Power of Culture Blog
Michael J. Bobbitt Receives Harmony in Action Award from Boston Music Project
For demonstrating a commitment to social change through music and the arts
Vice-Chair Marc Carroll to Serve as Acting Chair
Mass Cultural Council’s Chair Nina Fialkow, who has served the Commonwealth’s creative and cultural sector in this leadership capacity for seven years, has announced her resignation from the Council. Vice-Chair Marc Carroll will serve as Acting Chair of the Council until a permanent Chair is named by Governor Maura Healey.
“During my career I have worked with many talented board chairs, but in my opinion, Nina Fialkow is absolutely at the top of the list when it comes to impact, leadership, and meaningful partnership,” said Michael J. Bobbitt, Executive Director, Mass Cultural Council. “We are grateful to Nina for the knowledge and expertise she has given to us and look forward to partnering closely with Marc Carroll during this interim period.”
The Mass Cultural Council is an independent state agency charged with fostering the Commonwealth’s vibrant cultural sector through a wide portfolio of grants and services, thereby elevating a rich cultural life for all residents and visitors to Massachusetts. The Agency is governed by a 19-member Board of private citizens, collectively referred to as “the Council.”
As directed by state law, Council members are appointed by the Governor and have demonstrated scholarship or creativity in, or distinguished service to, the arts, humanities, interpretative sciences, or local arts. Council members serve staggered, three-year terms and reside in every region of the Commonwealth.
Fialkow, a resident of Boston who was appointed to the Council and designated as Chair on April 25, 2016 by former Governor Charlie Baker, expressed her desire for someone else to have the honor of leading the Council.
“It has been a great honor to serve as Council Chair,” said Fialkow, “and I depart knowing the Council and the Commonwealth’s creative and cultural sector are in good hands. I leave with great appreciation for my Council colleagues and tremendous respect and admiration for the professionalism and expertise of the Agency staff team. While I begin to pivot my focus onto new creative pursuits, I will always be supportive of Mass Cultural Council’s efforts to bolster the Massachusetts cultural sector.”
Fialkow, an Oscar and Emmy award-winning producer, heads up New Lane Media, and is a member of the film partnership Impact Partners, which focuses on social-justice themed documentaries. An avid supporter of the arts, Mrs. Fialkow serves on the National Committee for Performing Arts at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. and sits on the Executive Committee. As a longtime trustee of the Boston Ballet, she is the past Chair of the Board of Advisors. She is also an Advisor at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum and is on the Board of the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at the Harvard Kennedy School.
During her tenure as Chair, Fialkow provided strong and unwavering support, encouragement, and stability to the Council and staff, leading the Agency through major transitions, including the retirement of a long-time executive director, a nationwide search for a new executive leader, and the economic challenges and day to day uncertainties of living and working during the COVID-19 pandemic. When she was appointed Chair in 2016, the Mass Cultural Council was a $14 million state agency. During her tenure, the Agency, and the economic sector it serves benefited from dramatically increased public investment. In this current fiscal year, Fiscal Year 2023, Mass Cultural Council was charged with equitably investing almost $100 million in state resources throughout the creative and cultural sector, due to one-time pandemic recovery monies. And as Beacon Hill is working to finalize the state’s FY24 budget, the Agency is poised to receive an appropriation of at least $25 million, a funding amount last realized in the late 1980s.
Fialkow’s voluntary resignation from the Council became effective at 5:00pm May 24, 2023, upon which Council Vice-Chair Marc Carroll of Milton was elevated to the position of acting Chair. His term on the Council expires on February 24, 2025.
About Marc Carroll
Carroll was appointed to the Council on February 26, 2019 by Baker and designated as Council Vice-Chair shortly thereafter. He is an award-winning marketing and communications strategist and founder and principal of the Carroll Communications Group. Carroll works with small business and startup leaders to help them grow and scale as well as with public agencies and institutes of higher education to help them increase public awareness about various initiatives. Prior to founding Carroll Communications Group, he worked in sales for major media outlets, production at ESPN, and in journalism. As a speaker, Carroll has been invited to participate in panel discussions and seminars on sales and marketing, entrepreneurship, and growing minority-owned businesses.
“Today is bittersweet for me,” said Acting Chair Carroll. “To date, my time on the Council has been a story of partnership with Nina, and it has been a great honor to serve as her as Vice-Chair. I look forward to continuing the efforts we started and working closely with the Council, staff, and leadership team to execute and deliver programs and initiatives that bolster the creative and cultural sector in every region of Massachusetts.”
“On behalf of the staff team I must convey both how sad we are to see Nina move on – we are all tremendously grateful to her – and how pleased we are to work with Marc in this new leadership capacity,” said David T. Slatery, Deputy Executive Director, Mass Cultural Council.” As Vice Chair he has been a stalwart supporter of both the Agency and the people and organizations we serve, and we know as acting Chair he will guide us smoothly through our next chapter.”