Letter from the Creative Community to the Reopening Advisory Board


Download a PDF of the Official Signed Letter here.


Dear Governor Baker, Lieutenant Governor Polito, Secretary Kennealy, and the Reopening Advisory Board,

Thank you for your leadership and thoughtful response to the COVID-19 pandemic in the Commonwealth. We applaud the Administration’s decision to launch an advisory board of businesspeople, public health experts, and municipal leaders to guide the reopening of the Massachusetts economy. We are impressed by how quickly the advisory board was appointed and met virtually.

We write today to ask that you consult leaders of the creative and cultural sector as you develop a reopening framework. We stand in support of a strong reopening strategy and are ready to offer our expertise.

The creative and cultural sector is a necessary component to bringing our economy back on line. Governors in Utah, Texas, Ohio, and Virginia understood this importance by including and consulting the arts and cultural sector in their reopening strategy.

The U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis reported in 2017 that arts and cultural economic activity accounts for $25.8 billion in value to Massachusetts, contributing 140,593 jobs.1 This study calculated added value from for-profit and nonprofit businesses, artists, museums, performing arts venues, independent contractors and creative entrepreneurs. Massachusetts audiences of non-profit arts & cultural events spend an additional $879.5 million in related expenditures beyond the price of admission, including purchases at restaurants, retail stores, hotels, and parking garages.2 The economic impact of a strong and diverse creative sector is felt throughout Massachusetts from cultural tourism in the Berkshires, Boston and Cape Cod, to downtown revitalization in gateway cities like Lynn, New Bedford and Worcester. 

As part of the gathering economy, arts and cultural organizations are especially concerned with caring for the communities we have worked hard to create and serve. In an effort to promote public health and protect our communities, many arts and cultural organizations closed their spaces and cancelled public events prior to the state of emergency declaration on March 10. 

Like restaurants, retail stores, movie theaters and sports venues, necessary public health closures have impacted arts and cultural organizations across the Commonwealth. The Mass Cultural Council recently reported more than $264 million in lost revenue from nonprofit arts and cultural organizations since the pandemic began. Sixty-two percent of these organizations are making decisions to lay off, furlough or reduce hours for staff, impacting 15,381 workers in Massachusetts. This study does not account for the lost revenue of for profit cultural organizations or individual creative workers which also make up the creative sector in Massachusetts and have experienced loss from voluntarily cancelling public programs and events. 

While we are still in the surge of COVID-19, arts and cultural organizations are committed to promoting public health guidelines and developing alternative means of delivering services to communities across the Commonwealth. We recognize that our collective economic and communal recovery will take time and requires thoughtful planning. As small business owners and community leaders the creative sector can greatly contribute to a statewide plan that addresses our economic and public health needs now and through recovery. 

Thank you for your consideration and we look forward to working with your administration towards a strong recovery from this crisis. 

Signed,

Emily Ruddock
Executive Director
MASSCreative

 

Anita Walker
Executive Director
Mass Cultural Council

---------------
Creative Economy State Profiles from National Assembly of State Arts Agencies, 2017.
https://nasaa-arts.org/nasaa_research/creative-economy-state-profiles/
The Economic Impact of Nonprofit Arts andCultural Organizations and Their Audiences in the State of Massachusetts, Arts & Economic Prosperity 5 from Americans for the Arts, 2015.
https://www.americansforthearts.org/sites/default/files/pdf/2017/by_program/reports_and_data
/aep5/map/MA_StateOfMassachusetts_AEP5_OnePageSummary.pdf

 

Who's endorsing

Julie Lichtenberg The Performance Project
Callie Chapman Studio at 550
Jason McCool
Valerie Maio BalletRox
Worcester Cultural Coalition Worcester Cultural Coalition
Aidan Farrell Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
jane howland
David Valecillos Punto Urban Art Museum/North Shore CDC
Abby Bender Built on Stilts
Jonathan Swartz
Sakinah Bramble-Hakim
Juliet Feibel ArtsWorcester
Thomas Bena The Martha's Vineyard Film Festival
Scott Crawford PathwaysARTS
Emily Lilienthal
Betsi Graves Urbanity Dance
Nina Zannieri Paul Revere Memorial Association/Paul Revere House
Philip Wallis Martha's Vineyard Museum
Kathryn Jackson
Maren Tober
Michael Carr ImprovBoston
Justin Paice
Allie Girouard CultureHouse
Honey Goodenough GoodHearted Entertainment
Corey Cadigan
Bonnie Donohue
Lisa Troy Arts for Youth
Jennifer Talansky Nonprofit Finance Fund
Veronica Barron
681 signers

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The Performance Project endorsed 2022-10-12 22:28:41 -0400
Studio at 550 endorsed 2022-10-12 21:04:15 -0400
endorsed 2022-10-12 15:09:26 -0400
BalletRox endorsed 2020-06-19 09:59:08 -0400
Worcester Cultural Coalition endorsed 2020-05-18 09:17:03 -0400
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston endorsed 2020-05-09 15:36:17 -0400
endorsed 2020-05-06 09:38:24 -0400
Punto Urban Art Museum/North Shore CDC endorsed 2020-05-05 08:51:04 -0400
Built on Stilts endorsed 2020-05-03 07:49:40 -0400
endorsed 2020-05-02 17:49:57 -0400
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ArtsWorcester endorsed 2020-05-01 18:01:20 -0400
The Martha's Vineyard Film Festival endorsed 2020-05-01 17:09:48 -0400
PathwaysARTS endorsed 2020-05-01 17:03:28 -0400
endorsed 2020-05-01 16:31:00 -0400
published this page in COVID-19 Advocacy 2020-05-01 16:24:48 -0400
Urbanity Dance endorsed 2020-05-01 15:46:26 -0400
Paul Revere Memorial Association/Paul Revere House endorsed 2020-05-01 15:04:18 -0400
Martha's Vineyard Museum endorsed 2020-05-01 14:20:02 -0400
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CultureHouse endorsed 2020-05-01 11:52:52 -0400
GoodHearted Entertainment endorsed 2020-05-01 11:47:43 -0400
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Arts for Youth endorsed 2020-05-01 10:31:17 -0400
Nonprofit Finance Fund endorsed 2020-05-01 10:22:30 -0400
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