MASSCreative Praises Cultural Facilities Fund as Example of Program that Works; Urges Increased Investment

June 21, 2015—MASSCreative today praised Gov. Charlie Baker’s announcement that he is allocating $10 million in his administration’s first state capital plan to the Cultural Facilities Fund for the repair and rebuilding of the Commonwealth’s aging cultural venues. The investment comes after an advocacy campaign led by MASSCreative featuring civil and cultural leaders from across the state urging the governor to invest in the state’s cultural facilities.

See videos from cultural leaders and their support of the Cultural Facilities Fund as well as a list of mayors and chambers of commerce that have all signed on to a letter to Gov. Charlie Baker to keep state investment strong.

“Public investment should yield returns to the Commonwealth. Under the best of circumstances those returns should improve the Commonwealth’s health and wealth, and the Cultural Facilities Fund does just that,” said Matt Wilson, executive director of MASSCreative. “These state funds are leveraged to generate additional private and municipal investment in building projects that sustain the aging infrastructure of the state’s cultural facilities which range from theaters, to concert halls, to dance studios, and museums. These are the places that people in our communities come to meet and gather. They are centers that make possible the creation, practice, and presentation of art. They are often the anchor of a neighborhood’s development or redevelopment.” 

Last year, the State Legislature authorized a $50 million bond for spending on state capital projects. For the past two years, the Cultural Facilities Fund allocation has been $15 million. A 2014 survey by the Massachusetts Cultural Council of 198 organizations reported that they had $448 million in capital expense needs through 2017.

“There are hundreds of facilities that need capital investments simply to keep pace with routine maintenance needs,” Wilson added. “It is incumbent upon the community to continue to share its stories of impact and need with the public, state lawmakers, administration officials, and the governor to further investment in our treasured facilities.” 

The Cultural Facilities Fund was created by the Massachusetts Legislature in 2007. The purpose of the fund is to provide resources to maintain and rebuild the Commonwealth’s cultural venues. Since its creation, the Cultural Facilities Fund has invested $82.7 million to the development of cultural facilities in 120 cities and towns, and the majority of these grants have been awarded to Gateway Cities with struggling downtowns. These investments have leveraged more than $1.9 billion in spending on arts, history, and science building projects, and support more than 19,000 jobs for architects, engineers, contractors, and construction workers. 

The Cultural Facilities Fund is jointly administered by MassDevelopment, the state’s finance and development agency, and the Massachusetts Cultural Council. This year’s grants included 81 capital projects and another 48 planning projects. A full list can be found online at


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.

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