FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 7, 2017
Contact: Gregory Liakos, Communications Director, 617-858-2720
Legislature’s Final State Budget Funds Arts & Culture at Current Levels
(Boston, MA) – The state Legislature approved a budget today that will support the arts, humanities, and sciences through the Mass Cultural Council at current levels of just under $14 million.
Faced once again with sluggish revenue growth, the Governor and Legislature pared back much of the proposed new spending for Fiscal Year 2018, which began July 1. Mass Cultural Council and its supporters had originally sought a $16 million budget for arts and culture, and in May the state Senate approved a slightly higher, $16.5 million allocation. But that had to be reconciled with a much lower, $12 million allocation approved by the House of Representatives earlier in April.
A House-Senate Conference Committee charged with reaching agreement on the two chambers’ FY18 budget proposals split the difference, resulting in a second straight year of flat state funding for the arts, humanities, and sciences, at just under $14 million. Governor Charlie Baker has ten days to sign the budget, veto it, or return it to the Legislature with proposed changes.
“This is not the outcome we sought, but we are grateful to avoid further cuts that erode our ability to meaningfully invest in the nonprofit cultural sector through our range of grants and initiatives,” said Anita Walker, Mass Cultural Council Executive Director. “Thanks once again to all of our advocates who joined us to make the case for the public value of the arts, humanities, and sciences in their communities.”
Walker also thanked the Conference Committee members along with Senate President Stan Rosenberg of Amherst, House Speaker Robert DeLeo of Winthrop; and all the members of the Joint Committee on Tourism, Arts, and Cultural Development, for their support during the state budget process.
About the Mass Cultural Council
The Mass Cultural Council is a state agency supporting the arts, sciences, and humanities, to improve the quality of life in Massachusetts and its communities. It pursues its mission through a combination of grants, services, and advocacy for nonprofit cultural organizations, schools, communities, and artists. The agency's total budget for this fiscal year is $16.1 million, which includes a $14 million state appropriation and grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and other sources. Mass Cultural Council also runs the Massachusetts Cultural Facilities Fund in partnership with MassDevelopment.