Action Center

Economic Development Bill: Ensure protection for arts & culture is included

The economic development bond bills (S.2842 & H.4887), An Act Enabling Partnerships for Growth has taken its next step in the legislative process. On Thursday, July 30th, the House and Senate appointed a conference committee to reconcile the differences between the House and Senate versions of the bill to create a final version that the House and Senate will pass and send to Governor Baker for signature.

Between the two versions there are four provisions to protect arts and culture in the Commonwealth:

  • $6M authorized for a competitive grant program to be administered by the Massachusetts cultural council to promote artists, museums, performing arts organizations, performance venues, and other arts and cultural nonprofit organizations in the commonwealth, by using remote access, including, video, audio and interactive platforms.
  • $5M authorized for a competitive grant program to be administered by the Massachusetts cultural council to assist public school districts in providing access to cultural experiences in the community, including arts, humanities and sciences, through the use of information technology to provide remote experiences.
  • $20M authorized for a non-profit infrastructure and equipment grant program administered by the Massachusetts cultural council to non-profit arts, cultural and tourism institutions and organizations that temporarily suspended in-person public attendance due to the 2019 novel coronavirus pandemic.
  • A special commission to study and make recommendations on the recovery of the cultural and creative sector, including the arts, humanities and sciences, as a result of COVID-19.
We want to ensure that the final version of the bill includes these provisions. Write to your legislatures today and ask them support retaining all four provisions for our creative community. 

A couple of tips to make your communication stand out:

  • Include your personal story at the beginning of the email. Legislators get lots of emails and the messages that stand out include why the issue is especially important to you, a constituent in their district.
  • Be kind. Lawmakers and their staff are working hard at all hours. Your email can stand out if you are respectful and kind. 
  • Share this alert! It’s crucial that every State Rep and Senator hear from the arts and cultural community when they stand up for our needs. Be sure to share this email with your networks across Massachusetts. 
     
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      Community Impact

      ?You cannot do arts and culture in order to have economic development. Do arts and culture for its own sake, but wait for the lovely side effects? Megan Whilden, Director of Cultural Development in Pittsfield, MA The city of Pittsfield embraced creativity, arts and culture at a time when the...