Thursday, July 20, 2017

Governor’s Veto Cuts Funding for Culture, Legislators Seek Override

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Governor's Veto Cuts Funding for Culture, Legislators Seek Override
(Boston, MA) – On Monday Governor Charlie Baker vetoed a line in the state budget that funds the Mass Cultural Council, cutting its allocation by 14 percent to just over $12 million.

Earlier this month the state Legislature voted overwhelmingly to fund the arts, humanities, and sciences through Mass Cultural Council at just under $14 million for the new fiscal year, roughly level with last year's funding. Legislative supporters of cultural funding immediately vowed to seek an override of the Governor's veto. State Senator Adam Hinds of Pittsfield and Representative Cory Atkins of Concord have circulated a letter to their colleagues urging support for an override. The legislators are co-chairs of the Joint Committee on Tourism, Arts, and Cultural Development.

"There are few places in America as rich with culture as Massachusetts," the letter states. "From Boston to the Berkshires, from Cape Ann to Cape Cod, our state boasts an array of exceptional cultural organizations, beautiful and distinctive communities, and thousands of talented artists and educators. Mass Cultural Council nurtures this cultural life, so it is imperative that we continue to provide the agency with the necessary resources to continue the great work it does in the Commonwealth."

MASSCreative is leading a statewide advocacy effort to urge legislators to support the override, which requires the support of 2/3 of the members of both the House and the Senate. Fiscal Year 2018 began July 1.

"Our supporters in the Legislature know that smart, strategic investment in culture delivers broad public benefits to communities across the Commonwealth," said Anita Walker, Mass Cultural Council Executive Director. "We are grateful for their support, and urge all those who care about culture to join this effort to ensure adequate funding for the arts, humanities, and sciences."
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 $15.7 million, which includes a state appropriation and grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and other sources. The Mass Cultural Council also runs the Massachusetts Cultural Facilities Fund in partnership with MassDevelopment.
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