Create the Vote Coalition Meets With Gubernatorial Candidate Jeff McCormick

BOSTON, September 4, 2014—Continuing its series of sit down meetings with candidates for governor of Massachusetts, members of the Create the Vote coalition met with gubernatorial candidate Jeff McCormick at MASSCreative in Boston to talk about McCormick’s views on the arts and cultural community and the role it would play in his administration.

The Coalition—a collaboration of Massachusetts arts, cultural, and creative institutions convened by MASSCreative—met with McCormick June 25. Representatives from [Stage Source, Ballet Theatre of Boston, Boston University Arts Initiative, and Boston Gay Men’s Chorus] met with McCormick to talk about his vision for the arts in the Commonwealth.

McCormick said that creativity, innovation, and creative thinking were valuable skills for business and finance. He said that the next governor needed to rally support for the arts and cultural sector by thinking of it as an investment.

He said that creating more jobs, making housing more affordable, and improving transportation were all inter-related and that arts was an important component of economic improvement. He added that he is a huge proponent of early childhood education and that the arts should be a part of that.

He said that much of the talk in education reform around STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) should be reframed as STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math). Students need to be creative and know how to solve problems, McCormick said, and the arts are critical to developing those skills.

McCormick said that state government needed to think long-term to get results. Noting that the return on investment in funds invested in the arts was close to five to one, McCormick said that the next governor needed to find a way to sustain its investment in arts and culture.

He said that he would implement a “top to bottom analysis” of state government, including agencies related to arts and culture, and determine where improvements could be made.

StageSource Executive Director Julie Hennrikus, who participated in the meeting with McCormick, said: “These conversations with candidates are vitally important to helping them understand how integral arts, culture, and creativity is to making the Commonwealth a desirable place to live, work, and play. Our next governor should be a champion for artists and arts and culture for the greater benefit of the entire state.”

“We have accomplished so much in Massachusetts with a relatively small investment in the arts,” said Jose Mateo. “With better planning and public investment, we can expand access to the arts for everyone in the Commonwealth, and build stronger communities.” 

“Arts matter in Massachusetts,” said Matt Wilson, executive director of MASSCreative, who facilitated the meeting with Grossman. “It increases economic activity, boosts educational opportunities for young people, and helps build strong communities. We look forward to collaborating with the next governor of Massachusetts to support the arts and cultural community in working to its fullest capacity.”

The Create the Vote Coalition will continue to meet with candidates and share with the public what they learn. 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

McCormick was the second candidate to meet with the Coalition, which previously interviewed Evan Falchuk.

On July 15, the Coalition hosted the historic Gubernatorial Forum on Arts, Culture, and Creativity, the first-ever gubernatorial debate about arts and culture. The Forum was held at The Hanover Theatre in Worcester and attended by 500 artists, cultural leaders, and members of the public.  Candidates Don Berwick, Attorney General Martha Coakley, Evan Falchuk, Mark Fisher, Treasurer Steve Grossman, and Jeff McCormick answered questions from moderator Joyce Kulhawik and arts leaders from around the state. A video of the Forum is available here.


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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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