DSC_0495.JPGMASSCreative, Hyde Square Task Force, & Walnut Hill School for the Arts deliver 3,000 signatures to Governor Baker's office 

mc_cms_blueSq.jpg Arts in Action: 3,000 signatures strong for public funding

2015 is shaping up to be a year of opportunity for the statewide arts and cultural community. With a new governor and new leadership in the State House, we have an important opportunity to make sure our voices count in the budget process. The next three months will be a key time to engage.  

In the early days of March, Governor Baker will announce his state budget proposal for fiscal year 2016, which will include a line item for the Massachusetts Cultural Council (MCC). Before he does, the statewide arts and cultural community is speaking up to convey a unified message: state investment is critical to the creative community’s ability to help drive the economy, enhance education, and help build community across the Commonwealth.

On Tuesday, February 17th, MASSCreative and youth arts advocacy partners Hyde Square Task Force and Walnut Hill School for the Arts headed to the governor’s office to deliver this message, captured in the form of 3,000 signatures backing the Arts in Action petition.

Fresh off their Youth Arts Advocacy Retreat training, teens came ready to share their stories of impact and add narrative context to the case for state investment in arts and culture. In a thoughtful discussion with key staff from the governor’s office, a handful of youth from Hyde Square Task Force and Walnut Hill School for the Arts were able to share their experience in the arts and highlight the programming made possible by MCC funding.

By handing over 3,000+ signatures and sharing our stories, we made a compelling case for arts and cultural funding.

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mc_cms_blueSq.jpg Arts Matter Advocacy Day: Showing our legislators that arts still matter

The governor will make his budget announcement in early March – but the public process doesn’t end there. Our next window for advocacy will open as the House and Senate announce their budgets in April and May, respectively, for fiscal year 2016.

In previous years, we have worked with local arts and cultural leaders to organize meetings with legislators out in their communities. This year, there’s a twist – instead of having our elected officials come to us, we’re coming to them.

First thing’s first, RSVP + save the date


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mc_cms_blueSq.jpg Young artists; rising advocates

On Tuesday, 15 youth arts groups came together for a day of advocacy training. The result: young artists are taking on roles as advocates.

Throughout the day, youth participants worked together to learn about storytelling. In an exercise led by Actors’ Shakespeare Project executive producer Sara Stackhouse, the crowd learned about telling three stories: the story of self, of us, and of now. Later on in the day, youth used their newfound storytelling skills to promote the work of their communities and arts organizations.

In the last session, Matt Gelman and Corey Depina from ZUMIX ran small group exercises focused on understanding the strengths of the youth arts community and the opportunities to expand and explore new work. These conversations proved to be helpful for helping participants understand their place as an individual in a larger, connected and vibrant community.

And of course, there was an immediate opportunity to take action. Youth were prompted to whip out their phones and sign the Arts in Action petition through text message. With 50 new signatures, the crowd helped bump the petition to over 3,000 signers! 

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mc_cms_blueSq.jpg In Case You Missed It

Give props to non-profits

Massachusetts Nonprofit Network is now taking nominations for the 2015 Nonprofit Excellence Awards. Let’s see some arts and cultural organizations make the list. Nominate your favorite organization for one of eight categories and help lift up folks making a difference in your community. 
Submit your nomination.

Arts Advocacy Day in Washington, D.C.

Join forces with over 500 grassroots advocates from across the country in the annual Americans for the Arts "Arts Advocacy Day"! Taking place March 23-24 in Washington DC, the nation's cultural and civic organizations will be highlighting the critical development needed for strong public policies, as well as advocating for essential public funding for the arts. Register by March 9th!

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mc_cms_blueSq.jpg New Year, New Members

Thanks to the all the arts and cultural institutions and working artists that have joined MASSCreative in the New Year! We appreciate all you do to make Massachusetts a great place to live, work, and play. 

We look forward to working with all our members as we move forward with Arts Matter Advocacy Day on March 25th and running grassroots campaigns that benefit the statewide creative community. Together, our voices are stronger. We must build our momentum to increase state funding for the arts and ensure arts education opportunities for all our youth. 

For those who have not had the opportunity to support us, please consider joining our growing movement of leaders and supporters to help us build the resources and support we need to advocate for the creative community. You can support MASSCreative right now by becoming a member organization or an individual member.

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Community Impact

The Drama Studio is one of a handful of youth theatres in the United States that offers quality, range, and depth in its acting training programs. For Springfield-area youth, the Studio's conservatory program offers an unusual opportunity for training that prepares its graduates (all of whom are college bound) to...