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Legislature Restores Budget Increase for MCC

(7/29/2015) The Massachusetts Legislature voted overwhelmingly today to restore more than $2 million in additional state funding for the arts, humanities, and sciences through the Massachusetts Cultural Council (MCC).

The House and Senate voted separately to restore $2.37 million to MCC’s budget, overriding the Governor’s earlier veto of the increase. State funding for MCC will be $14.16 million for FY16, up from $11.79 million in FY15. The new fiscal year began July 1.

The votes came after the Cultural Caucus circulated a letter to the Legislature’s leadership asking it to support the override. The letter was written by the Caucus Co-Chairs, Senator Dan Wolf of Harwich and Representative Smitty Pignatelli of Lenox. “It is imperative that we continue to provide the MCC with the necessary resources to continue the great work it does in the Commonwealth,” their letter stated.

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Budget Veto Threatens Hard-Fought Increases for Arts & Culture

(7/20/2015) Last Friday Governor Charlie Baker vetoed funding increases for the arts, humanities, and sciences through the Massachusetts Cultural Council (MCC).

The veto would reduce the budget for MCC that the Legislature approved by $2.37 million, from $14.16 million to $11.79 million, for the fiscal year that began July 1. If it stands, that funding level would negate plans to increase investment in key grant programs and launch new initiatives, and necessitate cuts to existing programs, said MCC Executive Director Anita Walker.

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Budget Increase for Arts & Culture Vetoed

(7/17/2015) Today the increase to Massachusetts Cultural Council's (MCC) FY16 budget line item was vetoed, which would reduce funding for arts and culture in FY16 from $14 million to $11,785,200. In total, approximately $162 million of spending proposed by the Legislature in its approved FY16 budget was vetoed this afternoon.

This is not the final step in the FY16 budget process. The Legislature still has the opportunity to override any vetoes until the end of the session on July 31. Stay tuned for more information next week.

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Budget Deal Increases MCC Funding by $2 Million

(7/8/2015) The state Legislature approved a budget today that increases annual funding for the arts, humanities, and sciences through the Massachusetts Cultural Council (MCC) by $2 million.

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Tell the Conference Committee: Support the Senate's MCC Budget

(6/3/2015) Send a note to your senator asking him/her to encourage the Conference Committee to support the Senate's budget funding the Massachusetts Cultural Council at $14 million.

More on MassCreative's site.

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State Senate Increases Cultural Funding via MCC by $2 Million

(5/20/15) – The state Senate unanimously approved a budget amendment today that would increase annual funding for the arts, humanities, and sciences through the Massachusetts Cultural Council (MCC) by $2 million.

The Senate fiscal year 2016 budget plan allocates $14 million for MCC, an increase of nearly 17 percent from the current state appropriation. The Senate must now reconcile its budget proposal with that of the House, which recommended funding MCC at its current level of $12 million.

Senator Dan Wolf of Harwich led the effort as Co-Chair of the Legislature’s Cultural Caucus. “Arts and tourism are a vibrant part of the economy in the region I represent. It nurtures the creative spirit and soul of Massachusetts,” Wolf said on the Senate floor. “A decade and a half ago our support was almost three times that amount. We are asking for a significant increase compared to the House and Governor but are not close to where we were.”

Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr of Gloucester called MCC grants “seed capital” that help nonprofit organizations drive local economies. And Senator Mark Montigny said arts and cultural funding through MCC has played a central role in revitalizing the heart of New Bedford, his hometown.

House and Senate leaders will select members of a conference committee that will work out budget differences before bringing a final plan back to their respective chambers, then back to the Governor for his approval. This process should be completed before the new fiscal year begins July 1. ...

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Urge Your Senator to Increase Arts & Culture Investment by May 18

(5/15/15) – Yesterday Senators Dan Wolf, Eric Lesser and, Michael Moore filed amendment #130 to fund the MCC at $13.5 million.

Use MASSCreative's easy-to-use tool by May 18 to send an email to your senator urging him/her to co-sponsor amendment #130 to fund the MCC at $13.5 million.

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Senate Panel Proposes Level Funding for Arts & Culture via MCC

(5/12/15) – Today the state Senate Ways & Means Committee released a proposed budget for the coming year that would fund the arts, humanities, and sciences through the Massachusetts Cultural Council (MCC) at current levels.

The Senate panel recommended $12 million for the MCC for fiscal year 2016, which begins July 1. That matches funding levels authorized by the House of Representatives in the budget it approved in April. The House vote followed a statewide advocacy effort to reverse cuts to state cultural funding proposed earlier in the process.

MCC, MASSCreative and arts advocates have made the case for $15 million for MCC in FY16 to restore cultural funding and enhance the beneficial work of nonprofit cultural organizations, local cultural councils, and school and youth arts programs statewide. We will work with our allies including Senators Eric Lesser of Longmeadow and Benjamin Downing of Pittsfield—Chair & Vice Chair of the Joint Committee on Tourism, Arts, & Cultural Development—and Cultural Caucus Co-Chair Sen. Dan Wolf of Harwich, to file an amendment to fund MCC at $15 million....

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MA House Votes for Level Funding for MCC

(4/28/15) – Last night the state House of Representatives approved a redrafted budget amendment that would freeze arts and cultural funding through the Massachusetts Cultural Council (MCC) at current levels for the coming year.

The House approved a so-called “consolidated amendment” to fund the MCC at $12 million for FY2016, which begins July 1. House leaders rejected an earlier amendment endorsed by nearly two-thirds of House members to boost arts and cultural funding by $3 million, to $15 million. House leaders cited concern over a current budget deficit and commitments to increase local aid, funding for schools, and other spending priorities.

MCC Executive Director Anita Walker expressed thanks to state Rep. Cory Atkins of Concord and more than 100 other Representatives who cosponsored her amendment to boost funding to $15 million. She noted that state funding for MCC remains less than half of what it was in 2001. Restoring MCC’s budget will in turn allow the agency to restore vital grants to nonprofit cultural organizations, local cultural councils, school and youth programs. And those investments will yield returns to the state through enhanced revenues, more vital communities, and better educated students. ...

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House Majority Backs Increase for MCC

(4/17/15) – Thanks to another strong advocacy campaign, a majority of the state House of Representatives signed on to support a 25 percent increase in funding for arts and culture.

In all 87 members of the House cosponsored Amendment No. 774 filed by Rep. Cory Atkins of Concord to boost funding for the arts, humanities, and sciences through MCC to $15 million. Atkins is House Chair of the Joint Committee on Tourism, Arts and Cultural Development. Cosponsors include several members of the House leadership, Democrats and Republicans, and legislators from every county in the Commonwealth. See the full list of amendment cosponsors.

They responded to the Arts Matter advocacy campaign led by MASSCreative that engaged thousands of cultural leaders, artists, educators, and citizens across Massachusetts. The Atkins amendment would reverse a 16 percent cut to MCC funding contained in an FY16 budget proposal that was released on Wednesday by the House Ways & Means Committee. ...

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House Committee Proposes Cut to Funding for Arts, Humanities & Sciences in Budget Plan

(4/15/15) – Today the House Committee on Ways and Means released a state budget proposal for the coming fiscal year that recommends $10 million for the Massachusetts Cultural Council (MCC).

That would represent a 16 percent reduction in state support for the arts, humanities, and sciences. If approved that budget would force MCC to cut grant awards for nonprofit cultural organizations, local cultural councils, education programs, and artists.

State Representative Cory Atkins of Concord will file an amendment to increase cultural funding to $15 million for FY 2016. That would represent a $3 million increase from the current fiscal year’s original state allocation of $12 million. ...

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Governor's Budget Proposes Level Funding for Arts & Culture through MCC

Governor Charlie Baker today released his first state budget proposal that would invest just under $11.8 million in the arts, humanities, and sciences through the Massachusetts Cultural Council (MCC) for the coming fiscal year. The Governor's budget plan for FY16 would fund arts and culture at current levels.

The state appropriated $12 million for MCC to support arts and cultural programs for the current year. Last month, however, the Legislature passed the Governor’s emergency mid-year budget that cut MCC funding by $215,000 along with many other state programs to fill a large gap between revenues and expenses.

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MCC's New Case Statement for Increased Public Investment in Arts & Culture

Cover image for "It Works. Work It... We Make Creativity Work for Massachusetts"The Massachusetts Cultural Council (MCC) has released a new case statement on the benefits of arts and cultural funding to the state’s economy, communities, and the education of our young people – and what long-term reinvestment in MCC's work can accomplish. We will be sharing it with the Massachusetts legislature this budget season along with our FY16 budget request.

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It Works. Work It...
We Make Creativity Work for Massachusetts

 

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MCC FY16 Budget Request Totals $15 Million

The Massachusetts Cultural Council (MCC) seeks an FY16 state appropriation of $15 million, an increase of $3 million from the current fiscal year. The agency will put these funds to work toward:

  • A healthy state economy that benefits from a robust nonprofit cultural sector, cultural tourism, and a creative workforce.

  • More vital, livable communities flourishing with arts and cultural activities accessible to all.

  • Young people who possess the knowledge, imagination, and creativity to succeed in school, careers, and civic life.

  • A nonprofit cultural sector that opens its doors to young and old of all backgrounds and abilities, regardless of income.

Read complete FY16 budget request.

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Learn More About Your State Elected Officials

Who are they? What are their priorities? How can arts and culture help them achieve their public policy goals?

Contact MCC's Greg Liakos or Ann Petruccelli to share your stories of how arts and culture are making your community a better place, or to request information or assistance.

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© Massachusetts Cultural Council 2015