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Spring Advocacy Report

Bethann Steiner, Public Affairs Director

FY23 State Budget Process is Now Underway

Mass Cultural Council testified last week before the Legislature’s Joint Committee on Ways & Means, outlining our case for a funding increase in the coming fiscal year in order to make more, and larger, grant awards to artists, cultural organizations, and communities. Each year the state’s largest investment in arts and culture is made through Mass Cultural Council’s line item in the annual state budget. Mass Cultural Council is requesting a $27.4 million budget appropriation for FY23, which begins on July 1. Review our testimony. In April the House of Representatives will hold their FY23 budget debate; cultural sector stakeholders are encouraged to reach out to their Representatives to urge them to make funding for arts and culture a budget priority.

Update on Pandemic Relief Programs

Mass Cultural Council is grateful to the more than 600 artists and cultural sector workers who submitted their thoughts on what types of pandemic recovery programming would be most beneficial for the sector. The Agency is working to develop relief programs that will help artists and cultural organizations recover from the pandemic, and expects to have program guidelines available in late spring. Mass Cultural Council has $60.1 million from the Commonwealth’s ARPA/COVID-19 Recovery Plan to grant and expects to administer these new, one-time relief programs and make awards throughout FY23.

Data, Data, Data

It has been one year since Mass Cultural Council last surveyed artists and cultural organizations on the economic impacts of the pandemic. The Agency is currently developing a new impact survey and plans to launch it later this month. Collecting updated data and stories will be key to securing additional public investment in the cultural sector. We ask that you look out for this new impact survey and be ready to participate so Mass Cultural Council can continue to articulate the ongoing economic impacts the pandemic has caused on the cultural sector.

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