MASSCreative FY19 Leadership Council Letter to Governor Baker

Dear Governor Baker, 

Arts, culture, and creativity have a powerful impact on our communities. Arts and cultural organizations help drive the state’s local economies, from the Greater Boston area, to the downtown districts of Gateway Cities, to our rural and coastal communities, generating over $2.2 billion dollars in economic activity annually, supporting 73,000 full time jobs, and generating more than $159 million in local and state tax revenue[1]. Arts education has been proven to improve student achievement across academic disciplines and the arts play a vital role to help us find meaning and make sense of our lives.

As artists and leaders in the creative community, we encourage you to provide the arts and cultural community with the support it needs to help build vibrant, equitable, and healthy communities across the Commonwealth.

As you prepare to release your budget in January, please increase investment in the creative community and boost the FY2019 Mass Cultural Council budget to $17 million. This $3 million increase will fund arts, humanities, and science programs for underserved youth, the growing number of cultural districts, the 329 Local Cultural Councils (LCCs), and the Commonwealth’s core arts and cultural institutions. Last year, the Mass Cultural Council and LCCs awarded grants to approximately 6,000 Massachusetts organizations. Each dollar spent generated an additional $2.30 of sales for local businesses, making the Mass Cultural Council budget an important driver of community and economic development. We ask you to appropriate these funds without earmarks to ensure that they are awarded to worthy institutions and projects through a fair, transparent public process.

State funding through the Mass Cultural Council strengthens the creative community in Massachusetts as a whole and is critical to the arts and culture sector’s ability to help drive the economy, enhance education, and help build community across the Commonwealth. These funds also play a key role in leveraging private investment in our cultural institutions and public programs.

The MASSCreative Leadership Council 

[1] Arts and Economic Prosperity Report 5, 2016, Americans for the Arts

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