Power of Culture Blog
His new Executive Order advances a whole-of-government policy for the arts, humanities, and museum and library services
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Update: September 28, 2021 – The Committee on Tourism, Arts & Cultural Development held a public hearing on bills regarding COVID-19 recovery. Mass Cultural Council’s Michael J. Bobbitt testified today in support of S. 2246.
Update: April 14, 2021 – This proposal has been assigned a bill number and has been referred to the Joint Committee on Tourism, Arts & Cultural Development for review and consideration this session. SD2105 is now S. 2246.
Mass Cultural Council enthusiastically supports SD 2105, new legislation sponsored by State Senator Ed Kennedy (D- Lowell), Chair of the Joint Committee on Tourism, Arts & Cultural Development, to create a $200 million COVID relief and stabilization fund for the cultural sector.
An Act to Rebuild the Commonwealth’s Cultural Future would establish the Massachusetts Cultural Economy COVID-19 Recovery Fund, to be administered by Mass Cultural Council. Money for the fund would come from any COVID mitigation and assistance the Commonwealth receives from the federal government.
Mass Cultural Council would use the Fund to make COVID relief and stabilization grants to cultural organizations, both non-profit and for profit, as well as individual creative workers. Grants would consider racial diversity and equity, geographic diversity, and programmatic diversity within the cultural sector. They would also prioritize economic need and recipients’ economic impact in terms of job creation and tourism spending prior to March 2020.
Since March 2020 Mass Cultural Council has surveyed the cultural sector five times to document the devastating economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on cultural organizations and individual artists, teaching artists, humanists, and scientists. To date, 898 Massachusetts cultural organizations have reported more than $484M in lost revenue and 30,616 cultural sector jobs impacted, while 2,951 individual artists, teaching artists, humanists, and scientists have reported a loss of more than $30.4M in personal income and 69,986 cancelled gigs.
“The Commonwealth’s economy cannot bounce back from the devastating impacts of this pandemic until our cultural sector is authorized to safely reengage with the public and fully resume its once booming activity,” said Michael J. Bobbitt, Executive Director of Mass Cultural Council. “Robust public investment is urgently needed to catalyze long-term recovery efforts to stabilize our sector. This will have a tremendous effect on the overall state economy. We are grateful to Chairman Kennedy for his leadership and vision and recognize the powerful advocacy MASSCreative will execute to build statewide support for this proposal.”
MASSCreative, the statewide advocacy network for arts and culture in the Commonwealth, is working hard to secure support for this proposal. Mass Cultural Council is proud to partner with Sen. Kennedy and MASSCreative to advance this vital relief effort during the 2021-2022 legislative session.
Using MASSCreative’s Action Alert please email your state legislators and ask them to support and co-sponsor An Act to Rebuild the Commonwealth’s Cultural Future.
Bookmark this page as Mass Cultural Council will provide timely updates on the status of this proposal throughout the 2021-2022 legislative session.