August 21 Policy Update

MASSCreative continues to monitor and report on state and federal policy that supports equitable communities and a stronger, more inclusive creative sector. Here's the Policy Update from the last two week including:

  • School reopening plans and arts education guidance
  • What we can expect from federal and state government this fall.
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August 11 Policy & Action Review

As we enter the second week of August, new orders from Governor Baker will impact the arts and cultural community’s reopening preparations. We’ve included a summary of the new executive order in this bi-weekly Policy and Action review, as well as a recording of last Friday’s Policy and Action Update webinar, updates on bills we are tracking, updates on arts education, and ways to take action on the municipal, state and federal level.

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Policy Update

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MASSCreative continues to monitor and report on state and federal policy that supports equitable communities and a stronger, more inclusive creative sector. 

Learn more in MASSCreative's Federal & State Policy Updates, including:

  • Chamber of Commerce letter to Congress
  • Gov. Baker’s new gathering requirements
  • Arts education reopening guidance

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Currently, the Massachusetts House and Senate are in conference committee debating H.4887 and S.2842, An Act Enabling Partnerships for Growth, which includes authorized spending to protect the arts and cultural sector.

We’re asking our legislators to retain both the House and Senate’s provisions that would add authorize a combined $31M for arts and cultural protection.

Join us and write to your legislators today!

In partnership with arts and cultural leaders in the city of Somerville, MASSCreative is hosting a petition to Mayor Curtatone, City Councilors and the Somerville Arts Council to advocate for protection and relief for arts and culture in Somerville.

If you are a Somerville resident or work in Somerville, please add your name to the petition.


Create The Vote brings the arts and culture community together to play our part for a more, inclusive representative democracy for all. Will you pledge to #CreateTheVote?

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Spotlight: Community Conversations on Martha's Vineyard

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit the Commonwealth back in March, uncertainties abounded: how long would the lockdown last? How could we keep safe? That the nature of the virus required us to isolate and be apart from our communities only heightened our anxieties. In the arts & cultural sector, where community connection is so often at the very core of our work, the loss felt particularly devastating. In that moment, the only solution seemed to be to find a way to come together. 

Ann Smith, the executive director of Martha’s Vineyard’s Featherstone Center for the Arts, who chaired Arts Martha’s Vineyard (ArtsMV) for a decade, knew to start with a conversation.

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Virtual Policy & Action Updates

Thank you to the hundreds of advocates that have joined the MASSCreative team for our weekly Virtual Policy & Action Updates on Fridays from 9:45-10:00am.

Check out MASSCreative’s August 7 Policy & Action Update

Register for MASSCreative’s August 21 Policy & Action Update

 

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Spotlight: Community Conversations on Martha's Vineyard

 

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit the Commonwealth back in March, uncertainties abounded: how long would the lockdown last? How could we keep safe? That the nature of the virus required us to isolate and be apart from our communities only heightened our anxieties. In the arts & cultural sector, where community connection is so often at the very core of our work, the loss felt particularly devastating. In that moment, the only solution seemed to be to find a way to come together. 

Ann Smith, the executive director of Martha’s Vineyard’s Featherstone Center for the Arts, who chaired Arts Martha’s Vineyard (ArtsMV) for a decade, knew to start with a conversation.

Read more
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August 10 Policy Update

MASSCreative continues to monitor and report on state and federal policy that supports equitable communities and a stronger, more inclusive creative sector. Here's the Policy Update from the last two week including:

  • Federal legislation
  • State legislation
  • MA reopening
  • Arts Education and school reopenings
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July 31 Policy & Action Review

 

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Policy Update

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MASSCreative continues to monitor and report on state and federal policy that supports equitable communities and a stronger, more inclusive creative sector. 

Learn more in MASSCreative's Federal & State Policy Updates, including:

  • Fourth Federal Stimulus Bill
  • RESTART Act
  • State’s Economic Development Bond Bill
  • Extended Legislative Session

  

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Currently, the State House and Senate are in conference committee debating H.4887 and S.2842, An Act Enabling Partnerships for Growth, which includes authorized spending to protect the arts and 

Cultural community. We’re asking our legislators to retain both the House and Senate provisions that would add $11M and $20M in arts & cultural funding respectively. 

Join us and write to your legislators today!

Republicans in the Senate have released their proposal for a COVID-19 stimulus bill called the HEALS Act, and Senators are now working to reconcile it with the HEROES Act passed in the House in May. Join our partners at Americans for the Arts in urging our lawmakers to pass the policies that would protect and aid the creative community during this pandemic.

Write to your federal lawmakers today.


Create The Vote brings the arts and culture community together to play our part for a more, inclusive representative democracy for all. Will you pledge to #CreateTheVote?

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Spotlight: Meet the MASSCreative Interns!

This week we’re turning the spotlight towards our own staff– specifically, the wonderful team of interns we have working with us! This Summer, MASSCreative has an exceptional group of fellows and interns leading and supporting our efforts. Learn more about them and their work!

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Virtual Policy & Action Updates

Thank you to the hundreds of advocates that have joined the MASSCreative team for our weekly Virtual Policy & Action Updates on Fridays from 9:45-10:00am.

Check out MASSCreative’s July 24 Policy & Action Update

Register for MASSCreative’s August 7 Policy & Action Update

 

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July 31 State Policy Update

Included in this Update

  • Extended Legislative Session
  • Economic Development Bond Bill 
  • Local Aid and State Education Funding
  • FY21 State Budget
  • Juneteenth
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July 31 Federal Policy Update

Included in this update:

  • Senate’s Fourth Stimulus Bill
  • RESTART Act 
  • Save our Stages Act
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Spotlight: Meet the MASSCreative Interns!

This Summer, MASSCreative has an exceptional group of fellows and interns leading and supporting our efforts. Learn more about them and their wonderful work!

Read more
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July 13 Policy & Action Review

As Massachusetts moves into Phase 3 of Reopening, many arts and cultural groups will be able to reopen, welcoming back staff, artists, and patrons. However, the economic toll of the COVID-19 mandated closures and slow reopening plan means many of us in the creative sector are struggling.  MASSCreative is committed to connecting you with resources to support reopening and actions you can take to advocate for the survival of our arts and culture community. This week’s Policy & Action Review includes our weekly webinar featuring peers sharing their reopening strategies, updates on Federal and state policy, and ways you can advocate for a vibrant and supported creative sector in Massachusetts.

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Virtual Policy & Action Updates

Thank you to the hundreds of advocates that have joined the MASSCreative team for our weekly Virtual Policy & Action Updates on Fridays from 9:45-10:00am.

Check out MASSCreative’s July 10 Policy & Action Update

Register for MASSCreative’s July 24 Policy & Action Update

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Policy Update

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MASSCreative continues to monitor and report on state and federal policy that supports equitable communities and a stronger, more inclusive creative sector. 

Learn more in MASSCreative's Policy Update, including:

  • Boston Reopening
  • Aid for Nonprofit Unemployment Costs
  • Recovery Committee Hearing
  • Arts Education

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Top Actions

 

Right now federal and state decision makers are working on the annual state budget, COVID-19 relief packages and economic stimulus policies.  We know how important the arts and cultural community is to the economic and communal recovery of the Commonwealth. Right now it is essential we reach out for our members of Congress and state legislators to ensure we are included in relief programs and aid.

 

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Create the Vote 2020 brings the arts and culture community together to play our part for a more , inclusive representative democracy for all. Will you pledge to #CreateTheVote?

 

Both the Commonwealth and its cities and towns are grappling with major losses in tax revenue and increased sanitation costs brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.

We are tracking which schools and districts are considering cuts to arts education programs so we can connect students, parents and arts education supporters to advocacy tools and actions. If you know of an arts program that is at-risk of cuts, help us track arts education programs by filling out this survey

Advocate to Protect State Funding for Education by reaching out to your MA legislators to advocate for the protection of necessary state funding for education.

 

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Spotlight

Every four years, the national conversation around elections takes on an added intensity. 2020 is no different, and in the midst of discussions about voter suppression, the census count, and a presidential election, the twin crises caused by COVID-19 and police violence against Black lives bring an increased sense of urgency and importance to this year’s vote. That’s why every community in the Commonwealth, especially the arts & cultural sector, must do their part to advocate for civic engagement.

Read more in our Spotlight: Mass Humanities Talks About The Vote 2020


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If you’re looking for more COVID-19 resources, you can check out MASSCreative’s COVID-19 pages, including updates, resources, advocacy, policy recommendations, and policy & action updates.

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July 13 Policy Update

Boston Phase 3 Reopening
On July 10, Mayor Marty Walsh announced that Boston would begin Phase 3 of the Gov. Baker’s reopening plan on July 13. Boston’s step forward follows the rest of the state’s advancement to Phase 3 on July 6. The City of Boston has released industry-specific guidelines for Step One of Phase 3, most of which are largely in line with statewide guidelines.

Federal Nonprofit Unemployment Aid
On July 8, the US Senate unanimously passed the Protecting Nonprofits from Catastrophic Cash Flow Strain Act. The legislation helps alleviate the financial burden of unemployment costs on nonprofits. The CARES Act states that the federal government will cover 50% of nonprofits’ unemployment coasts; however, guidance from the Department of Labor in April stated that nonprofits had to pay 100% of unemployment costs before being reimbursed later. The full upfront cost would be overwhelming for many nonprofits, especially after drastic losses in revenue due to the pandemic. This act allows nonprofits to pay 50% of unemployment costs upfront instead of incurring 100% of costs then waiting to be reimbursed by the federal government. 

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