Create the Vote Coalition Meets With Gubernatorial Candidate and State Treasurer Steve Grossman

Candidate would increase public investment in the arts, and be a champion for the sector

BOSTON, September 4, 2014— Continuing its series of sit down meetings with candidates for governor of Massachusetts, members of the Create the Vote coalition met with gubernatorial candidate and state Treasurer Steve Grossman at the Museum of African American History on Boston’s Beacon Hill to talk about Grossman’s views on the arts and cultural community and the role it would play in his administration.

The Coalition—a collaboration of Massachusetts arts, cultural, and creative institutions convened by MASSCreative—met with Grossman July 9. Representatives from Stage Source, Lyric Stage Company, Fort Point Artists Association, Cambridge Center for Adult Education; Dance Alliance; Arts and Business Council of Greater Boston, and BostonAPP/Lab: Art in Public Places, as well as the Museum of African American History, questioned Grossman about his vision for the arts in the Commonwealth.

Grossman said that the most important thing that the next governor could do was use the power of the bully pulpit to show support for the sector. “In a $36 billion state budget you should be able to do more for the arts than $12 million,” Grossman said, referring to the amount budgeted by lawmakers for the Massachusetts Cultural Council. “It speaks so much to who are as a society.” 

Grossman said he would lead a process of creating a blueprint for arts and culture for the state that would include stakeholders from business and education: “We will craft a blueprint for the community moving forward that will” impress everyone from lawmakers to business leaders.

He talked about the need to integrate arts and culture into other priority areas in the state such as the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, higher education, economic development, and the criminal justice system.

Read more
Add your reaction Share

Steve Grossman's Response to the Create the Vote Questionnaire

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?

I have been exposed throughout my life to a full range of arts experiences. This includes playing the clarinet, singing in the glee club and choir in high school, and attending a wide variety of concerts and art exhibits. Since our marriage in 1969, Barbara and I have been avid art collectors and consistent donors to many cultural institutions throughout the Greater Boston area and the Commonwealth. I served on the Board of the Institute of Contemporary Art for many years and chaired its capital campaign. I continue to serve as a lifetime trustee of the Museum of Fine Arts. Simply put, the artistic and cultural life of the community has been one of my top priorities for 40 years.

My wife, Barbara Wallace Grossman, is a theater historian and professor of drama at Tufts University. For more than 44 years, Barbara has demonstrated how arts and culture are critical ingredients to building healthy, vibrant communities. Her service as a presidential appointee to the National Council on the Arts, and as vice-chair of the Massachusetts Cultural Council, have given me a unique understanding concerning the power of the arts to change lives and also to serve as a critical economic driver and job creator.

As state treasurer, I’ve seen the dramatic impact that investing in the culture of a community can have on enhancing, enriching, and enlivening the quality of life of our fellow citizens. For example, in Pittsfield, I’ve seen the Colonial Theatre, Berkshire Museum, and Barrington Stage revitalize economic growth, transforming a gateway city left out and left behind for far too long into one of the state’s most popular tourism and cultural destinations.

As governor, I will travel to every one of the 40 Senate districts to learn first-hand about the innovative role of arts and culture programs in communities across the Commonwealth. My administration will always be a partner to cities and towns seeking to expanding and enhance these programs. 

Read more
1 reaction Share

Community Impact

The Drama Studio is one of a handful of youth theatres in the United States that offers quality, range, and depth in its acting training programs. For Springfield-area youth, the Studio's conservatory program offers an unusual opportunity for training that prepares its graduates (all of whom are college bound) to...