Power of Culture Blog
Mass Cultural Council has been tasked with the enormous and amazing direction to equitably invest almost $100M in state dollars into the cultural sector this fiscal year!
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Today the state Legislature approved a budget for the new fiscal year that boosts funding for the arts, humanities, and sciences through Mass Cultural Council by $2 million.
The FY20 state budget funds Mass Cultural Council at $18 million, a 12 percent increase over last year and its highest state appropriation since 2002. The agency will invest the additional resources in nonprofit organizations, communities, artists, schools and creative youth development. The budget also preserved language that ensures Mass Cultural Council can continue its growing range of services to communities and nonprofits as part of its strategic plan.
“Once again our cultural community made a strong and unified case for the public value of the arts, humanities, and sciences,” said Anita Walker, Mass Cultural Council Executive Director. “We are grateful to the Legislature for recognizing the power of culture to build prosperity and elevate the quality of life in the communities they represent.”
Joined by MASSCreative, Mass Humanities, Mass Artists Leaders Coalition, and thousands of advocates statewide, Mass Cultural Council urged lawmakers to continue investing in the Commonwealth’s burgeoning cultural sector that has an economic impact of more than $21 billion, or 4.3 percent of state gross domestic product, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis.
Walker thanked Senate President Karen Spilka & House Speaker Robert DeLeo, along with Ways & Means Committee Co-Chairs Sen. Michael Rodrigues and Rep. Aaron Michlewitz, for supporting increased cultural funding amid many competing demands on state revenue. She also pointed also to the leadership of Sen. Ed Kennedy and Rep. Paul McMurtry, Co-Chairs of the Joint Committee on Tourism, Arts, and Cultural Development, who wrote the House-Senate budget conference committee urging $18 million for the nonprofit arts, humanities, and sciences.
The new fiscal year began July 1. The Governor has 10 days to sign the budget, veto it, or reject individual sections via line-item vetoes. The Legislature then has an opportunity to override vetoes with a 2/3 majority of members in both the House and the Senate before the legislative session ends.
The 19-member Council will review and approve a spending plan for the new fiscal year when it meets next on August 27.