Power of Culture Blog
Mass Cultural Council Adopts a New Strategic Plan
Charting our path forward for FY24-26
Mass Cultural Council is pleased to announce the recipients of the FY23 Gaming Mitigation Grants: in total, 43 performing arts centers across the Commonwealth will receive $3,737,400 to help with the costs associated with hosting touring artists and shows.
The Agency administers the Gaming Mitigation Program at the direction of the state Legislature. As established by MGL Section 59 chapter 23K, this program aims to mitigate a direct threat to the sustainability of non-profit and municipal performing arts centers in Massachusetts by providing capital to preserve their ability to compete with resort-style casinos to secure touring artists. It is funded by casino tax revenues that are directed to Mass Cultural Council for this specific purpose.
Resort-style casinos have the advantage when booking national and international talent because they can cover increasing talent fees, as well as offer luxury housing for the artists themselves. In recent years, nonprofit and municipal performing arts centers have been priced out of the touring market, even with acts they have hosted many times before. This was exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, which had a tremendous impact on the arts and culture sector in Massachusetts.
In FY23, the minimum grant award increased from $2,500 to $5,000. Awards range from $5,000 – $250,000 and are based on a formula that considers the percentage of performances featuring touring artists, and the amount of fees paid to those artists.
Over the past two Gaming Mitigation funding cycles, more than $7 million has been awarded to more than 50 presenting organizations across the Commonwealth, helping these venues to secure touring artists and shows, offer vibrant entertainment to their patrons, and contribute to the local and state economy.