David Rogers' 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?

As a younger person, my goal was to become a professional musician. I attended Ithaca College because of its strong music program.   While I ultimately decided to pursue a different path, I still play guitar and am a big lover of all of the arts including music, paintings, film, and a variety of other mediums.


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.

The Arlington Center for the Arts is just one example of an arts/cultural institution that contributes greatly to one of the towns I represent.  The music program in the Belmont public schools is considered one of the best.


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 will support the arts in every conceivable way that I can do so. 1 year of arts sounds good; not sure if I would mandate it for entry into state university but would consider it.


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 does a lot already and I support doing more. Obviously funding is the biggest way in which the state can help. But there are lots of other things and I will continue to advocate for the arts.


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?  

Rather than give one example, I think it is important to simply note that I am a legislator who knows the arts should not be viewed in a myopic, limited way. There are a variety of impacts from the arts that may not be immediately obvious but which have enormous potential to benefit society.


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 would fund the MCC at a high level. It depends on the reality of every year’s budget of course but I hope we can do more as the economy improves.

  • 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 support funding this at as high a level as possible consistent with sound budgeting.

  • 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 certainly open to the concept.



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