FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 12, 2015

Contact: Gregory Liakos, Communications Director, 617-858-2720

Senate Panel Proposes Level Funding for Arts & Culture

(Boston, MA) – Today the state Senate Ways & Means Committee released a proposed budget for the coming year that would fund the arts, humanities, and sciences through the Massachusetts Cultural Council (MCC) at current levels.

The Senate panel recommended $12 million for the MCC for fiscal year 2016, which begins July 1. That matches funding levels authorized by the House of Representatives in the budget it approved in April. The House vote followed a statewide advocacy effort to reverse cuts to state cultural funding proposed earlier in the process.

MCC, MASSCreative and arts advocates have made the case for $15 million for MCC in FY16 to restore cultural funding and enhance the beneficial work of nonprofit cultural organizations, local cultural councils, and school and youth arts programs statewide. We will work with our allies including Senators Eric Lesser of Longmeadow and Benjamin Downing of Pittsfield—Chair & Vice Chair of the Joint Committee on Tourism, Arts, & Cultural Development—and Cultural Caucus Co-Chair Sen. Dan Wolf of Harwich, to file an amendment to fund MCC at $15 million.

Please look out for communications from MCC & MASSCreative on the details of that amendment and how you can help generate support for it by asking your Senator to sign on as a co-sponsor.

The Senate Ways & Means plan is a key step in the annual state budget process. Following Senate debate and vote next week, 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.

To help make the case for our sector 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 budget process 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.

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