Statement by MASSCreative Interim Executive Director Emily Ruddock on Funding of the Massachusetts Cultural Council (Mass Cultural Council) in the Senate’s Final FY2020 Budget

MASSCreative Statement on Senate FY2020 Budget

BOSTON, May 24, 2019—Statement by MASSCreative Interim Executive Director Emily Ruddock on Funding of the Massachusetts Cultural Council (Mass Cultural Council) in the Senate’s Final FY2020 Budget:

“We are grateful to the Senate for its proposal to fund the Mass Cultural Council at $18 million and its approval of an amendment to edit language in the Mass Cultural Council line item that will ensure that the state cultural agency will be able to continue to provide both grants and services to the creative community.

“We are also deeply encouraged that the FY2020 budgets proposed by both the House and Senate recommend increases for the Mass Cultural Council budget, with $500,000 proposed by the House and $2 million by the Senate. This is the first time in recent memory that both branches of the legislature have recommended increases in public investment in art, culture, and creativity.

“But we are not surprised to see such confidence in the sector. Equitable public funding of cultural organizations and artists throughout Massachusetts creates greater opportunities for all residents to experience creativity and to see their culture reflected in artistic expression. Public investment in cultural organizations is also a proven and reliable generator of economic activity, most noticeably in higher need areas of the state, such as our Gateway Cities and rural communities. All together cultural nonprofits in Massachusetts support more than 73,000 full-time jobs, generate over $2.2 billion in total spending, and bring in nearly $100 million in state tax revenues.

“None of these benefits to our communities occur incidentally. They are the result of strategic investments in Local Cultural Councils, working artists, cultural institutions, community groups, and youth programs by the Mass Cultural Council, which focuses on expanding equitable access to art for all residents.

“A House-Senate conference committee will soon be formed to reconcile the differences between the House and Senate FY2020 budgets. We look forward to working with members of the state legislature as the budget process proceeds and sharing the ways that art, creativity, and culture impact all residents of the Commonwealth.”



MASSCreative works with artists, cultural councils, arts organizations and the broader creative community to build a Commonwealth where arts and creativity are an expected, recognized, and valued part of everyday life. Working with our coalition of 400 arts and cultural organizations and artists from across the Commonwealth, MASSCreative uses public education and awareness, grassroots organizing, advocacy campaigns, and other civic and political engagement to ensure that arts, culture, and creativity are considered when important policy and political decisions get made at the state and local level.

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