent for art plan, and look forward to working with him in implementing it. It is an excellent first step, and we are looking forward to the creation of a robust fundraising plan for the arts with a dedicated stream of municipal investment from the city at its core. Boston is a national leader in many areas, and we know the city can lead in arts and culture as well. We also know that without strong, reliable funding very few, if any, of the ideas and proposals put forth in the cultural plan will ever be realized.

“The report correctly identifies many areas of need such as housing for artists; operating support for small- and mid-sized arts organizations; creation of new spaces for rehearsals and performances; increasing access to arts education, particularly for youth; and streamlining municipal policies related to permits, zoning, and licensing, as well as use of municipal spaces such as schools and libraries for exhibitions and performances. We look forward to working side by side with the Walsh Administration on implementing these goals as additional details are filled in.”


Founded in 2012, MASSCreative works with creative leaders and entrepreneurs, working artists, arts educators, and arts and cultural supporters to empower creative organizations and the public with a powerful voice to advocate for the resources and support necessary to build vibrant and connected communities. MASSCreative has 400 arts and cultural member organizations from around the state. 

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