MASSCreative statement on Anita Walker retirement

March 5, 2020—Today, Mass Cultural Council Executive Director Anita Walker announced her retirement, effective June 30, 2020. Emily Ruddock, executive director of MASSCreative offered the following comment in response:

“Anita’s greatest achievement was finding new and innovative ways to invest the state’s funding of the arts, humanities and sciences in ways that benefitted entire communities. Under her tenure, the Mass Cultural Council launched the Cultural District program, the Cultural Facilities Fund, and the Cultural Investment Portfolio, each of which require collaboration among public and private partners that dramatically expand the scope and impact of every dollar the state spends on art, culture, and creativity.

“Over a decade ago, Anita had the foresight to advocate for the inclusion of mitigation funding in the state’s gaming law to offer capital funding to non-profit and municipal performing arts centers operating in the unbalanced marketplace created by casinos. 

“She fostered cross-sector collaboration not just in communities, where local business and civic leaders partnered with arts leaders, but also in state government. The state’s Card to Culture program permits families with EBT, WIC, and ConnectorCare Cards to use them to gain free or dramatically reduced price entry to museums, plays, dance, and musical performances. This first-in-the-nation program is a result of collaboration between the state’s Department of Transitional Assistance and the Massachusetts Health Connector with arts and cultural nonprofits. Other Mass Cultural Council initiatives launched under Anita’s leadership rely on close partnerships with Community Health Centers, Workforce Development, and others. 

“Under Anita’s leadership, Massachusetts is enacting some of the most cutting-edge initiatives in the country that make art, culture, and creativity available to people who don’t have the resources or abilities to access it otherwise. She has made a tremendous difference in Massachusetts and created a legacy upon which even greater things can be built.” 


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 2020-03-05 17:00:17 -0500

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