From the Massachusetts Cultural Council. Updates will be posted to ACC’s Facebook page.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 15, 2015
Contact: Gregory Liakos, Communications Director, 617-858-2720

House Committee Proposes Cut to Funding for Arts, Humanities & Sciences in Budget Plan

(Boston, MA) – Today the House Committee on Ways and Means released a state budget proposal for the coming fiscal year that recommends $10 million for the Massachusetts Cultural Council (MCC).

That would represent a 16 percent reduction in state support for the arts, humanities, and sciences. If approved that budget would force MCC to cut grant awards for nonprofit cultural organizations, local cultural councils, education programs, and artists.

State Representative Cory Atkins of Concord will file an amendment to increase cultural funding to $15 million for FY 2016. That would represent a $3 million increase from the current fiscal year’s original state allocation of $12 million.
Rep. Atkins is House Chair of the Joint Committee on Tourism, Arts, and Cultural Development. Her amendment would allow MCC to restore grants to cultural organizations and local cultural councils, expand arts education in and out of schools, and support community-based arts initiatives through Adams and Cultural District grants.

Amendments are due by 5 p.m. this Friday, April 17, after which they will be assigned a number. MCC will work with MASSCreative and its allies in the cultural sector to build support for the Atkins amendment by urging her House colleagues to sign on as cosponsors. The full House will take up the FY16 state budget starting the week of April 27.

“Arts and culture are part of the solution to the state’s financial challenges,” said Anita Walker, MCC Executive Director. “The creative sector fuels job growth and cultural tourism, enhances community vitality and quality of life, and delivers better educational outcomes for our kids. We must work together to show the Legislature that investing in MCC is investing in what works for Massachusetts.”

The House process is one key step in the annual state budget process. The Senate will release its own budget proposal in May. The two chambers must then agree on a tax and spending plan before sending it back to the Governor for final approval before the new fiscal year begins July 1.

MCC has released a new case statement on the benefits of arts and cultural funding to the state’s economy, communities, and the education of our young people – and what long-term reinvestment in its work can accomplish.

See MCC’s Advocacy Action Center for updates on the amendment and for the latest data on the nonprofit cultural sector’s contributions to the Massachusetts economy and quality of life.

About the Massachusetts Cultural Council
The MCC 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 grants, services, and advocacy for nonprofit cultural organizations, schools, communities, and artists. MCC’s total budget for this fiscal year is $13.3 million, which includes a state appropriation and grants from the National Endowment for the Arts. MCC also runs the Massachusetts Cultural Facilities Fund in partnership with MassDevelopment.