Boston Mayoral Candidates Submit Create the Vote Questionnaires

BOSTON, October 25, 2017—MASSCreative announced today Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh and mayoral challenger and District 7 Boston City Councilor Tito Jackson have each submitted Create the Vote questionnaires with answers to questions about public investment in the arts; leveraging creative communities to build vibrant neighborhoods; and supporting working artists and performance groups with space to live, work, and rehearse.

“Boston’s municipal elections are a time for candidates and voters to discuss the strengths and challenges our city faces. It’s also the time where we, as citizens, can openly debate our vision for the future of Boston and think about what is possible,” said MASSCreative Executive Director Matt Wilson. “A new report by Americans for the Arts has found that Boston’s arts and cultural organizations and audiences generate more than $1.35 billion in economic activity each year. They support 6,129 full-time jobs and contribute more than $7 million in local revenues. The arts sector deserves the same level of attention from our public officials that is given to healthcare, technology, and private industry.”

Create the Vote 2017 is a nonpartisan public education campaign organized by MASSCreative and run in partnership with local arts groups and cultural councils. The campaign raises awareness in mayoral and city council races of the ways that arts and creative expression improve schools, strengthen local business districts, and build vibrant neighborhoods in which people want to live, work, and play. In addition to Boston, robust Create the Vote campaigns are underway in Barnstable, Brockton, Cambridge, Framingham, Holyoke, Lowell, Lynn, Newton, Springfield, Somerville, and Worcester. Create the Vote Newton hosted an arts and culture forum with the two mayoral candidates and nearly 100 attendees. In Cambridge, 15 City Council candidates are expected Thursday night, October 26th for the city’s first-ever forum focusing on arts, culture, and creativity. 

Create the Vote was launched in 2013 during the Boston mayoral campaign. During that race, Create the Vote succeeded in securing a pledge from then-candidate Walsh to create a cabinet level position for the arts, a promise he fulfilled after his election with the hiring of Julie Burros as Chief of Arts and Culture. Create the Vote was a significant presence during 2016 legislative races on the Cape and Islands and in the Berkshires, and in 2015 mayoral campaigns in Fitchburg, Gloucester, Medford, New Bedford, and Worcester. During the 2014 gubernatorial race, Create the Vote hosted six candidates at the first-ever Gubernatorial Forum on Arts, Culture, and Creativity; met with candidates; and publicized the answers to candidates’ Create the Vote questionnaires.

In addition to establishing a cabinet-level arts commissioner in the city of Boston, other municipal action on the arts that have taken place in cities and towns where Create the Vote was a significant presence in local elections include the establishment Recent examples include New Bedford, which now has a dedicated funding stream created by a 1 percent hotel tax and Medford and Medfield, which now invest in the arts through dedicated line items in their budgets.  

Completed questionnaires are available online at

Follow the campaign on the MASSCreative Website Twitter with the hashtag #CreateTheVote. You can also “like” us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter @MASSCreative, and visit


Founded in 2012, MASSCreative works to build a more vibrant, healthy, and equitable Massachusetts. MASSCreative works with artists, leaders, supporters, and partners of the arts, cultural, and creative community to advocate for the resources and support necessary for the sector to thrive. Nearly 400 arts and cultural organizations and working artists from across the Commonwealth are members of MASSCreative. 

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