Statement by MASSCreative Interim Executive Director Emily Ruddock on Recommended Funding of the Mass Cultural Council in Senate Ways & Means Committee Proposed FY2020 Budget

BOSTON, May 8, 2019—Statement by MASSCreative Interim Executive Director Emily Ruddock on Recommended Funding of the Mass Cultural Council in Senate Ways & Means Committee Proposed FY2020 Budget:

“The Senate Ways and Means Committee has proposed funding the Massachusetts Cultural Council (Mass Cultural Council) at $17 million, which would be a $1 million increase over last year’s allocation. Given the powerful impact that art, culture, and creativity have on our communities, we will continue to advocate for the previously requested $18 million.

“Equitable public funding of art organizations and artists throughout Massachusetts creates greater opportunities for all residents to experience creativity and to see their culture reflected in artistic expression. These opportunities are just as integral to social wellbeing as adequate food, housing, income, and the pursuit of meaningful activities. Public investment in cultural organizations has also proven to be a powerful generator of economic activity, most noticeably in higher need areas of the state, such as our Gateway Cities and rural communities. All together arts 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. These funding priorities contrast greatly with corporate giving, which is often driven by marketing goals and focuses on blockbuster arts events or other highly commercialized activities. It also differs from giving by individual philanthropists, who are often motivated by personal goals. This results in narrow programming that limits the breadth and depth of representation and participation from all our communities.

“We look forward to working with members of the Senate as the FY2020 budget process proceeds and sharing the ways that art, creativity, and culture impacts their constituents.”


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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