Arts and Cultural Leaders Launch Statewide Campaign to Advance Priorities of Creative Sector in Governor’s Race

Create the Vote 2022 Will Host Statewide Candidate Forum Aug. 3 in Worcester 

June 14, 2022—The Massachusetts cultural community today launched the Create the Vote MA 2022 Coalition (CTVMA) to ensure candidates for Governor and Lt. Governor understand and support the state’s growing creative economy and its artists, organizations, and workers.

CTVMA now comprises 36 organizations representing the state’s racially, linguistically, and geographically diverse population who’ve joined the campaign to elevate the voices, contributions, and concerns of the arts, cultural, and creative workforce throughout the 2022 campaign. This new campaign builds on a nearly decade-long effort by MASSCreative and its allies to position the creative sector as a vital contributor to economic prosperity, community vitality, and diversity, equity, and inclusion, across Massachusetts. 

CTVMA will include a statewide candidates’ forum on Wednesday, August 3 at 7pm at the Jean McDonough Arts Center in Worcester. Other CTVMA campaign activities will include: 

  • Sharing responses by candidates for governor and lieutenant governor to the CTVMA art, culture, and creativity questionnaire with voters
  • Convening roundtable discussions with candidates for governor and lieutenant governor
  • Creating and sharing a statewide policy platform of priorities for the arts and culture sector with gubernatorial candidates
  • Supporting efforts to register voters, including those new to the process, and getting them to the polls 

“The nearly infinite ways in which art, culture, and creativity make life worth living are so woven into the tapestry of our lives that we take them for granted, and that’s why Create the Vote Massachusetts is so important,” said Emily Ruddock, Executive Director of MASSCreative. “The COVID-19 pandemic has hit the arts and culture hard; nonprofits alone could lose $1 billion or more in revenue by year’s end. The next governor and lieutenant governor must lead in developing strategies to help this sector recover so that future generations have access to creative expression and diverse cultural opportunities that make Massachusetts such a special place.”

CTVMA is a nonpartisan network of arts and cultural leaders across Massachusetts working to raise awareness among voters and candidates for office about the vital role that arts, culture and creative expression play in communities across the Commonwealth. Coalition members are committed to centering voices that have been historically marginalized in statewide politics and building advocacy and organizing capacity throughout the arts, culture, and creative sector by engaging with candidates for office and voters and leading and participating in grassroots actions.   

“The COVID pandemic, if nothing else, has forced us to reflect upon our own organizational racial equity standards,” said Hank von Hellion, Managing Director of the Worcester PopUp and a CTVMA Fellow. “What has been laid bare is the fact that despite our best intentions we often have not done enough to lead the charge for equitable inclusion by example. Holding those in power accountable is only part of our work, our first obligation as arts advocacy organizations is to live the values that we promote and to be leaders by example. Our work with MASSCreative is vital to helping us all synthesize clear and actionable policy to this end.”

“The next governor of Massachusetts will exercise critical leadership during this time of unprecedented need related to the health and well-being of our residents, families, students, and businesses of all sizes,” said Linda Matys O’Connell, Government and Community Relations Coordinator at the MIFA Victory Theatre in Holyoke and CTVMA Coalition member. “The arts, culture, and creative sector is vital to addressing these needs with its power to drive community connection and economic growth and opportunity." 

“Before the pandemic, cultural nonprofits in Massachusetts supported more than 73,000 full time jobs, generated over $2.3 billion in total spending, and brought in nearly $100 million in state tax revenues,” said Gary Dunning, President and Executive Director of Celebrity Series of Boston and CTVMA Coalition member. “Every dollar spent by an arts and cultural organization generates $2.30 in sales for nearby businesses, and in 2018, there were more than 21 million attendees for art and cultural events in the Greater Boston area, which is more than four times that for all major Boston sporting events combined. It is crucial for the entire health of the Commonwealth that we maintain these jobs and provide these services to the community as our sector continues to face reopening challenges.”

Since 2013, Create the Vote has raised awareness among voters and candidates for office about the vital role that arts, culture and creative expression play in building inclusive, connected, and more equitable communities. In communities around the state, from Boston to Medford, Medfield, and New Bedford, CTV campaigns have catalyzed greater local funding for arts and culture. During the 2014 gubernatorial race, Create the Vote hosted six candidates at the first-ever Gubernatorial Forum on Arts, Culture, and Creativity, drawing more than 500 people to Worcester’s Hanover Theatre to hear candidates explain their vision for our creative economy and raising the visibility of the arts, culture, and creative community in the campaign.  

To learn more about CTVMA visit us online at or follow us on Twitter at CreateTheVoteMA and Instagram at ctv_ma.

About Create the Vote Massachusetts 2022

Create the Vote Massachusetts 2022 is made up of artists, creative workers, cultural organizations, and arts groups working together to ensure that the state’s arts, culture, and creative communities are visible throughout the gubernatorial campaign and a priority in the next gubernatorial administration.

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published this page in Press 2022-06-14 09:36:11 -0400

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