Before you vote:
See what your candidates are saying about arts & culture


MASSCreative has received a growing number of responses to our arts and cultural questionnaire from candidates running for Massachusetts State House and Senate seats. Some candidates have already sat down with MASSCreative and local arts and cultural leaders in their districts.

With Election Day fast approaching, it’s essential that voters and candidates continue to talk about the arts in the same way they talk about jobs, education, and the economy. The candidates’ questionnaire responses demonstrate that they understand how the arts can be used as a tool to address issues across sectors in their own districts.

Read the latest responses for yourself and stay tuned as they continue to come in.

Denise Andrews (D), Candidate for State House, 2nd Franklin

A broad education and personal exposure to arts and culture is fundamental to individuals and societies to reach their dreams and to achieve their potential. Setting expectations, improving policy and funding all will help.


Ed Cameron (D), Candidate for State House, 1st Essex

Being from Newburyport, I’m most familiar with the impact of local institutions and events like the Firehouse Center for the Arts, the Newburyport Literary Festival, and the Newburyport Documentary Film Festival.  Since its opening in 1991, the Firehouse Center for the Arts has been instrumental in bringing music, drama, art, and many other cultural events to Newburyport. The Firehouse would not exist without state participation in funding.

Amesbury’s downtown district has become a destination for artists and musicians seeking studio space. Open studio evenings and weekends are an attractive feature of this district, attracting hundreds of visitors a year.

Salisbury’s Blue Ocean Music Hall, and other musical venues, attracts thousands of visitors to the town, encouraging cultural participation.


Harriette Chandler (D), Candidate for State Senate, 1st Worcester

The Hanover Theatre for the Performing Arts is just one example of the many cultural institutions in my district that collaborates with the public schools allowing students from all over to attend performances that they may have not been able to attend had it not been for this partnership. The Boston Symphony Orchestra has done wonders for the Worcester Public Schools and the Wachusett Regional School District by working with students in the classroom and also partnering to enable students from Central MA to view performances in Boston. The Worcester Cultural Council partnered with municipal government, higher education institutions, and the business community to launch the Worcester Wayfinding Project. This effort uses the arts to help guide visitors and highlight the City’s cultural history. This is the perfect example of how the arts can be used to support economic development and I am proud to have championed funding for this project in the legislature.


Marc Pacheco (D), Candidate for State Senate, 1st Plymouth & Bristol

My district office shares space with the Trescott Street Gallery building in Taunton, which brings the community together through art shows, music lessons, dance lessons, creative expression and through many other outlets. I have witnessed firsthand the way this busy community venue at the heart of the city attracts people from all walks of life and of all tastes in art and music to celebrate culture and creativity. The gallery allows Taunton to leverage community investment and to underwrite our greater arts community, which in turn spurs excitement and support for many of our other creative projects in the Greater Taunton area.


Matt Patrick (D), Plymouth & Barnstable

This District is rich in cultural and art institutions from The Spire in Plymouth to the Pembroke Arts Festival to the Falmouth Artists Guild— each town is indeed fortunate to have these places and people among them. They bring arts and culture to our doorsteps and also economic activity that is substantial.


Dave Rosa (R), Candidate for State Senate, 1st Plymouth & Bristol

I have a friend named Barbara N. who is famous for reproduction Dedham pottery, who supported her family from her home studio and shop for thirty years.  She struggled then, but she made it through a combination of hard work and creative spark.  This ought to be a viable path for every aspiring artist.

She is retired now, and lives and works in Greece.  She recently came back to the States to visit family and friends and to visit doctors.  It’s inspiring to see someone follow her dream and succeed.

Artists are workers and producers.  They deserve to live in a Commonwealth that supports entrepreneurship and work, whether it’s through the arts, trades or sciences.


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