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Advocacy Works, and Together We Will Move Forward Towards Recovery

David T. Slatery, Acting Executive Director and Deputy Director

Children smiling on a stage with Enchanted Circle Theater
Children participating in an Enchanted Circle Theater program.

To our Friends and Colleagues across the Commonwealth’s cultural sector,

As you may be aware, last Thursday Governor Baker announced a $774M Economic Recovery Plan for Massachusetts. On behalf of our governing Council, I am thrilled to highlight that this plan includes a $10 million investment to support museums, theaters, and other cultural facilities through what the Administration refers to as a “Cultural Facilities Operating Support Program.” Further, I am very pleased to share that the Administration tapped Mass Cultural Council to administer this new COVID recovery program on their behalf.

The Agency is working with the Administration to understand their vision, and expects to publicly outline the “who, what, and when” details that you will all be seeking very shortly. One thing we know for certain: the aim is to release these funds fairly and efficiently. Our charge is to put this money to work in the cultural sector to help with the Commonwealth’s overall economic recovery. We are pleased to partner with the Administration to distribute much needed COVID relief to cultural organizations, and we would be remiss if we did not acknowledge and thank Governor Baker for again investing in the power of culture.

What is NOT in question today is the “why?”

Mass Cultural Council proudly notes that our advocacy strategy to secure public investment to help creative individuals and cultural nonprofits implement COVID recovery measures is working. By carefully collecting COVID impact data throughout the pandemic and diligently reporting the figures to policymakers, Mass Cultural Council has very much kept the needs of the cultural sector top of mind on Beacon Hill. To date, our efforts, which have been amplified by our partners at MASSCreative and Mass Humanities, have led to unprecedented public investment in arts and culture since June:

Pending necessary approvals on Beacon Hill, the Commonwealth stands poised to make a $69.3M investment of new public funds into the cultural sector through Mass Cultural Council.

Our strategy is working. Collecting your COVID impact data and sharing your stories has allowed Mass Cultural Council, MASSCreative, and Mass Humanities to passionately make the point that the Commonwealth’s economy cannot fully recover from the dramatic and devastating impacts of COVID without the cultural sector.

Call to Action

Please help us continue to make this point. Mass Cultural Council’s fourth COVID economic impact survey is open until Friday, October 30. We are urging all creative individuals and cultural nonprofit organizations who have been affected financially by COVID to participate. Policymakers on Beacon Hill have many important decisions ahead of them, including finalizing the details of the FY21 state budget and the 2020 Economic Development Bond Bill. With literally millions of dollars on the table, Mass Cultural Council will continue to advocate for robust public investment in arts and culture – please know that you your data strengthens and sharpens our message.

Take the October COVID Impact Survey for Organizations

Take the October COVID Impact Survey for Individuals

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