Brad Wyatt Response


Your Personal Connection
We've all had defining moments in our lives. What personal experience with arts, culture, or creativity had an impact on your life and your view of the community?   

My daughter, Hannah, in 5th grade, loves music and art.  She enjoys signing the National Anthem and performing in theater.  Attending all the shows, and practices, I see the passion of the volunteers and performers.


Arts and Culture in Your District

Art and culture plays a role in the Commonwealth from Boston and the Gateway Cities and our rural and suburban towns.  Please provide us with a story of the impact a local arts or cultural institution brings to your district.

The Hanover Theater in Worcester took an underused area of the city, and now, attracts capital to renovate other nearby buildings.  (Including my building in Worcester!)  I recall seeing Star Wars at Showcase Cinemas, and now, to see as a renovated, working theater is terrific.


Arts Education and Programs for our Youth

Creativity and innovation are vital skills in a student’s education. While many communities have access to quality arts education, many youth are still being left out of the creative community. How will you champion arts education for our youth both in our schools and in our communities? How will you balance the importance of arts education with the constant pull to “teach to the test”? Would you support joining ten other states to make one year of arts education in high school a requirement for admission to the state university system? Do you support adding ‘arts’ into the Commonwealth’s STEM program to transform it to STEAM?

I will support and push for increased local aid for all the towns/cities in the commonwealth, and let every town determine the best path forward to invest in their community.  Unfortunately, currently, with relatively flat local aid, and unfunded mandates, our school districts struggle to provide adequate arts education.  I will fight to change that.

As the chair of my regional school board – my slogan is “LTTT – Let the Teachers Teach” – allow the creativity of the classroom, instead of the teaching to the test mentality. 

I do not think arts education should be a requirement.  Let the local school committees decide what is best for their students.  Some students may not be inclined for tough math, some may not be interested in art, and I’d rather that student take a class they are passionate in. 


Economic Development

Nonprofit art and cultural organizations support more than 45,000 jobs, spend $2.1 billion annually and generate another $2.5 billion of economic activity. How will the legislature foster an ecosystem which supports the creative community and industry across the Commonwealth?

Through small business innovation and entrepreneurship, jobs can be created, and the productive companies can contribute to the community (via jobs as well as corporate donations).  However, the anti-business attitude of Beacon Hill needs to change.  From the Gas Tax to the Tech Tax, and all the burdensome regulations, it’s often too difficult and cost prohibitive to start a company in Massachusetts.  Killing the job creators eventually will harm art and cultural organizations, as private donations drop.


Addressing the Commonwealth’s Socioeconomic Issues

Massachusetts faces many economic and social issues, among them workforce development, public safety, and health care. Can you provide examples on how you would utilize the arts, cultural, and creative community to address the Commonwealth’s social and economic challenges?

Synergies between schools, education and the arts, cultural, and creative community should be created and expanded.  A good example is the Canal District horse wagon tours on Thursdays in the summer.  Communities should actively look for and support these types of endeavors.


The Commonwealth’s Support and Role in the Creative Community

  • Last year, Massachusetts invested $12 million in organizational support through the Massachusetts Cultural Council (MCC) for the creative community, ranking it ninth in the country. In 1988, the MCC gave out more than $27 million in grants, more than twice what we do now. At what level would you fund the MCC?

I am not sure; I would have to take a strong look at the budget and priorities.  I’d prefer to see more of a match with private donations.

  • For the past two years, Governor Patrick allocated $15 million in matching grants through the Massachusetts Cultural Facilities Fund to support the maintenance, repair, and rebuilding of the Commonwealth’s cultural facilities. At what level do you suggest the Commonwealth fund this program?

Maintaining our existing cultural facilities is fiscally prudent.  I would want to see what is needed, and make sure it is funded.

  • Would you develop or dedicate a revenue stream to provide a sustainable and stable funding stream for the arts, cultural, and creative community?

No – while I support the arts, cultural, and creative community, I don’t think a dedicated revenue stream is a good solution.  Rather, the legislature should have to listen to their constituents and vote on budgeting for the arts community every year.  Different years may bring different priorities.

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