BOSTON, January 24, 2018—Statement by MASSCreative Executive Director Matt Wilson on Gov. Baker’s Recommended Funding of the Massachusetts Cultural Council in State Budget

“Governor Baker’s proposed funding of the Massachusetts Cultural Council (Mass Cultural Council) at $14 million is a good starting point in the Fiscal Year 2019 budget process. Given that the arts sector is a significant economic driver and community building block in municipalities across the state, we will continue to support a $3 million increased investment in the Mass Cultural Council.

Recent reports by Americans for the Arts and the New England Foundation for the Arts show that in 2015, the nonprofit arts industry generated more than $2.2 billion in economic activity in Massachusetts, while cultural institutions overall generated more than $159 million in tax revenue.

“Aside from economic benefits, arts and culture have been shown to help build more vibrant, equitable and connected communities, reducing crime and improving quality of life for residents. They also bring educational benefits to learners of all ages and varying fields of study, and have been used to improve health and resiliency in people recovering from addiction or suffering from memory impairment and military veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

“None of these benefits occur incidentally. We reap them when we deliberately choose to invest in arts education and field trips to museums, theatrical productions and musical performances. They happen when we fund local cultural councils that provide free opportunities for arts and cultural events and programs to all members of their communities. They happen when we nurture the development of the Commonwealth’s vast and diverse community of artists, who are driving the reinvigoration of the state’s gateway cities including Lynn, New Bedford and Springfield, and often through projects funded by Mass Cultural Council.

“The arts community is seeking a modest $3 million budget increase to ensure Mass Cultural Council can better carry out its work of promoting excellence, inclusion, education and diversity in the arts, humanities and sciences in our Commonwealth. In the coming months, we will work closely with our legislative allies and a broad, diverse constituency of Massachusetts residents to ensure that Mass Cultural Council receives appropriate funding.”


Founded in 2012, MASSCreative works to build a more vibrant, healthy, and equitable Massachusetts. MASSCreative works with artists, leaders, supporters, and partners of the arts, cultural, and creative community to advocate for the resources and support necessary for the sector to thrive. Nearly 400 arts and cultural organizations and working artists from across the Commonwealth are members of MASSCreative.

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