Gubernatorial Forum on the Arts To Be Held July 15 At The Hanover Theatre in Worcester with Moderator Joyce Kulhawik


Create the Vote Coalition wants to hear candidates’ vision for the arts and culture in Massachusetts

BOSTON, May 22, 2014—Create the Vote, a coalition of artists and arts, cultural, and creative institutions based throughout Massachusetts, announced today that it will host the Gubernatorial Forum on Arts, Culture, and Creativity. Moderated by arts critic Joyce Kulhawik, the forum will foster discussion of the gubernatorial candidates’ vision for the arts and culture in Massachusetts. The forum will take place at The Hanover Theatre of the Performing Arts in Worcester on Tuesday, July 15 at 6pm. All members of the public are invited to attend.

More than 260 artists and arts and cultural leaders throughout the state signed an invitation to gubernatorial candidates to participate in the Gubernatorial Candidate Forum on Arts, Culture, and Creativity to hear what the candidates have to say on the role the next governor “should play in driving arts and cultural policy and supporting the work of the sector.”

“The next governor of Massachusetts needs to be a champion of the arts,” said Matt Wilson, executive director of MASSCreative, the convening member of the Create the Vote Coalition. “Our state is home to large-scale museums, theaters, and orchestras, as well as numerous community-based playhouses and art centers that drive our economy, enhance the academic performance of our students, and build vibrant, connected communities. Core to the success of these cultural institutions is public support of the arts. Our governor should be championing these efforts.”

“Arts organizations in Massachusetts, particularly smaller, community-based ones, are vital to the health of the downtowns of our Gateway Cities, and they enhance the educations of under-resourced youth,” said Troy Siebels, Executive Director of The Hanover Theatre in Worcester. “It is important that we have this conversation about the role arts and culture can play in Massachusetts and The Hanover Theatre is proud to host this important Forum.”

“The arts―a cornerstone of the state’s economy―are essential to Massachusetts. We know that in teaching young people about bold art and ideas, we foster innovation, courage and creativity in all areas of their lives. The arts support the artists and communities of today and create the artists, citizens and leaders of our future,” said Jill Medvedow, Ellen Matilda Poss Director of the Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston.

“Our next governor should foster fresh, big-picture thinking about the arts in Massachusetts,” said Van Shields, Executive Director of the Berkshire Museum. “We believe in the community-building power of art, and we believe that arts and cultural planning needs to be incorporated with statewide economic and development planning to ensure the best results possible.”

“On Cape Cod, we understand that critical components of our economic engine are our cultural and historic attractions,” said Kevin Howard President & CEO of the Arts Foundation of Cape Cod. “As a world-renowned destination, we want our next governor to support more funding to help the sector grow and thrive so that we can bring even more value to the state.”

Siebels, Medvedow, Shields, and Howard are among the 260 arts and cultural leaders throughout the state who signed the invitation to candidates for the Gubernatorial Candidate Forum on Arts, Culture, and Creativity.

In addition to hosting the July 15 mayoral forum, the Create the Vote Coalition is meeting with candidates and sharing what they learn from these meetings with the public. For more information about the coalition and the Create the Vote campaign, visit


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Founded in 2012, MASSCreative works with creative leaders and entrepreneurs, working artists, arts educators, and arts and cultural supporters to empower creative organizations and the public with a powerful voice to advocate for the resources and support necessary to build vibrant and connected communities.

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