Leaders from major cultural institutions throughout Massachusetts urge Baker administration to consult with arts sector on reopening of state economy

May 1, 2020—Over 600 arts, cultural, and creative leaders in Massachusetts sent a letter to Gov. Charlie Baker, Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito, and members of the Reopening Advisory Board today urging the administration to “consult leaders of the creative and cultural sector as you develop a reopening framework.” 

Artists, cultural workers, and leaders of museums, universities, community nonprofits, and other cultural and educational institutions from around the state signed the letter, including The Museum of Fine Arts Director Matthew Teitelbaum, MASS MoCA Director Joseph C. Thompson, and Plimoth Plantation and Mayflower II Executive Director Ellie Donovan. 

“The obstacles that our artists and organizations will face in reopening are incredibly challenging and it is vital that the we meet those challenges,” said MASSCreative Executive Director Emily Ruddock. “Artists, museums, theaters, small community nonprofits, creative entrepreneurs, and so many others contribute billions of dollars to the state’s economy. There can be no road to recovery without the full inclusion and consideration of the creative sector.” 

Other letter signers include ArtsEmerson Executive Director David Howse and Artistic Director David Dower; Boston Ballet Executive Director Max Hodges; Boston Children’s Museum President Carole Charnow; The Boston Foundation President Paul Grogan; EcoTarium President & CEO Lucy Hale; IBA- Inquilinos Boricuas en Acción CEO Vanessa Calderon-Rosado; Isabella Stewart Gardner Director Peggy Fogelman; Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival Executive & Artistic Director Pamela Tatge; Mass Cultural Council Executive Director Anita Walker; Massachusetts Historical Society President Catherine Allgor; Massachusetts Teachers Association President Merrie Njimy; Montserrat College of Art President Kurt T. Steinberg EdD and Emeritus President Stephen Immerman; Museum of Science President Tim Ritchie; New England Aquarium President and CEO Vikki Spruill; and New England Foundation for the Arts Executive Director Cathy Edwards. 

“The creative and cultural sector is a necessary component to bringing our economy back on line. Governors in Utah, Texas, Ohio, and Virginia understood this importance by including and consulting the arts and cultural sector in their reopening strategy,” the letter states. 

“The U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis reported in 2017 that arts and cultural economic activity accounts for $25.8 billion in value to Massachusetts, contributing 140,593 jobs,” it continues, noting that the study calculated both for-profit and nonprofit businesses, performing arts venues, independent contractors, and creative entrepreneurs. “The economic impact of a strong and diverse creative sector is felt throughout Massachusetts from cultural tourism in the Berkshires, Boston and Cape Cod, to downtown revitalization in gateway cities like Lynn, New Bedford and Worcester.”

“We recognize that our collective economic and communal recovery will take time and requires thoughtful planning. As small business owners and community leaders the creative sector can greatly contribute to a statewide plan that addresses our economic and public health needs now and through recovery,” the letter concludes. 

The letter can be downloaded here: http://www.mass-creative.org/covid19rabletterer


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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published this page in Press 2020-05-01 17:18:48 -0400

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