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Success! FY22 Conference Budget Invests $21.4M into Cultural Sector

Bethann Steiner, Public Affairs Director

Updated 7/19/21: On July 16 Gov. Charlie Baker signed the FY22 General Appropriations Act. This $47.6 billion state operating budget includes a $21,375,000 investment into arts and culture through Mass Cultural Council, the most robust state appropriation for the cultural sector since the late 1980s! Mass Cultural Council will now finalize it’s proposed FY22 Agency Spending Plan, which will be brought to the governing Council during the August meeting for approval. Mass Cultural Council deeply appreciates the support of the Legislature and Governor Baker which was necessary to secure this appropriation. Our advocacy partners, MASSCreative, are hosting an advocacy platform where cultural sector stakeholders can send a message of thanks to the Governor


In March Mass Cultural Council announced the Power of Culture Advocacy Campaign, a proposal to secure robust public investment stabilize, rebuild, and provide COVID relief to the cultural sector using tools like the annual state budget, annual capital spending plan, and legislation.

Since then, both the state House of Representatives and Senate embraced Mass Cultural Council’s FY22 funding request of $20 million as they prepared the state budget for this fiscal year. Today the Legislature enacted the FY22 Conference Budget and sent it to Governor Baker. This $48.1 billion spending plan invests $21,375,000 in the arts, humanities, and sciences – the cultural sector – through the Agency’s line item.

Mass Cultural Council is truly thankful to the House and Senate for this record investment – the highest Agency appropriation since the late 1980s. Together, we have successfully achieved a key element of the Power of Culture Advocacy Plan: securing more than $20M in the FY22 state budget funding. This money will ensure the Agency’s grant programs and services for the cultural sector will be delivered – equitably and efficiently – between July 1, 2021 and June 30, 2022.

What Comes Next?

The Governor began the FY22 budget process in January when he unveiled his H.1 budget plan and proposed funding Mass Cultural Council at $16.3M. However, the Commonwealth’s economic picture has changed greatly since the Governor’s budget was released. Today’s Conference Budget accounts for an extra $4.2 billion in revenue collected during the last six months that far outpaced the projections agreed to by legislative leaders and the Baker administration at the start of the year. Mass Cultural Council hopes this new economic data will prompt the Governor to reassess his original funding recommendation for the cultural sector.

Governor Baker now has 10 days to review and act on the budget. It’s important that he hears from cultural sector stakeholders: artists, teaching artists, humanists, and scientists; for-profit, nonprofit, and municipal cultural organizations; Local Cultural Councils; Cultural Districts, and all interested parties and partners on how important this investment is. Please email Governor Baker now and urge him to accept the FY22 Conference Budget recommendation of $21,375,000 for Mass Cultural Council (line item 0640-0300) and to sign it into law.

You can use MASSCreative’s action platform to contact the Governor.

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