Candidate Joe Pacheco's Response

Your Personal Connection
We've all had defining moments in our lives. What personal experience with arts, culture, or creativity had an impact on your life and your view of the community?

As a Trustee of the Raynham Public Library for a decade, I have been a steadfast supporter of arts and culture by utilizing the library as a hub for various events. Approximately two years ago, I was pleased to join my colleagues on the board in supporting local artists who are invited to display their works for viewing and purchase by the community – at no charge to the artist. The library has been the proud home to numerous other events which are always open to the public and similarly free of charge.


Arts and Culture in Your District

Art and culture plays a role in the Commonwealth from Boston and the Gateway Cities and our rural and suburban towns.  Please provide us with a story of the impact a local arts or cultural institution brings to your district.

The 8th Plymouth District is made up of the towns of Bridgewater and Raynham and is fortunate to have a robust arts and cultural presence across the district. Bridgewater State University, my alma mater, hosts a wide variety of cultural events including guest speakers, art shows, dance performances, musical acts and other events focused on drawing attention to the arts not only for the students of Bridgewater State University but also for the residents of the district. The university has done a remarkable job reaching out to and inviting community members to partake in the cultural events there and as the State Representative representing the 8th Plymouth I will work diligently on efforts to expand the arts presence within the district whenever possible.

Other local events funded by the Massachusetts Cultural Council allow for residents of the 8th Plymouth spanning generations to enjoy live musical performances, children’s events at the Bridgewater Public Library and community events put on by the Raynham Cultural Council.


Arts Education and Programs for our Youth

Creativity and innovation are vital skills in a student’s education. While many communities have access to quality arts education, many youth are still being left out of the creative community. How will you champion arts education for our youth both in our schools and in our communities? How will you balance the importance of arts education with the constant pull to “teach to the test”? Would you support joining ten other states to make one year of arts education in high school a requirement for admission to the state university system? Do you support adding ‘arts’ into the Commonwealth’s STEM program to transform it to STEAM?

It is critically important to have a State Representative representing Bridgewater and Raynham that is committed to increasing the access to the arts and cultural opportunities for the children of the district. Several years ago when budgets needed to be cut, in our own district access to art classes were often on the table as something that could be cut to try and save money. As State Representative, I pledge to find ways to fund the arts so that the children of the district are able to enjoy the same experience relative to the arts that I was able to enjoy as a child going through the same Bridgewater-Raynham Regional School District. I would certainly strongly consider and would take a serious look at including the arts into the Commonwealth’s STEM program as any opportunity to provide our graduating seniors with a more rounded education needs to be closely considered. Changing the STEM to a STEAM program is something I would pledge to review in detail once elected.


Economic Development

Nonprofit art and cultural organizations support more than 45,000 jobs, spend $2.1 billion annually and generate another $2.5 billion of economic activity. How will the legislature foster an ecosystem which supports the creative community and industry across the Commonwealth?

As a member of the House of Representatives, I will look for ways to creatively foster economic development through supporting cultural organizations and non-profit art. The legislature should look at both opportunities to fund the creative community in Gateway Cities and urban locales as well as in suburban and rural parts of the state focused on driving tourism, jobs and an economic impact that is sustainable and vibrant. Communities like Northampton, Amherst and Cambridge have done an amazing job fostering an economy built around the arts and culture and efforts in cities like New Bedford, Fall River and Holyoke help to look creatively at ways to rebuild an economy with the support of the arts. As the State Representative of Bridgewater and Raynham I will advocate to bring added support to the arts and cultural organizations within the district and will also champion statewide support of the creative community across the Commonwealth.


The Commonwealth’s Support and Role in the Creative Community

  • Last year, Massachusetts invested $12 million in organizational support through the Massachusetts Cultural Council (MCC) for the creative community, ranking it ninth in the country. In 1988, the MCC gave out more than $27 million in grants, more than twice what we do now. At what level would you fund the MCC?

    At a minimum, I would support bringing the funding of arts at least in line with the 1988 funding levels.

  • For the past two years, Governor Patrick allocated $15 million in matching grants through the Massachusetts Cultural Facilities Fund to support the maintenance, repair, and rebuilding of the Commonwealth’s cultural facilities. At what level do you suggest the Commonwealth fund this program?

    The state needs to continue to support upkeep and maintenance for the infrastructure across the Commonwealth. Whether it be bridges or cultural facilities, maintaining safe and up-to-date infrastructure is critical to the Commonwealth’s continued success. As State Representative, I will look at funding opportunities for the Commonwealth’s cultural facilities amongst other funding requests and will ensure a fair and adequate level of funding is championed.

  • Would you develop or dedicate a revenue stream to provide a sustainable and stable funding stream for the arts, cultural, and creative community?  

    The funding of the cultural community should be something that the Commonwealth begins to think more creatively around rather than looking to fund the arts in a sporadic manner. I am open to reviewing potential proposals relative to a more defined funding of the arts once elected.


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