Action Alert: Urge your legislators to prioritize arts and culture in the FY22 Budget

On Wednesday January 27, 2021, Gov. Charlie Baker released his proposed budget for Fiscal Year 2022. In it, he recommends allocating $16.3 million for the Mass Cultural Council, which would be 10 percent less than the Mass Cultural Council’s current budget. 

While we appreciate that the Commonwealth of Massachusetts continues to experience profound challenges related to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are disappointed with a proposed budget that would require a 10 percent reduction in funding from the Mass Cultural Council’s current $18.2 spending level. 

Throughout this pandemic, arts and cultural organizations have found creative ways to keep people connected, including virtual performances offered at no cost, outdoor performances, and free music, dance, and theatre instruction via Zoom for vulnerable youth. The connections forged by community arts non-profits throughout the pandemic have been absolutely vital to our mental, emotional, and spiritual health. It is clear arts and culture make a difference in the Commonwealth.

Non-profits of all sizes have done this work despite the pandemic-related devastation experienced by creative workers, artists, and arts and cultural organizations.  Arts and cultural nonprofits have collectively lost over $483 million since last March. Meanwhile, individual artists, teaching artists, and scientist/humanists have lost over $20 million in personal income. 

The annual allocation for the Mass Cultural Council represents the largest amount of public support for artists, creative workers and cultural nonprofits in the Commonwealth. A reduction to that public investment would be disasterous as we work to recover from the pandemic.

Let's share our support for a publicly supported arts and cultural sector with our legislators. As they begin to develop their FY22 budgets, we must urge them to prioritize a creative community that everyone in the Commonwealth can participate in and have access to. 

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published this page in Reach out to your State Legislators 2021-01-27 12:44:22 -0500

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