The Senate Committee on Ways and Means released its version of next year’s state budget today, proposing $17 million for the arts, humanities, and sciences through the Mass Cultural Council. That would represent a $1 million increase in state support for the nonprofit cultural sector for Fiscal Year 2020, which begins July 1. It is nearly $500,000 more than the budget plan approved by the House of Representatives in April.
“Today’s Senate Ways and Means budget plan is a major vote of confidence in the Mass Cultural Council and the cultural community,” said Executive Director Anita Walker. “We are grateful to Committee Chairman Michael Rodrigues and our supporters in the Senate who understand that the nonprofit cultural sector is a sound investment for the Commonwealth, delivering strong returns in more vital communities, a stronger economy, and more creative, well-rounded students in our schools.”
“Mass Cultural Council has built its work around community-based partnerships: with nonprofits, local cultural councils, schools, artists, and creative youth development organizations,” she added. “These partnerships sustain and advance a cultural economy in Massachusetts that is the envy of the nation and, more importantly, serves the residents of the Commonwealth. And this work takes resources to be effective.”
Mass Cultural Council and its allies seek $18 million in state support in FY20 so the agency can continue to reinvest in nonprofits, artists, schools, and communities. Senator Ed Kennedy of Lowell, Co-Chair of the Joint Committee on Tourism, Arts, and Cultural Development, plans to file an amendment to the Senate budget seeking $18 million. We will work with MASSCreative, Mass Humanities, Mass Artists Leaders Coalition, and others to build support for the Kennedy amendment before the Senate begins debate on the Ways & Means plan on May 21.
This is the latest key step in the annual state budget process. Following debate and vote, the Senate must then reconcile its plan with that of the House before sending a final compromise back to the Governor for his approval and/or vetoes.
Backed by a statewide grassroots advocacy campaign led by MASSCreative, Senators voted overwhelmingly to back amendments to boost funding for the arts, humanities, and sciences to $18 million for FY20 and assure Mass Cultural Council’s community-based partnerships and services continue.
Several regional grant receptions will be held to honor a new round of nearly $9.3 million in Mass. Cultural Facilities Fund grants and to thank the many state elected officials who have made this program possible. The events will include remarks, refreshments, and lots of time for networking.
We have a unique opportunity to increase state support for culture and ensure Mass Cultural Council continues its work in partnership with communities across the Commonwealth.
Sen. Ed Kennedy of Lowell, Co-Chair of the Joint Committee on Tourism, Arts, and Cultural Development, has filed amendments to the Senate Ways and Means budget for the coming fiscal year that would accomplish two key goals...
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