FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 11, 2018
Contact: Gregory Liakos, Communications Director, 617-858-2720
Senate Committee Proposes Level Funding for Arts, Humanities & Sciences in Latest Budget Plan
Supporters Seek Increase through Budget Amendment
(Boston, MA) - The Senate Committee on Ways and Means released its version of next year’s state budget today, proposing $14 million for the arts, humanities, and sciences through the Mass Cultural Council.
That would represent flat funding for state support for the nonprofit cultural sector for Fiscal Year 2019, which begins July 1. It is roughly $500,000 less that the budget plan approved by the House of Representatives, and falls short of $17 million for cultural funding sought through a House budget amendment that drew support from more than 100 state Representatives during the House budget debate last month.
Senator Adam Hinds of Pittsfield, Co-Chair of the Joint Committee on Tourism, Arts, and Cultural Development, plans to file an amendment to the Senate budget seeking the $17 million. Executive Director Anita Walker said Mass Cultural Council will work with MASSCreative, Mass Humanities, Mass Artists Leaders Coalition, and others to build support for the Hinds amendment before the Senate begins debate on the Ways & Means plan May 22.
“We are grateful to Chairman Hinds and our supporters in the Senate who understand that the nonprofit cultural sector is a sound investment for the Commonwealth, delivering strong returns in more vital communities, a stronger economy, and more creative, well-rounded students in our schools,” said Walker.
The Senate vote is one key step in the annual state budget process. Following debate and vote, the full Senate must then reconcile its plan with that of the House before sending a final compromise back to the Governor for his approval and/or vetoes.
See our Advocacy Action 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.