State Sen. Adam Hinds Meets with Create the Vote 2018

Members of MASSCreative’s Leadership Council and creative leaders in the Berkshires met with state Sen. Adam Hinds Aug. 15 as part of its Create the Vote 2018 initiative.

Create the Vote 2018 is a nonpartisan campaign to raise awareness of the ways that arts and creative expression improve schools, strengthen local business districts, and build vibrant neighborhoods in which people want to live, work, and play. Members of the campaign are meeting with state and municipal political candidates to discuss the candidates’ views on the arts and cultural community and the role that culture, creativity, and the arts should play in state and local government.

Hinds is seeking a second term in the Massachusetts Senate representing the Berkshire, Hampshire, Franklin & Hampden District—the largest geographic territory in the legislature and an area with a significant creative economy. Thomas Wickham, a Lee selectman, is challenging Hinds in the Democratic primary.

During the meeting, which was held at the Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, Hinds addressed questions from leaders of the local creative community, including Lucis Castaldo, IS183 Art School; Michele Daly, Mass College of Art’s Berkshire Cultural Resource Center; Adam Davis, Shakespeare and Company; Lisa Dorin, Williams College Museum of Art; Matthew Glassman, Double Edge Theatre; Jen Glockner, Office of Cultural Development for the City of Pittsfield; Sally and Fred Harris, Saint James Place, Donna Hassler, Chesterwood and Olivier Mesley, The Clark Art Institute.


Asked about his interest in creating a county-wide cultural coalition/collaborative, Hinds said he believed that everyone at the table needed to be part of the ongoing conversation about how to create a community that was attractive to visitors and residents alike. He noted that infrastructure helps the creative sector thrive and emphasized the need to set up rail access to the region.

Hinds also acknowledged that he frequently hears from both the creative sector and residents about the dearth of affordable housing and workspace—an issue nearly every participant in our meeting raised, be it organizations that have had difficulty housing seasonal staff or artists that left the area because they cannot secure appropriate space in which to do their work. Hinds said he wants to work on a solution to this problem for his district.

Hinds co-chairs the legislature’s Joint Committee on Tourism, Arts and Cultural Development, a post he said he requested because of what the arts and culture sector has done for his district: as its third largest industry, it brings money to the area, improves its reputation and attracts visitors.

He expressed an interest in getting more money into arts education and creative sector workforce development as he sees how the issues dovetail in his district. Hinds, who lives in Pittsfield, said he has heard from students about the importance of arts education and given that the creative sector is the district’s third largest industry, arts education is a key to workforce development in the area.

Hinds touched on his membership in the Legislature’s Cultural Caucus, welcoming the opportunity it offers to build support for arts and culture throughout the State House. The caucus provides a helpful network of allies to call on when support is needed for important agenda items like funding for the Mass Cultural Council and the Cultural Facilities Fund, he said.

He discussed his legislative accomplishments on arts and cultural issues, including offering the amendment to re-authorize the Cultural Facilities Fund with an increased budget. While the budget expanding effort failed, Hinds said he understands how crucial the fund is for cultural organizations and will continue to work on it. With an eye toward securing more marketing dollars for his district, Hinds is working with Springfield State Rep. Michael J. Finn on a bill that would enable municipalities to designate a portion of local hotel taxes to marketing local tourism.

Hinds also wants to let his district’s arts and cultural sector speak for itself, by increasing investment in public art in the district. He pointed out that visitors to North Adams see murals adorning city buildings and realize, “Whoa, this place is open for art.” 


Click here for Sen. Hinds’ answers to our Create the Vote 2018 candidate questionnaire.

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