Massachusetts Cultural Council Budget Cut: The Round-Up

As you may have heard, Governor Baker has proposed budget cuts to the Massachusetts Cultural Council (MCC) that slash the budget by 55% from Fiscal Year 2016 to Fiscal Year 2017. What does this mean for the arts in Massachusetts?

Read on to find out what is being said around Greater Boston and throughout Massachusetts.

From The Boston Globe:
“Arts and Culture have long proved to be a vital component of the Massachusetts economy and social identity, generating more than $1 billion in annual spending and enhancing the state’s reputation throughout the world. But apparently Governor Charlie Baker didn’t get the memo. His vetoes for fiscal year 2017 chopped the Legislature’s proposed $14.1 million budget (flat from fiscal 2016) for the Massachusetts Cultural Council by more than half, to $6.5 million. This would be the council’s smallest appropriation since 1994. It’s imperative that the Legislature vote to override the governor’s veto and restore his cuts.”

It is important to note: When crunching the numbers in the United States Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics’ CPI Inflation Calculator, $6.5 million in 1994 is roughly the equivalent of $10.5 million today.  

From The Berkshire Eagle:
“The Massachusetts Cultural Council is accustomed to fighting annual budget battles but the governor’s proposed cut shows a lack of respect for an important body….Few state organizations have as wide and as beneficial a reach as does the MCC, which provides grants to nonprofit arts, humanities and science groups, as well as communities, schools and individual artists. This is money that generates money, as the organizations the MCC contributes to spend $1.2 billion annually and provide 32,889 jobs, according to a letter send by Representative Pignatelli and three other legislative chairmen to their constituents.”

From MassLive:
“Treating the arts, humanities and sciences as superfluous is a mistake that not only underestimates their value but ignores credible studies showing such funding outlays are an investment with future return, and not simply a payout.”

From WBUR:
“We are the singular state agency that supports the cultural landscape in Massachusetts,” [Anita] Walker [Executive Director of the MCC] said. “We fund more than 400 non-profit cultural organizations, we support access to the arts and culture to literally thousands and thousands of young people and we have programs that are taking care of our most vulnerable teenagers.”

If you have not done so already, please sign MASSCreative’s Petition to Override Governor Baker’s Veto Here

*Photo is from WAMC: Northeast Public Radio, and is of students from Springfield’s Community Music School’s performance at the press launch of Futurecity Massachusetts, sponsored by the MCC.

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