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103 State Reps. Urge House to Reverse Funding Cuts to Arts, Humanities & Sciences in Budget

(4/11/14) - Thanks to YOUR vigorous advocacy efforts, 103 House members cosponsored an amendment to reverse proposed cuts to the state arts budget and boost funding for the Massachusetts Cultural Council (MCC) to $16 million next fiscal year.

Amendment #357 — filed by Rep. Cory Atkins of Concord, House Chair of the Joint Committee on Tourism, Arts & Cultural Development — would reverse an earlier House Ways & Means Committee proposal to cut arts and cultural funding through MCC by more than 50 percent.

“Support for Rep. Atkins’ amendment demonstrates the widespread support that MCC funding has among our elected leaders,” said Anita Walker, MCC Executive Director. “These legislators see the beneficial impact that the arts, humanities, and sciences have in their communities, schools, and local economies.”

The full House will take up the FY15 state budget starting April 28. Following House debate, the Senate Ways & Means Committee will release its own budget proposal in mid-May, followed by a vote of the full Senate.

Read the Full Release.

The MA House of Representatives Supporting Amendment #357 to H.4000

Representatives Atkins of Concord
Andrews of Orange
Arciero of Westford
Ayers of Quincy
Balser of Newton
Barrows of Medfield
Basile of Boston
Beaton of Shrewsbury
Benson of Lunenburg
Brady of Brockton
Brodeur of Melrose
Cabral of New Bedford
Calter of Kingston
Canavan of Brockton
Cantwell of Marshfield
Cariddi of North Adams
Chan of Quincy
Collins of Boston
Conroy of Wayland
Cronin of Easton
Cusack of Braintree
Cutler of Duxbury
Decker of Cambridge
deMacedo of Plymouth
D'Emilia of Bridgewater
Devers of Lawrence
DiNatale of Fitchburg
DiZoglio of Methuen
Donahue of Worcester
Donato of Medford
Dykema of Holliston
Ehrlich of Marblehead
Farley-Bouvier of Pittsfield
Fennell of Lynn
Fernandes of Milford
Ferrante of Gloucester
Finn of West Springfield
Fiola of Fall River
Fox of Boston
Frost of Auburn
Garballey of Arlington
Garlick of Needham
Garry of Dracut
Gifford of Wareham
Gobi of Spencer
Golden of Lowell
Gordon of Bedford
Gregoire of Marlborough
Hecht of Watertown
Heroux of Attleboro
Hill of Ipswich
Hogan of Stow
Holmes of Boston
Honan of Boston
Howitt of Seekonk
Hunt of Sandwich
Jones of North Reading
Kafka of Stoughton
Kaufman of Lexington
Keefe of Worcester
Keenan of Salem
Khan of Newton
Kocot of Northampton
Lawn of Watertown
Linsky of Natick
Livingstone of Boston
Madden of Nantucket
Malia of Boston
Mannal of Barnstable
Mark of Peru
Matewsky of Everett
McMurtry of Dedham
Michlewitz of Boston
Moran of Lawrence
Nangle of Lowell
Naughton of Clinton
O'Day of West Boylston
Parisella of Beverly
Peake of Provincetown
Peisch of Wellesley
Peterson of Grafton
Pignatelli of Lenox
Poirier of North Attleborough
Provost of Somerville
Puppolo of Springfield
Rogers of Cambridge
Roy of Franklin
Rushing of Boston
Sánchez of Boston
Sannicandro of Ashland
Schmid of Westport
Scibak of South Hadley
Smizik of Brookline
Smola of Warren
Speliotis of Danvers
Stanley of Waltham
Straus of Mattapoisett
Swan of Springfield
Toomey of Cambridge
Turner of Dennis
Vega of Holyoke
Vieira of Falmouth
Walsh of Framingham
Zlotnik of Gardner

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Urgent: Contact Your Representative By April 11 to Restore Art & Culture Funding

(4/9/14) - We need to send a clear message to our Representatives by Friday, April 11 that arts and culture matter.

Send an email  to your Representative urging him/her to co-sponsor Rep. Cory Atkins’ amendment to fund the Massachusetts Cultural Council at $16 million. 

The good news is that the budget battle is just beginning and you can make a difference. Over the next two days show our Representatives that investing in the creative community is not just nice, but necessary.

Help spread the word to your colleagues, supporters, friends, and family:

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House Committee Proposes Big Cuts to Funding for Arts, Humanities & Sciences in Budget Proposal

(4/9/14) - Earlier today the House Committee on Ways and Means released a state budget proposal for the coming fiscal year that recommends just over $5 million for the Massachusetts Cultural Council (MCC).

That would represent a 54 percent reduction in state support for the arts, humanities, and sciences. If it stands it would force MCC to make deep cuts to grants for nonprofit cultural organizations, local cultural councils, education programs, and artists. State support for arts and culture is already less than half of what it was in 2002, even as the nonprofit cultural sector recovers from a prolonged economic downturn that reduced philanthropic support from all sources.

State Representative Cory Atkins of Concord will file an amendment to increase cultural funding to $16 million. Rep. Atkins is House Chair of the Joint Committee on Tourism, Arts, and Cultural Development. She led last year’s effort in the House that resulted in a $1.6 million increase to MCC funding, allowing the agency to restore grants to cultural organizations and local cultural councils, and double funding for arts education in schools.

Amendments are due by 5 p.m. this Friday, April 11, after which they will be assigned a number. MCC will work with MASSCreative and our allies in the cultural sector to build support for the Atkins amendment by urging her House colleagues to sign on as cosponsors. The full House will take up the FY15 state budget starting April 28.

Read the Full Release.

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Education Advocates: Help Restore Funding!

(2/27/14) - This year’s budget increase allowed MCC to double the number of artist residencies in schools across Massachusetts through its STARS Residencies Program.

Now MCC is again working with its allies MASSCreative, Arts|Learning and others to continue that momentum in the next fiscal year that starts July 1. We are seeking a state appropriation of $16 million for MCC in FY15, an increase of $5 million.

Do you have a story to tell about how MCC funding helps you connect children and youth to quality learning experiences in the arts, sciences, and/or humanities?

If so now is the time to share that story with your legislators in the Massachusetts House and Senate. The House budget plan comes out in April, and the Senate follows suit in May.

To learn more about the state budget process, contact MCC’s Communications Department.

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Governor's Budget Proposes Funding Cuts to Arts & Culture through MCC

(1/22/14) - Governor Deval Patrick today released a proposed state budget for the coming fiscal year that would invest just under $9.6 million in the arts, humanities, and sciences through the Massachusetts Cultural Council (MCC).

The Governor's fiscal year 2015 budget recommendation would cut arts and cultural funding $1.5 million—or 13 percent—from the current fiscal year. MCC Executive Director Anita Walker called the plan disappointing given the state’s improving revenue picture. If not reversed, the plan would roll back this year’s increases in grants to nonprofit cultural organizations, local cultural councils, and schools.

Read the full release.

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MASSCreative Says "Keep Up the Momentum"

(1/3/14) - MassCreative urges you to keep up the momentum:

Last year, over 5,000 people signed our petition to encourage Governor Deval Patrick to increase state investment in the creative community through the Massachusetts Cultural Council budget. In coming together to boldly ask for what we need, we ignited an arts advocacy campaign and were able to influence Governor Patrick to take a crucial step toward restoring essential funding.

Not only did the campaign work, increasing funding by 17%, but it also marked the beginning of an arts legacy for the governor.

After signing an increased budget for FY2014, Governor Patrick kept the momentum going when he tripled the state’s allocation to the Cultural Facilities Fund. This second bold move paves the way for a continued legacy of support for arts, culture, and creativity in the Commonwealth.

Building on the progress made in the past year, our FY2015 petition asks for a $16 million allocation to the Massachusetts Cultural Council budget, which would elevate investment in the day-to-day operations of the creative community by $5 million. Go ahead and sign it now.

More from the MASSCreative site.

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Governor Patrick Announces $15 Million for Cultural Facilities Fund in 2014

(11/12/13) - Governor Patrick today announced his decision to triple the state’s investment in the Massachusetts Cultural Facilities Fund (CFF) with an allocation of $15 million for FY14. CFF supports vital capital projects in every corner of the Commonwealth, improves access to our state’s extraordinary cultural riches, and create thousands of jobs. Governor Patrick’s increase will greatly expand the work being done to keep the sector thriving and ensure the longevity of Massachusetts’ cultural heritage.

Thank you to our partners at MASSCreative, the Boston Foundation, and throughout the cultural sector for their tireless work advocating on behalf of CFF and to you for sharing your stories – it’s clear you made a significant impact on the Governor's decision.

We are now working with MassDevelopment to finalize application guidelines and a timeline for the next round of grants. Details will be available online in the coming month.

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Learn more about your state elected officials

Who are they? What are their priorities? How can arts and culture help them achieve their public policy goals?

Contact MCC's Greg Liakos or Ann Petruccelli to share your stories of how arts and culture are making your community a better place, or to request information or assistance.

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