Create the Vote Coalition Meets With Gubernatorial Candidates

Arts and cultural leaders discuss education, economic and community impact of the arts

BOSTON, September 4, 2014—The Create the Vote coalition announced today that it has met with four of the seven candidates for governor: Steve Grossman, Don Berwick, Evan Falchuk, and Jeff McCormick. Approximately 50 arts and cultural leaders from around the state have met with the candidates to discuss the role that arts and culture should play in the Commonwealth.

The Coalition—a collaboration of Massachusetts arts, cultural, and creative institutions convened by MASSCreative—has also collected questionnaires from Grossman, Berwick, Falchuk, Martha Coakley, and Mark Fisher.

The questionnaires are available here

“Arts matter in Massachusetts,” said Matt Wilson, executive director of MASSCreative. “It increases economic activity, boosts educational opportunities for young people, and helps build strong communities. We look forward to collaborating with the next governor of Massachusetts to support the arts and cultural community in working to its fullest capacity.”

Troy Siebels, Executive Director of The Hanover Theatre in Worcester, who participated in the meeting with Berwick, said: “These conversations with candidates are vitally important to helping them understand how integral arts, culture, and creativity is to making the Commonwealth a desirable place to live, work, and play. Our next governor should be a champion for artists and arts and culture for the greater benefit of the entire state.”

“Other states, and even municipalities such as Philadelphia and New York, invest heavily in the arts and historic preservation. Much has been accomplished in Massachusetts,” said Beverly Morgan-Welch, Executive Director of the Museum of African American History, who participated in the meeting with Grossman. “But imagine what we could do with a larger investment and a coordinated effort. Every child in this Commonwealth should have access to high quality arts education and the foundational enrichment provided by our historic landscape throughout their years in school.” 

“We have accomplished so much in Massachusetts with a relatively small investment in the arts,” said Megan Whilden, a board member of Berkshire Creative, who participated in the meeting with Berwick. “With better planning and public investment, we can help more downtowns flourish, ensure that every child in the state has access to quality arts education, and build stronger communities.”

The Coalition also organized the July 15 Gubernatorial Forum on Arts, Culture, and Creativity, the first-ever gubernatorial debate about arts and culture. The Forum was held at The Hanover Theatre in Worcester and attended by 500 artists, cultural leaders, and members of the public. Candidates Don Berwick, Attorney General Martha Coakley, Evan Falchuk, Mark Fisher, Treasurer Steve Grossman, and Jeff McCormick answered questions from moderator Joyce Kulhawik and arts leaders from around the state. A video of the Forum is available here.

The Create the Vote Coalition will host town meetings with the winners of Tuesday’s primary elections. For more information about the coalition and the Create the Vote campaign, visit


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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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