MASSCreative urges Governor Baker to Sign State Budget

BOSTON, July 9, 2021—Today, the Massachusetts Legislature approved its Fiscal Year 2022 budget with funding for the Mass Cultural Council at $21.4 million. This is the largest public investment in arts and culture since Fiscal Year 2002 when the state allocated $23.9 million to the Mass Cultural Council, and it represents a $2 million increase over last year’s budget. MASSCreative Executive Director Emily Ruddock issued the following statement in response: 

“We are incredibly grateful to leaders in the House and Senate for recognizing and responding to the dire need of arts and cultural organizations and artists throughout Massachusetts. Since March 2020 and the pandemic-related closure of our museums and stages and the cancellation of musical performances, plays, and other live performances, nearly 900 arts and cultural nonprofit organizations—which represent a sliver of the state’s creative economy—have reported $588.3 million in pandemic-related losses. Individual creative workers in Massachusetts lost over $30 million during that same time. BIPOC-led arts and cultural organizations have been especially hard hit.

“We urge Governor Charlie Baker to approve the Legislature’s allocation for arts and culture. As the Commonwealth continues to reopen, thanks to the incredible success of the state’s COVID-19 vaccination program, the economy is getting stronger, people are returning to work, and employers are adding jobs. But the benefits of reopening have yet to trickle down to the arts and cultural organizations that were the first to shut down in March 2020 and will be the last to reopen due to on-going safety concerns around attending large indoor gatherings. 

“These organizations, both large and small, drive the state’s tourism industry as well as economic activity in our local neighborhoods. Non-profit organizations in the state’s creative sector generated $2.3 billion in economic activity for the state in 2019, and provided employment for 71,000 people. These organizations continue to struggle as they have not been able to hold revenue-generating events and performances in over a year. They are losing members while artists and artist entrepreneurs are leaving their industries because they have been unable to work for over a year. 

“As we continue to come out of the pandemic, we are going to need every tool at our disposal to revive the economy in full, bring people together again, and proactively work for racial equity. The arts and cultural sector will be central to these efforts. We are grateful to state lawmakers for recognizing the considerable need and uncertainty that our artists and arts and cultural organizations are continuing to live with, and we strongly urge Gov. Baker to approve the legislature’s full funding for the Mass Cultural Council.” 

About MASSCreative 

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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published this page in News and Views 2021-07-09 16:46:54 -0400

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