Candidates talk arts and culture in the governor's race!

The race to elect the next governor of Massachusetts is picking up steam, and so is the Create the Vote campaign. The Create the Vote coalition has kicked off its work across the Commonwealth, bringing together local leaders to discuss elevating arts and culture in the gubernatorial election. There’s still time to get involved at one of 10 regional meetings!

As we begin engaging the candidates on arts and cultural issues, we started off by sending them each an in-depth questionnaire. This week, the responses started rolling in. Candidates Don Berwick, Martha Coakley, Evan Falchuk, Steve Grossman, and Juliette Kayyem have already sent us their answers, with more candidates’ responses soon to follow.  

The candidates’ answers address the relevant issues in the creative community and reach across disciplines: from arts education to the creative economy. As well as supporting arts education in the classroom, candidates Berwick, Coakley, Falchuk and Grossman all stress the importance of transforming STEM into STEAM. In the creative economy, all five candidates would also agree that the next governor’s administration should work to promote public-private partnerships to spur investment in arts and culture. 

Don Berwick integrates arts and culture into his socioeconomic vision for the Commonwealth, making it one of his administration’s priorities: “I will also immediately set to work on making art more accessible to communities of all income levels. This would begin with renewed commitment to public art and to arts education in public schools.”  

Martha Coakley would strengthen the Commonwealth’s administrative structure with a new position: “My first priority would be exploring the appointment of the Undersecretary of Arts & Culture, and tasking this individual with developing an agenda for promoting creative industry and the arts in Massachusetts.”

Evan Falchuk explains that if we want to keep young people, artists, and other struggling constituencies here in Massachusetts, the administration needs to address the cost of living: “Reducing the cost of living in Massachusetts is my number one priority, and I believe that addressing the issue of the cost of living is a critical component of supporting arts and culture.”

Steve Grossman shares his plan to bolster Massachusetts Cultural Council budget to support arts education programs as well as local nonprofits and cultural councils: “One of my top priorities will be to increase funding for the MCC in order to enhance the Students and Teachers Working with Artists, Scientists, and Scholars (STARS) … [and] about 400 arts-related non-profits and more than 300 local cultural councils across the state.”

Juliette Kayyem would work to bring artists into leadership roles in collaboration with the administration: “I will ensure that the arts community has a meaningful seat at the table to educate lawmakers and advocate for the specific and varied issues that face their fellow artists.”

Read all of the questionnaire responses and stay tuned for more from the candidates on arts, culture and creativity!

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