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April 11, 2018

Contact: Gregory Liakos, Communications Director, 617-858-2720

House Committee Proposes Level Funding for Arts, Humanities & Sciences

Supporters Seek Increase through Budget Amendment

(Boston, MA) - The House Committee on Ways and Means today released a state budget proposal for the coming fiscal year that recommends just under $14 million for the arts, humanities, and sciences through the Mass Cultural Council.

The panel’s proposal would represent level funding for arts and culture for FY19, and matches the Baker-Polito Administration budget plan released in January. The new fiscal year begins July 1.

State Representative Cory Atkins of Concord, House Chair of the Joint Committee on Tourism, Arts, and Cultural Development, plans to file an amendment to the Ways & Means plan that would increase funding for the Mass Cultural Council to $17 million for FY19. This amendment would allow Mass Cultural Council to deepen its support of core grant programs for nonprofits, communities, creative youth development and education, and artists.

“Our economy is strong and state revenues are growing,” said Anita Walker, Mass Cultural Council’s Executive Director. “Now is the time to reinvest in culture, with powerful impacts in a stronger creative economy, more vital communities, and expanded opportunities for young people to learn, grow, and reach their potential.”

The Council will work with MASSCreative, Mass Humanities, Mass Artists Leaders Coalition, and others to build support for this amendment by urging House members to sign on as cosponsors to the Atkins Amendment. The full House will take up the FY19 budget during the week of April 23.

The case for $17 million is detailed online in our Fiscal Year 2019 State Budget Request and statement for greater state investment in our cultural life.
The House process is one key step in the annual state budget process. The Senate will release its own budget proposal in May. The two chambers must then agree on a tax and spending plan before sending it back to the Governor, who may veto or approve the budget and/or specific line items.

See our Advocacy Center for updates on the budget process and for the latest data on the nonprofit cultural sector’s contributions to the Massachusetts economy and quality of life.

About the Mass Cultural Council

The Mass Cultural Council is a state agency that promotes excellence, access, education, and diversity in the arts, humanities, and sciences, to improve our quality of life and contribute to the vitality of our communities. The agency pursues this mission through grants, services, and advocacy for nonprofit cultural organizations, schools, communities, and artists. Its FY18 budget is $15.7 million, supported through a $14 million state appropriation and grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and other sources. Mass Cultural Council also runs the $10 million Massachusetts Cultural Facilities Fund in partnership with MassDevelopment.

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