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Legislature Approves State Budget that Boosts Cultural Funding by $2M

Greg Liakos, Communications Director

(Boston, MA) – Today the state Legislature approved a final budget for the new fiscal year that boosts funding for the arts, humanities, and sciences through Mass Cultural Council by $2 million.

The FY19 budget funds Mass Cultural Council at $16 million, a nearly 15 percent increase over last year that will allow the agency to increase its statewide support for nonprofit organizations, communities, artists, education and creative youth.

The increase comes after a concerted statewide advocacy effort involving Mass Cultural Council and its partners, MASSCreative, Mass Humanities, Mass Artists Leaders Coalition, and individual arts and cultural leaders across the Commonwealth.

“This is excellent news for the cultural community,” said Anita Walker, Mass Cultural Council Executive Director. “Our legislators heard a statewide chorus of thousands of voices making the case for why culture matters to them and their communities. This is a validation of the importance of the work of our Council, staff and our entire field.”

Walker thanked Senate President Harriette Chandler & House Speaker Robert DeLeo, Ways & Means Committee Co-Chairs Sen. Karen Spilka and Rep. Jeffrey Sánchez, and Sen. Adam Hinds and Rep. Cory Atkins, Co-Chairs of the Joint Committee on Tourism, Arts, and Cultural Development. Their support for the nonprofit arts, humanities, and sciences, amid many competing demands on state funds, made the difference, she said.

The FY19 state budget process is still not complete. Governor Charlie Baker has ten days to review the Legislature’s plan and issue vetoes of spending items to which he objects. The Legislature then can override those vetoes with 2/3 majorities of both the House and Senate, but must do so before the current legislative session ends July 31.

See our Advocacy Action Center for updates on the budget process and for the latest data on the nonprofit cultural sector’s contributions to the Massachusetts economy and quality of life

About the Mass Cultural Council
The Mass Cultural Council is a state agency that promotes excellence, access, education, and diversity in the arts, humanities, and sciences, to improve our quality of life and contribute to the vitality of our communities. The agency pursues this mission through grants, services, and advocacy for nonprofit cultural organizations, schools, communities, and artists. Its FY18 budget is $15.7 million, supported through a $14 million state appropriation and grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and other sources. Mass Cultural Council also runs the $10 million Massachusetts Cultural Facilities Fund in partnership with MassDevelopment.

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