Arts and Business Groups Testify In Support of Creating New State Commission To Study Ways to Boost Arts Spending

October 22, 2019—Today, arts, cultural, and creative organizations will testify before the Massachusetts Legislature’s Joint Committee on Tourism, Arts and Cultural Development in favor of legislation that would establish a state commission to study public funding of programs related to arts and culture in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The proposed commission would also examine ways to increase workforce development and tourism related to cultural, creative, and tourism industries in the state.

“Cities and towns with public art, festivals, concerts, and schools with quality arts education are places where people want to live and work,” said MASSCreative Executive Director Emily Ruddock. “Given the many ways that a thriving creative sector benefits our urban, suburban, and rural areas of the state, it makes sense to examine ways to bring more support to cultural organizations, artistic communities and arts education efforts.”

The Joint Committee on Tourism, Arts and Cultural Development is considering House Bill 2943 and Senate Bill 2021, each of which would authorize a new state commission to examine state funding promoting tourism, arts, and culture and recommend new sources of funding to increase tourism and the promotion of arts and culture and workforce development. The commission would also examine annual revenue, such as taxes, that come into the state as a result of public investment in culture, tourism, and workforce development and compare Massachusetts funding with that of other states.

“More people attend arts events in Massachusetts than all sporting events combined, and arts organizations support more than 73,000 full-time jobs,” said ArtsBoston Executive Director Catherine Peterson. “When you combine spending by arts organizations with event-related spending by their audiences, that adds up to more than $2 billion of economic activity each year in Massachusetts.”

“Tourism, arts, and culture are major contributors to the Massachusetts economy,” said James E. Rooney, President & CEO of the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce. “In addition to creating and supporting hundreds of thousands of jobs, and billions of dollars in economic impact, this vital sector also celebrates our vibrant, diverse communities and makes Massachusetts more attractive to live, work, and visit. By investing in arts, culture, and tourism, we’re also investing the types of environments that attract and nurture a talented workforce and inspire creativity, innovation, and civic engagement.”

“Massachusetts’ dynamic tourism industry and its arts and cultural assets are inextricably linked, collectively delivering extraordinary dividends to the state’s economic vitality and quality of life,” said Martha Sheridan, President & CEO of the Greater Boston Convention & Visitor Bureau. “They are powerful economic engines that contribute significantly to our local and regional economy, and to the entrepreneurial culture for which Boston has become so well known. We must examine new strategies to support and elevate these essential sectors.”


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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Arts and Business Groups Testify In Support of Creating New State Commission To Study Ways to Boost Arts Spending

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