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Legislature Votes to Increase MCC Funding by Nearly $1 Million

(6/30/14) - The Legislature approved a final budget plan today that increases annual funding for the arts, humanities, and sciences through the Massachusetts Cultural Council (MCC) by close to $1 million.

The fiscal year 2015 budget allocates $12 million for MCC. If the Governor signs it, the budget will allow MCC to bolster its existing grant programs for nonprofit cultural organizations, local cultural councils, schools and creative youth development; and launch new, community music and universal design initiatives.

The vote came after a coalition including MCC, MASSCreative, Mass Humanities, Mass Artists Leaders Coalition, and advocates across the state, successfully urged members of a legislative conference committee to support the higher, Senate budget figure of $12 million for MCC. The conference committee was led by Ways & Means Committee Co-Chairs Sen. Stephen Brewer of Barre and Rep. Brian Dempsey of Haverhill, and issued its report on Sunday that was then approved by the House and Senate today.

Read the Full Release.

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Senate Increases MA Cultural Council Funding by $1 Million

(5/23/14) - The state Senate approved a budget late yesterday that would increase annual funding for the arts, humanities, and sciences through the Massachusetts Cultural Council (MCC) by $1 million.

The Senate fiscal year 2015 budget plan allocates $12 million for MCC, an increase of roughly eight percent from its current state appropriation. The Senate must now reconcile its budget proposal with that of the House, which recommended cutting MCC funding to $9.6 million. House and Senate leaders will select members of a conference committee that will work out those 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.

The Senate vote came after a coalition including MCC, MASSCreative, Mass Humanities, Mass Artists Leaders Coalition, with advocates across the state, urged legislators to reverse proposed cuts to cultural funding in earlier versions of the state budget. MCC originally sought $16 million for next year, but House and Senate leaders said such an increase was unrealistic given other demands for state funding.

Read the Full Release.

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27 State Senators Support an Amendment to Restore MCC Funding

(5/22/14)

Sen. Kathleen O'Connor Ives (D-Newburyport) - Sponsor

Sen. Michael Barrett (D-Lexington)
Sen. William Brownsberger (D-Belmont)
Sen. Gale Candaras (D-Wilbraham)
Sen. Sonia Chang-Diaz (D-Boston)
Sen. Cynthia Creem (D-Newton)
Sen. Sal DiDomenico (D-Everett)
Sen. Eileen Donoghue (D-Lowell)
Sen. Benjamin Downing (D-Pittsfield)
Sen. James Eldridge (D-Acton)
Sen. Barry Finegold (D-Andover)
Sen. Linda Dorcena Forry (D-Dorchester)
Sen. Donald Humason (R-Westfield)
Sen. Patricia Jehlen (D-Somerville)
Sen. Brian Joyce (D-Milton)
Sen. Thomas Kennedy (D-Brockton)
Sen. Jason Lewis (D-Winchester)
Sen. Joan Lovely (D-Salem)
Sen. Thomas McGee (D-Lynn)
Sen. Mark Montigny (D-New Bedford)
Sen. Michael Moore (D-Millbury)
Sen. Anthony Petruccelli (D-East Boston)
Sen. Michael Rodrigues (D-Westport)
Sen. Michael Rush (D-West Roxbury)
Sen. Karen Spilka (D-Ashland)
Sen. Bruce Tarr (R-Gloucester)
Sen. Daniel Wolf (D-Harwich)

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Email Your Senator and Urge Them to Co-Sponsor an Amendment to Increase Arts & Culture Funding to $12M

(5/15/14) - The Senate Ways and Means Committee released its budget on Wednesday and the result is disappointing for the arts and cultural community. Senate Ways and Means recommends cutting the Massachusetts Cultural Council budget by 13% to a level of $9.6 million.

Send an email by Friday, May 16 to your Senator urging him/her to co-sponsor Sen. Kathleen O’Connor Ives’ amendment to reverse the proposed cut and increase the Massachusetts Cultural Council budget to $12 million.

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Senate Panel Proposes Funding Cuts for Massachusetts Cultural Council

(5/14/14) - Today the state Senate Ways & Means Committee released a proposed budget for the coming year that would cut funding for the arts, humanities, and sciences through the Massachusetts Cultural Council (MCC) by $1.5 million.

The Senate panel recommended $9.6 million for the MCC for fiscal year 2015, which begins July 1. That matches funding levels proposed by the House of Representatives in the budget it approved in April. The House vote followed a statewide advocacy effort to reverse even deeper cuts to state cultural funding proposed earlier in the process.

MCC and MASSCreative will work with our allies including Senators Kathleen O’Connor Ives of Newburyport 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 increase MCC’s budget.

Please watch for communications from MCC & MASSCreative on the details of that amendment and how you can help generate support for it by asking your Senator to sign on as a co-sponsor.

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MA House Lessens Proposed Cut to Arts, Humanities, & Sciences in MCC Budget

(5/1/14) - Last night the state House of Representatives approved a state budget that would fund the Massachusetts Cultural Council (MCC) at $9.6 million for the coming year. This matches the Governor’s proposal, which represents a cut of $1.5 million, or 13 percent, to state funding for the arts, sciences, and humanities.

House Ways & Means Committee Chair Brian Dempsey of Haverhill crafted an amendment to restore MCC funding and reverse the Committee’s earlier proposal that would have subjected the arts and culture to deep budget cuts in FY15. It came after 113 House members signed onto an amendment calling for $16 million for the MCC. The Dempsey amendment was part of a larger group of budget amendments and passed on a 138-2 vote. Still, a $9.6 million appropriation would set arts and cultural funding back two years, erasing last year’s budget increase that allowed MCC to restore grants to nonprofit cultural organizations, local cultural councils, and arts education in schools.

Read the Full Release.

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113 State Reps. Urge House to Reverse Funding Cuts to Arts, Humanities & Sciences in Budget

(4/11/14) - Thanks to YOUR vigorous advocacy efforts, 113 House members cosponsored an amendment to reverse proposed cuts to the state arts budget and boost funding for the Massachusetts Cultural Council (MCC) to $16 million next fiscal year.

Amendment #357 — filed by Rep. Cory Atkins of Concord, House Chair of the Joint Committee on Tourism, Arts & Cultural Development — would reverse an earlier House Ways & Means Committee proposal to cut arts and cultural funding through MCC by more than 50 percent.

“Support for Rep. Atkins’ amendment demonstrates the widespread support that MCC funding has among our elected leaders,” said Anita Walker, MCC Executive Director. “These legislators see the beneficial impact that the arts, humanities, and sciences have in their communities, schools, and local economies.”

The full House will take up the FY15 state budget starting April 28. Following House debate, the Senate Ways & Means Committee will release its own budget proposal in mid-May, followed by a vote of the full Senate.

Read the Full Release.

The MA House of Representatives Supporting Amendment #357 to H.4000

Rep. Cory Atkins (D-Concord) - Sponsor

Rep. Denise Andrews (D-Orange)
Rep. James Arciero (D-Westford)
Rep. Brian Ayers (D-Quincy)
Rep. Ruth Balser (D-Newton)
Rep. Jay Barrows (R-Mansfield)
Rep. Carlo Basile (D-East Boston)
Rep. Matthew Beaton (R-Shrewsbury)
Rep. Jennifer Benson (D-Lunenburg)
Rep. Nicholas Boldyga (R-Southwick)
Rep. Michael Brady (D-Brockton)
Rep. Paul Brodeur (D-Melrose)
Rep. Antonio Cabral (D-New Bedford)
Rep. Thomas Calter (D-Kingston)
Rep. Christine Canavan (D-Brockton)
Rep. James Cantwell (D-Marshfield)
Rep. Galianne Cariddi (D-North Adams)
Rep. Tackey Chan (D-Quincy)
Rep. Nick Collins (D-Boston)
Rep. Thomas Conroy (D-Wayland)
Rep. Claire Cronin (D-Easton)
Rep. Daniel Cullinane (D-Dorchester)
Rep. Mark Cusack (D-Braintree)
Rep. Josh Cutler (D-Duxbury)
Rep. Angelo D'Emilia (R-Bridgewater)
Rep. Marjorie Decker (D-Cambridge)
Rep. Viriato deMacedo (R-Plymouth)
Rep. Marcos Devers (D-Lawrence)
Rep. Stephen DiNatale (D-Fitchburg)
Rep. Diana DiZoglio (D-Methuen)
Rep. Daniel Donahue (D-Worcester)
Rep. Paul Donato (D-Medford)
Rep. Carolyn Dykema (D-Holliston)
Rep. Lori Ehrlich (D-Marblehead)
Rep. Tricia Farley-Bouvier (D-Pittsfield)
Rep. Robert Fennell (D-Lynn)
Rep. Kimberly Ferguson (R-Holden)
Rep. John Fernandes (D-Milford)
Rep. Ann-Margaret Ferrante (D-Gloucester)
Rep. Michael Finn (D-West Springfield)
Rep. Carole Fiola (D-Fall River)
Rep. Gloria Fox (D-Roxbury)
Rep. Paul Frost (R-Auburn)
Rep. William Galvin (D-Canton)
Rep. Sean Garballey (D-Arlington)
Rep. Denise Garlick (D-Needham)
Rep. Colleen Garry (D-Dracut)
Rep. Susan Gifford (R-Wareham)
Rep. Anne Gobi (D-Spencer)
Rep. Thomas Golden (D-Lowell)
Rep. Kenneth Gordon (D-Bedford)
Rep. Danielle Gregoire (D-Marlborough)
Rep. Sheila Harrington (R-Groton)
Rep. Jonathan Hecht (D-Watertown)
Rep. Paul Heroux (D-Attleboro)
Rep. Bradford Hill (R-Ipswich)
Rep. Kate Hogan (D-Stow)
Rep. Russell Holmes (D-Boston)
Rep. Kevin Honan (D-Brighton)
Rep. Steven Howitt (R-Seekonk)
Rep. Randy Hunt (R-East Sandwich)
Rep. Bradley Jones (R-North Reading)
Rep. Louis Kafka (D-Stoughton)
Rep. Jay Kaufman (D-Lexington)
Rep. Mary Keefe (D-Worcester)
Rep. John Keenan (D-Salem)
Rep. Kay Khan (D-Newton)
Rep. Peter Kocot (D-Northampton)
Rep. John Lawn (D-Watertown)
Rep. David Linsky (D-Natick)
Rep. Jay Livingstone (D-Boston)
Rep. Timothy Madden (D-Nantucket)
Rep. Elizabeth Malia (D-Jamaica Plain)
Rep. Brian Mannal (D-Barnstable)
Rep. Paul Mark (D-Peru)
Rep. Wayne Matewsky (D-Everett)
Rep. Paul McMurtry (D-Dedham)
Rep. Aaron Michlewitz (D-Boston)
Rep. Frank Moran (D-Lawrence)
Rep. James Murphy (D-Weymouth)
Rep. David Nangle (D-Lowell)
Rep. Harold Naughton (D-Clinton)
Rep. James O'Day (D-West Boylston)
Rep. Jerald Parisella (D-Beverly)
Rep. Sarah Peake (D-Provincetown)
Rep. Alice Peisch (D-Wellesley)
Rep. George Peterson (R-Grafton)
Rep. William Pignatelli (D-Lenox)
Rep. Elizabeth Poirier (R-North Attleborough)
Rep. Denise Provost (D-Somverille)
Rep. Angelo Puppolo (D-Springfield)
Rep. David Rogers (D-Cambridge)
Rep. John Rogers (D-Norwood)
Rep. Dennis Rosa (D-Leominster)
Rep. Jeffrey Roy (D-Franklin)
Rep. Byron Rushing (D-Boston (South End)
Rep. Jeffrey Sánchez (D-Jamaica Plain)
Rep. Tom Sannicandro (D-Ashland)
Rep. Paul Schmid (D-Westport)
Rep. John Scibak (D-South Hadley)
Rep. Frank Smizik (D-Brookline)
Rep. Todd Smola (R-Palmer)
Rep. Theodore Speliotis (D-Danvers)
Rep. Thomas Stanley (D-Waltham)
Rep. William Straus (D-Mattapoisett)
Rep. Benjamin Swan (D-Springfield)
Rep. Walter Timilty (D-Milton)
Rep. Timothy Toomey (D-Cambridge)
Rep. Cleon Turner (D-Dennis)
Rep. Aaron Vega (D-Holyoke)
Rep. David Vieira (R-East Falmouth)
Rep. Chris Walsh (D-Framingham)
Rep. Donald Wong (R-Saugus)
Rep. Jonathan Zlotnik (D-Gardner)

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Urgent: Contact Your Representative By April 11 to Restore Art & Culture Funding

(4/9/14) - We need to send a clear message to our Representatives by Friday, April 11 that arts and culture matter.

Send an email  to your Representative urging him/her to co-sponsor Rep. Cory Atkins’ amendment to fund the Massachusetts Cultural Council at $16 million. 

The good news is that the budget battle is just beginning and you can make a difference. Over the next two days show our Representatives that investing in the creative community is not just nice, but necessary.

Help spread the word to your colleagues, supporters, friends, and family:

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House Committee Proposes Big Cuts to Funding for Arts, Humanities & Sciences in Budget Proposal

(4/9/14) - Earlier today the House Committee on Ways and Means released a state budget proposal for the coming fiscal year that recommends just over $5 million for the Massachusetts Cultural Council (MCC).

That would represent a 54 percent reduction in state support for the arts, humanities, and sciences. If it stands it would force MCC to make deep cuts to grants for nonprofit cultural organizations, local cultural councils, education programs, and artists. State support for arts and culture is already less than half of what it was in 2002, even as the nonprofit cultural sector recovers from a prolonged economic downturn that reduced philanthropic support from all sources.

State Representative Cory Atkins of Concord will file an amendment to increase cultural funding to $16 million. Rep. Atkins is House Chair of the Joint Committee on Tourism, Arts, and Cultural Development. She led last year’s effort in the House that resulted in a $1.6 million increase to MCC funding, allowing the agency to restore grants to cultural organizations and local cultural councils, and double funding for arts education in schools.

Amendments are due by 5 p.m. this Friday, April 11, after which they will be assigned a number. MCC will work with MASSCreative and our allies in the cultural sector to build support for the Atkins amendment by urging her House colleagues to sign on as cosponsors. The full House will take up the FY15 state budget starting April 28.

Read the Full Release.

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Education Advocates: Help Restore Funding!

(2/27/14) - This year’s budget increase allowed MCC to double the number of artist residencies in schools across Massachusetts through its STARS Residencies Program.

Now MCC is again working with its allies MASSCreative, Arts|Learning and others to continue that momentum in the next fiscal year that starts July 1. We are seeking a state appropriation of $16 million for MCC in FY15, an increase of $5 million.

Do you have a story to tell about how MCC funding helps you connect children and youth to quality learning experiences in the arts, sciences, and/or humanities?

If so now is the time to share that story with your legislators in the Massachusetts House and Senate. The House budget plan comes out in April, and the Senate follows suit in May.

To learn more about the state budget process, contact MCC’s Communications Department.

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Governor's Budget Proposes Funding Cuts to Arts & Culture through MCC

(1/22/14) - Governor Deval Patrick today released a proposed state budget for the coming fiscal year that would invest just under $9.6 million in the arts, humanities, and sciences through the Massachusetts Cultural Council (MCC).

The Governor's fiscal year 2015 budget recommendation would cut arts and cultural funding $1.5 million—or 13 percent—from the current fiscal year. MCC Executive Director Anita Walker called the plan disappointing given the state’s improving revenue picture. If not reversed, the plan would roll back this year’s increases in grants to nonprofit cultural organizations, local cultural councils, and schools.

Read the full release.

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MASSCreative Says "Keep Up the Momentum"

(1/3/14) - MassCreative urges you to keep up the momentum:

Last year, over 5,000 people signed our petition to encourage Governor Deval Patrick to increase state investment in the creative community through the Massachusetts Cultural Council budget. In coming together to boldly ask for what we need, we ignited an arts advocacy campaign and were able to influence Governor Patrick to take a crucial step toward restoring essential funding.

Not only did the campaign work, increasing funding by 17%, but it also marked the beginning of an arts legacy for the governor.

After signing an increased budget for FY2014, Governor Patrick kept the momentum going when he tripled the state’s allocation to the Cultural Facilities Fund. This second bold move paves the way for a continued legacy of support for arts, culture, and creativity in the Commonwealth.

Building on the progress made in the past year, our FY2015 petition asks for a $16 million allocation to the Massachusetts Cultural Council budget, which would elevate investment in the day-to-day operations of the creative community by $5 million. Go ahead and sign it now.

More from the MASSCreative site.

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Governor Patrick Announces $15 Million for Cultural Facilities Fund in 2014

(11/12/13) - Governor Patrick today announced his decision to triple the state’s investment in the Massachusetts Cultural Facilities Fund (CFF) with an allocation of $15 million for FY14. CFF supports vital capital projects in every corner of the Commonwealth, improves access to our state’s extraordinary cultural riches, and create thousands of jobs. Governor Patrick’s increase will greatly expand the work being done to keep the sector thriving and ensure the longevity of Massachusetts’ cultural heritage.

Thank you to our partners at MASSCreative, the Boston Foundation, and throughout the cultural sector for their tireless work advocating on behalf of CFF and to you for sharing your stories – it’s clear you made a significant impact on the Governor's decision.

We are now working with MassDevelopment to finalize application guidelines and a timeline for the next round of grants. Details will be available online in the coming month.

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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 2014