“Create the Vote 2022 will host a statewide candidate forum Aug. 3 in Worcester”
Yes, there’s a governor’s race underway.
And yes, it affects you. No matter who you are or what you do (as long as you’re in or around Mass, of course, which we kind of assume is the case if you’re reading this).
That especially goes for those in the arts, believe it or not. Some of you may not remember when Mitt Romney ran this state and threatened to hobble the Mass Cultural Council, but it was bad; or just look at current Governor Charlie Baker, who sharpens his own axe over arts spending every budget season.
All things considered, in a time when most people can tell you far more about national celebrity nonsense than they can about state politics, it’s a relief to see the latest communications initiative by the Create the Vote MA 2022 Coalition (CTVMA) “to ensure candidates for Governor and Lt. Governor understand and support the state’s growing creative economy and its artists, organizations, and workers.”
“CTVMA now comprises 36 organizations representing the state’s racially, linguistically, and geographically diverse population who’ve joined the campaign to elevate the voices, contributions, and concerns of the arts, cultural, and creative workforce throughout the 2022 campaign,” the group explained. “This new campaign builds on a nearly decade-long effort by MASSCreative and its allies to position the creative sector as a vital contributor to economic prosperity, community vitality, and diversity, equity, and inclusion, across Massachusetts.”
“The nearly infinite ways in which art, culture, and creativity make life worth living are so woven into the tapestry of our lives that we take them for granted, and that’s why Create the Vote Massachusetts is so important,” MASSCreative Executive Director Emily Ruddock added. “The COVID-19 pandemic has hit the arts and culture hard; nonprofits alone could lose $1 billion or more in revenue by year’s end. The next governor and lieutenant governor must lead in developing strategies to help this sector recover so that future generations have access to creative expression and diverse cultural opportunities that make Massachusetts such a special place.”
“The next governor of Massachusetts will exercise critical leadership during this time of unprecedented need related to the health and well-being of our residents, families, students, and businesses of all sizes,” said Linda Matys O’Connell, Government and Community Relations Coordinator at the MIFA Victory Theatre in Holyoke and CTVMA Coalition member. “The arts, culture, and creative sector is vital to addressing these needs with its power to drive community connection and economic growth and opportunity.”
“Before the pandemic, cultural nonprofits in Massachusetts supported more than 73,000 full time jobs, generated over $2.3 billion in total spending, and brought in nearly $100 million in state tax revenues,” Gary Dunning, President and Executive Director of Celebrity Series of Boston and CTVMA Coalition member, noted. “Every dollar spent by an arts and cultural organization generates $2.30 billion in sales for nearby businesses, and in 2018, there were more than 21 million attendees for art and cultural events in the Greater Boston area, which is more than four times that for all major Boston sporting events combined. It is crucial for the entire health of the Commonwealth that we maintain these jobs and provide these services to the community as our sector continues to face reopening challenges.”
CTVMA will include a statewide candidates’ forum on Wednesday, August 3 at 7pm at the Jean McDonough Arts Center in Worcester.