Brendan Crighton Response

Your Personal Connection

We've all had defining moments in our lives. What personal experience with arts, culture, or creativity had an impact on your life and your view of the community?

Throughout my youth I used visual art as a way to express myself. I participated in numerous art programs and even as an adult, I still continue to sketch and paint in my free time.


Arts and Culture in Your District

Art and culture plays a role in the Commonwealth from Boston and the Gateway Cities and our rural and suburban towns.  Please provide us with a story of the impact a local arts or cultural institution brings to your district.

Arts and culture have played a major role in the revitalization of Downtown Lynn, which I’ve represented both as Ward 5 City Councilor and Councilor-At-Large. I have been very involved in promoting the arts including the creation of a youth public mural project and the recent passage of a public arts ordinance. In addition to encouraging civic participation and bringing pride to our community, the arts have also had the ability to stimulate the local economy. Numerous businesses have cited the success of Lynn Auditorium’s concerts and live shows as the reason for their interest in locating their business Downtown. I also served on the board of Arts After Hours which has made a major impact in recent years through various theater productions and community events.


Arts Education and Programs for our Youth

Creativity and innovation are vital skills in a student’s education. While many communities have access to quality arts education, many youth are still being left out of the creative community. How will you champion arts education for our youth both in our schools and in our communities? How will you balance the importance of arts education with the constant pull to “teach to the test”? Would you support joining ten other states to make one year of arts education in high school a requirement for admission to the state university system? Do you support adding ‘arts’ into the Commonwealth’s STEM program to transform it to STEAM?

I am very supportive of adding arts into the Commonwealth’s STEM program and to continue to find funding to expand arts classes in our schools and communities. I will always advocate for the arts as a part of our focus on education.


Economic Development

Nonprofit art and cultural organizations support more than 45,000 jobs, spend $2.1 billion annually and generate another $2.5 billion of economic activity. How will the legislature foster an ecosystem which supports the creative community and industry across the Commonwealth?

The Legislature can help the creative community and industry by making smart investments in our Gateway Cities that are using art as part of their revitalization efforts.  We must find ways to better assist the organizations that are promoting art in our communities.


Addressing the Commonwealth’s Socioeconomic Issues

Massachusetts faces many economic and social issues, among them workforce development, public safety, and health care. Can you provide examples on how you would utilize the arts, cultural, and creative community to address the Commonwealth’s social and economic challenges?

I strongly believe that arts and culture can help stimulate the local economy. Additionally they can be extremely helpful with social issues. I’ve worked closely with groups like Raw Arts in Lynn that use art as a way to help at-risk youth. I’ve seen first hand the positive effects that arts can have on our youth.


The Commonwealth’s Support and Role in the Creative Community

  • Last year, Massachusetts invested $12 million in organizational support through the Massachusetts Cultural Council (MCC) for the creative community, ranking it ninth in the country. In 1988, the MCC gave out more than $27 million in grants, more than twice what we do now. At what level would you fund the MCC?

I am strongly supportive of increasing MCC’s funding.

  • For the past two years, Governor Patrick allocated $15 million in matching grants through the Massachusetts Cultural Facilities Fund to support the maintenance, repair, and rebuilding of the Commonwealth’s cultural facilities. At what level do you suggest the Commonwealth fund this program?

I am strongly supportive of increasing the funding for the MA Cultural Facilities Fund.

  • Would you develop or dedicate a revenue stream to provide a sustainable and stable funding stream for the arts, cultural, and creative community?

  I am open to dedicated revenue for the arts, but would want to learn more details about such a policy

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