Create the Vote Coalition Meets With Boston Mayoral Candidate Charlotte Golar Richie


Candidate says she would be a champion of the arts, but cautions arts advocates on the ability of a new Mayor to deliver additional support for the arts   

BOSTON, September 20, 2013—The Create the Vote Coalition announced today that Boston mayoral candidate Charlotte Golar Richie met with the Coalition Sept. 5.

The Coalition—a collaboration of Boston’s arts, cultural, and creative institutions convened by MASSCreative—met with Golar Richie at ArtsBoston. Representatives from ArtsBoston, the Boston Children’s Museum, Celebrity Series, Huntington Theatre, and the Lyric Stage Company of Boston, and a working artist questioned Golar Richie about her vision for the arts in Boston.

Golar Richie, who played classical piano growing up and worked as an actor after college, said that the arts have always been “a part” of her life.

“I would say that with me, you will get someone with a real, visceral connection to the arts,” she said. “I have a passion for the arts and the arts can help me address issues such as crime, education, and raising children’s self-esteem.”

Golar Richie said that it was “imperative” that the city created a “comprehensive cultural plan” integrating arts, culture, and creativity. “We’ve done it for housing. We need to do it for arts,” she said. 

Golar Richie said that the next superintendent of schools would “embrace the arts as an experience that enriches the education of our children.”

She also pledged to work to get more federal funding for arts and cultural initiatives. But she cautioned the group about promises for city funding for the arts. “A lot of people want a line item but I want to be straight with you. That’s going to be hard,” she said. “It’s a tough one to push ahead of other key populations that need support.”

Golar Richie also said that she could not commit to a cabinet-level position for an arts and cultural commissioner in her administration. “Philosophically I would love it. I don’t know how we would pay for it, but I would love it,” she said. “I would not want to promise something that I could not deliver on.”

Spiro Veloudos, Producing Artistic Director of the Lyric Stage Company of Boston who participated in the meeting with Golar Richie, said: “It is important that our next mayor understand the role that arts, culture, and creativity play in the region’s economy, as well as the city’s schools. Art builds community, and our next mayor should see the arts as inextricably linked to the future success of the city of Boston.” 

Catherine Peterson, Executive Director of ArtsBoston and a MASSCreative board member who participated in the meeting, said: “It’s important to include the arts community in strategic planning for the whole city. Saying yes to the arts does not mean saying no to other important constituencies such as education. Saying yes to the arts is a way to support these other priorities. We have long known that when you fund the arts in education, you create more opportunities for learning that result in higher academic achievement.”

“Creativity is powerful,” added Matt Wilson, executive director of MASSCreative, who facilitated the meeting with Golar Richie. “It increases economic activity, boosts educational opportunities for young people, and helps build strong communities. We look forward to collaborating with the next mayor of Boston to support the arts and cultural community in working to its fullest capacity.”

Golar Richie was the seventh candidate to meet with the Coalition, which previously interviewed former Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative Executive Director John Barros; state Rep. Marty Walsh; Codman Square Health Center founder Bill Walczak, District 8 City Councilor Mike Ross, Councilor-at-Large Felix Arroyo, and Councilor-at-Large John Connolly.

The Create the Vote Coalition encourages city residents to vote in Tuesday’s preliminary election and to make a candidate’s support for arts, culture, and creativity one of ways they decide whether or not to support a candidate. The Coalition looks forward to learning more details from candidates, including those they have already met with, about how their ideas and initiatives for the arts will be implemented from a policy and funding perspective. 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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