Keep up the Great Work and Farewell

Dear MASSCreative Supporter,

Seven years ago, a group of arts funders and advocates took a big risk by hiring a veteran of the environmental and peace movements to build a new statewide grassroots arts advocacy group.

That group, of course, was MASSCreative, and that movement veteran was me.

Today, I’m writing to let you know that I am moving on from MASSCreative.

I’m incredibly proud of what we have built together. In 2012, MASSCreative consisted of me, a small founding Board of Directors, and a couple of flip charts. Today we have a staff of six, a Leadership Council of 60 strategic thinkers from around the state, and 400 member organizations. Most important, we have you—our not-so-secret weapon—tens of thousands of grassroots arts supporters who work daily to make art and creativity an expected, recognized, and valued part of everyday life.

We’ve accomplished a lot together.

  • State investment in the arts community has increased by 80 percent over the last six years with significant increases in the Mass Cultural Council budget and the Cultural Facilities Fund.
  • MASSCreative’s Create the Vote campaign, which elevates the voice of the arts community in local elections, has been so successful that organizations in other states have adopted the Create the Vote model.
  • With the inclusion of arts instruction on the new district report cards, arts education is now being recognized as a fundamental component of a well-rounded education by policymakers.

MASSCreative is well-positioned to continue and expand on this work. That is why I am taking this opportunity now to return to the broader movement for social justice. Much is at stake in the 2020 elections, and that is where I will be putting my time and talent over the next two years.

Later this year, MASSCreative will launch a search process for a new Executive Director. In the meantime, MASSCreative’s Board of Directors has appointed Emily Ruddock as Interim Executive Director. Emily joined MASSCreative in 2017 as our director of policy and government affairs. Under her leadership, MASSCreative’s legislative and policy work has greatly expanded and she has strong relationships with arts leaders around the state as well as MASSCreative’s staff and board. That, combined with her 14 years of experience working in strategic and management positions for non-profit arts organizations, will make her an excellent steward for MASSCreative in the months ahead.

My time with MASSCreative has been an incredible personal and professional journey and I’m grateful to you all for being a part of it.

Keep up the great work!

Matt Wilson

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