State Arts Funding

Each year in Massachusetts we come together to decide how we will spend tax revenues in the next year. Budgets are a representation of our collective priorities and developing a spending plan requires participation from all of us. It can feel redundant having to make the same ask year after year, yet the budget process is a necessary and excellent opportunity for us to tell our stories about the importance of arts and creativity in our communities. 

Bookmark this page for updates on the status of the budget and ways to help advocate for substantial public support for arts, culture and creativity in Massachusetts.

FY23 Budget Process

 

Governor Baker’s January Budget 

(January 2022)

House Ways & Means Budget

(4/13/22)

House Budget

(4/27/22)

Senate Ways & Means Budget 

(5/10/22)

Senate Budget

(5/26/22)

Conference
Committee

(7/17/22)

FY23 Budget Signed by Governor Baker 

Mass Cultural Council $20.4M $22.5M $23,107,000* $22M $22,750,000** $23,377,000*** $23,377,000***

* $22.5M for Mass Cultural Council grants and operations, $607,000 in earmarks for special projects and organizations. 

** $22M for Mass Cultural Council grants and operations, $750,000 in earmarks for special projects and organizations.

***$22.5M for Mass Cultural Council grants and operations, $877,000 in earmarks for special projects and organizations.


7/29/22: FY23 Budget Signed By Governor Baker!

Governor Baker signed the FY23 Budget into law without a line item veto to the Mass Cultural Council allocation. This means the total $23,377,000 in the Mass Cultural Council line item is approved. $22.5M will be available for Mass Cultural Council grants and operations, while $877,00 in earmarks will be distributed for special projects and organizations. See the full list of earmarks below.

We want to thank the State Legislature and Governor Baker for recognizing the value of a strong, equitable and inclusive arts and cultural sector for all residents in the Commonwealth. It is important to note that $22.5M for the Mass Cultural Council's grants and operations is a 12% increase from FY22 which is larger than current inflation rates. Meaning there is actually more investment to allocate across the sector. 

Take a moment to thank Governor Baker and the Legislature for the increase


7/18/22: FY23 Budget Conference Committee Report Released

The Conference Committee and Legislative leadership announced a negotiated FY23 state budget totaling $52.7B. Included in the budget is $23,377,000 for arts and culture through the Mass Cultural Council.

This includes $22.5M for the Mass Cultural Council's grants and operations - the highest allocation since 1987!

The remaining $877,000 are earmarks for special projects:

  • $100,000 for the Arlington Chamber of Commerce tourism initiative
  • $100,000 for the Springfield Symphony Orchestra
  • $100,000 for Mechanics Hall in Worcester
  • $75,000 for ASA-compliant outdoor recreational space at the Ashland Community Center
  • $75,000 for ArtSpace Maynard
  • $75,000 for the Irish Cultural Center of Western New England
  • $50,000 for the Cogswell ArtSpace in Haverhill
  • $50,000 for the Town of Dedham's Annual Flag Day parade
  • $50,000 for the Allston Village Main Street, Inc's Artists Community Assistance Program
  • $50,000 for the Lowell Southeast Asian Water Festival, Inc.
  • $35,000 for the Artists Association of Nantucket
  • $30,000 for the Common Wealth Mural Collaborative, Inc
  • $25,000 for Dartmouth Historical and Art Society, Inc.
  • $25,000 for Rumford Historical Association
  • $10,000 for Town of Franklin's Annual Cultural Festival
  • $10,000 for Hickory Street Harambee's Annual Festival
  • $10,000 for the Pan African Historical Museum USA
  • $7,000 for the International Puerto Rican Studies Conference

Past earmarks in the House or Senate versions are no longer applicable, the earmark must appear in the final Conferenced version. 

The legislature will vote on the Conferenced version today Monday July 18 and then the budget will be sent to the Governor. The Governor has 10 days to sign, veto or line-item veto the budget. 


6/2/22: FY23 Budget Conference Committee Members Appointed

The House and Senate appointed members to negotiate the differences between their two version of the FY23 Budget. 

House Members Senate Members
Rep. Aaron Michlewitz, Chair (D-Boston) Sen. Michael Rodrigues, Chair (D- Fall River)
Rep. Ann-Margaret Ferrante, Vice Chair (D-Gloucester) Sen. Find Friedman, Vice Chair (D- Arlington)
Rep. Todd Smola, Ranking Minority Member (R - Palmer) Sen. Patrick O'Connor, Ranking Minority Member (R - Weymouth)

The committee will negotiate the House and Senate FY23 budgets and produce a final version that the Legislature will vote to approve. Then the budget will go to Governor Baker for signature or vetos. The goal is to have a final version passed by the legislature by July 31,2022 (at the latest). 


5/26/22: Senate Passes FY23 Budget Plan

The Senate passed their nearly $50 billion version of the FY23 Budget. Included in the budget is $22,750,000 of investments into the arts and cultural community through the Mass Cultural Council. The Senate directed $22M for grants and operations of the Mass Cultural Council and $750K in earmarks for special projects and organizations:

  • $35,000 to the Artists Association of Nantucket in order to provide scholarships for individuals and support mental health programming through the creative arts
  • $30,000 for the Common Wealth Mural Collaborative to support the Fresh Paint Springfield mural festival
  • $100,000 to Mechanics Hall to fund the installation of three portraits honoring 19th century Black Americans of impact.
  • $75,000 to the Irish Cultural Center in West Springfield
  • $10,000 for the annual cultural festival in the town of Franklin
  • $10,000 for Hickory Street Harambee, Inc., to support their annual festival in Springfield
  • $10,000 for Pan African Historical Museum USA, a non-profit museum in Springfield

The next step in the process is for the House and Senate to appoint members to a Conference Committee. The committee will negotiate the differences between the House and Senate versions and present a final version for both chambers to approve and send to the Governor's Desk, ideally before July 31, 2022. 


5/16/22: Senate Budget Amendment #135

We wish to share our thanks to Chair Kennedy, the Senate Chair of Tourism, Arts and Cultural Development for filing Amendment #135 to increase the Mass Cultural Council line item in the Senate budget to $27.4M. This increase would bring the annual state allocation for arts, culture and the humanities to its historic high - first reached in 1988. 

We want to send a strong message to our State Senators that now is the time to ensure sustained, increased support so that the creative sector can serve every resident of the Commonwealth. 

Amendment #135
Sponsor: Senator Edward D. Kennedy (D- Lowell) 
Chair of the Senate Committee on Tourism, Arts and Cultural Development
 21 Co-Sponsors (53% of Senate) as of May 26, 2022

Senator Chang-Diaz (D-Boston)
Senator Feeney (D- Foxborough)
Senator Gomez (D-Springfield)
Senator Velis (D - Westfield)
Senator Comerford (D-Northampton)
Senator Keenan (D- Quincy)
Senator Gobi (D- Springfield)
Senator Rush (D - West Roxbury)
Senator Cronin (D - Lunenburg)
Senator DiZoglio (D - Methuen)
Senator Rausch (D - Needham)
Senator Moore (D - Millbury)
Senator Hinds (D-Pittsfield)
Senator Lesser (D - Longmeadow)
Senator Tarr (R - Gloucester)
Senator Timilty (D - Milton)
Senator Moran (D - Falmouth)
Senator Finegold (D - Andover)
Senator Lovely (D- Salem)
Senator O'Connor (R - Weymouth)
Senator Cyr (D- Truro)

5/10/22: Senate Ways and Means Releases FY23 Budget proposal

The Senate Ways and Means Committee, chaired by Senator Michael J. Rodrigues (D-Fall River) released their version of the FY23 Budget. Included in the $49.68 billion budget is $22M for investment in the arts, culture and humanities sector through the Mass Cultural Council line item (0640-0300). We believe $22M is a good start, however we have our work cut out for us. The Senate Ways and Means version is $500,000 less than the House Ways and Means proposal and $1.1M less than the House’s final budget. 


4/27/22: House Passes Budget

On Wednesday, April 27 in the evening the House passed their $49.7M FY23 Budget. Included in the package is $23,107,000 for line item 0640-0300 that supports the Mass Cultural Council and its activities. $22.5M will be available for agency operations and grant programs to sustain the arts and cultural sector in Massachusetts. The remaining $607,000 are for specific projects:

  • $100K for the Arlington Chamber of Commerce tourism initiative.
  • $100K for the Springfield Symphony Orchestra, Inc. for a youth symphony orchestra scholarship program and an upgrade to the Springfield Symphony Orchestra phone infrastructure system and downtown office.
  • $75K for the construction of an ADA-compliant outdoor recreational space for the Ashland Community Center.
  • $75K for ArtSpace Maynard to enable the reopening of the closed studio spaces.
  • $50K for improvements including, but not limited to, electrical upgrades at Cogswell ArtSpace in Haverhill to convert the former Cogswell school into a community art center.
  • $50K for the town of Dedham for the annual Flag Day parade.
  • $50K Artists Community Assistance Program to be administered by the Allston Village Main Streets, Inc. of Boston.
  • $50K for the Lowell Southeast Asian Water Festival, Inc. to promote equity, diversity and inclusion in the cultural life of the people of greater Lowell.
  • $25K for the Dartmouth Historical and Arts Society, Inc.’s restoration of the historic Russells Mills school in Dartmouth.
  • $25K for the Rumford Historical Association for maintenance, refurbishment and replacement of critical assets at the Count Rumford Birthplace at 90 Elm street, Woburn in preparation for the 250th anniversary of the Revolutionary War.
  • $7K for the International Puerto Rican Studies Conference for its fiscal agent, the Holyoke public library.

The budget will next move to the Senate where the Senate Ways and Means Committee will develop their version for the membership to debate.


4/21/22: Amendment #1081 Letter of Support

We wish to thank Rep. Dylan Fernandes, Vice Chair of the House Tourism, Arts and Cultural Development Committee for sponsoring Amendment #1081, which would increase the House allocation for the arts and cultural sector to $27.4M. Next week , as the House debates amendments, we will send a letter to Speaker Mariano and Rep. Michlewitz, Chair of House Ways and Means Committee urging them to retain Amendment #1081. 

We want to send a strong message that our sector is united in this advocacy, so we welcome artists, cultural organizations, creative businesses and arts workers to sign our letter in support of Amendment #1081. 

The deadline to sign on is Monday April 25 at 5pm. 

Download the Letter with over 450 endorsements


4/19/22: House Ways and Means Releases H.4700

Last week the House Ways and Means Committee released their proposed FY23 budget. The Committee included $22.5M in public support for the arts and cultural sector through line item 0640-0300 and the Mass Cultural Council. This $2.1M increase from Governor Baker's proposal is good news. It reflects the House's understanding that arts, culture and creativity play a crucial role in our communities across the Commonwealth. Given the urgent need among arts and cultural nonprofits and the communities they serve, MASSCreative and its members will continue to advocate for a $27.4 million investment in art, culture, and creativity through the Mass Cultural Council line item.

We want to thank Rep. Dylan Fernandes, Vice Chair of the House Tourism, Arts and Cultural Development Committee for sponsoring Amendment #1081, which would increase the House allocation for the arts and cultural sector to $27.4M. Read the amendment here. MASSCreative sent communications to members of the House encouraging them to co-sponsor Rep. Fernandes' amendment. You can download a copy of the letter we sent here.

Amendment #1081

Sponsor: Rep. Dylan Fernandes (D-Falmouth)
Vice Chair of the House Tourism, Arts and Cultural Development
74 Co-Sponsors as of April 25 at 4:00 pm

Rep. John Barrett (D -North Adams) Rep. John Mahoney (D - Worcester) Rep. Christine Barber (D - Somerville)
Rep. Adam Scanlon (D -North Attleborough) Rep. Kay Khan (D - Newton) Rep. Carol Doherty (D - Taunton)
Rep. Patrick Kearney (D - Scituate) Rep. David Vieira (R- Teaticket) Rep. Steven Xiarhos (R - Barnstable)
Rep. David Linsky (D - Natick) Rep. Paul McMurtry (D - Dedham) Rep. Jack Lewis (D - Framingham)
Rep. Steven Ultrino (D - Malden) Rep. Michael Kushmerek (D - Fitchburg) Rep. Tram Nguyen (D - Andover)
Rep. Paul Schmid (D - Westport) Rep. Jacob Oliveira (D - Ludlow Rep. Liz Miranda (D - Dorchester)
Rep. Lindsay Sabadosa (D - Northampton) Rep. Orlando Ramos (D - Springfield) Rep. Joan Meschino (D - Hull)
Rep. Steven Owens (D - Watertown) Rep. Angelo Puppolo Jr. (D - Springfield) Rep. Erika Uyterhoeven (D - Somerville)
Rep. Shawn Dooley (R - Norfolk) Rep. Antonio Cabral (D - New Bedford) Rep. Tami Gouveia (D - Acton)
Rep. Sarah Peake (D - Provincetown) Rep. Kenneth Gordon (D- Bedford) Rep. Jon Santiago (D - Boston)
Rep. Mind Domb (D - Amherst) Rep. Natalie Higgins (D - Leominster) Rep. David Robertson (D - Tewksbury)
Rep. Paul Tucker (D - Salem) Rep. Bud Williams (D - Springfield) Rep. Nika Elugardo (D - Jamaica Plain)
Rep. Brian Murray (D - Milford) Rep. Kate Lipper-Garabedian (D - Melrose) Rep. Chynah Tyler (D - Roxbury)
Rep. Brian Michael Ashe (D - Longmeadow) Rep. Bruce Ayers (D - Quincy) Rep. David Robertson (D - Tewksbury) 
Rep. Dan Carey (D - Easthampton) Rep. Carole Fiola (D - Fall River)

Rep. Vanna Howard (D - Lowell)

Rep. Angelo D'Emilia (R - Bridgewater) Rep. Tommy Vitolo (D- Brookline) Rep. Linda Dean Campbell (D - Methuen)
Rep. Tackey Chan (D- Quincy) Rep. Michelle Ciccolo (D - Lexington)  
Rep. Matthew Muratore (R - Plymouth ) Rep. Mike Connolly (D - Cambridge)  
Rep. Russell Holmes (D - Boston) Rep. Daniel Cahill (D - Lynn)  
Rep. Carmine Gentile (D - Sudbury)

Rep. Adrian Madaro (D - Boston)

 
Rep. William "Smitty" Pignatelli (D - Lenox) Rep. Marjorie Decker (D - Cambridge)  
Rep. Dan Sena (D - Acton) Rep. Joshua Cutler (D - Duxbury)  
Rep. Mary Keefe (D - Worcester) Rep. Elizabeth Malia (D - Jamaica Plain)  
Rep. Michael Finn (D - West Springfield) Rep. Sean Garballey (D - Arlington)   
Rep. Natalie Blais (D - Sunderland) Rep. Gerard Cassidy (D - Brockton)  
Rep. Tricia Farley-Bouvier (D - Pittsfield)  Rep. Ted Philips (D- Sharon)  
Rep. Kevin Honan (D - Brighton) Rep. Rob Consalvo (D - Hyde Park)  
Rep. Kathleen LaNatra (D - Kingston) Rep. Brandy Fuker Oakley (D - Boston)  
Rep. Thomas Stanley (D - Waltham) Rep. Ruth Balser (D - Newton)  

1/26/22: Governor Baker Releases H.2

Following Governor Baker's annual State of the State Address, H.2 (the bill number of the State Budget in the second year of the legislative session) was released today. Included in the budget was $20.4M for the Massachusetts Cultural Council, our state arts agency. This budget allocation represents the largest annual public investment in the Commonwealth's arts and cultural sector.

Governor Baker's recommendation is a 25% increase from last year's proposal and an overall 82% increase from his first budget in FY16. 

 


Learn about the FY22 Budget Process

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