Boston, MA: The state House of Representatives reversed a proposed cut to arts and cultural funding today by voting to increase MCC’s budget by $1.6 million in the coming fiscal year.
Today’s vote was a victory for advocates of state support for the arts, humanities, and sciences. It would set state cultural funding through MCC at just over $11 million for fiscal year 2014, a significant step toward restoring funds that were lost through budget cuts over the past decade.
Over the past two weeks more than 100 state Representatives signed onto an amendment to restore MCC funding. Rep. Cory Atkins of Concord, House Chair of the Joint Committee on Tourism, Arts, and Cultural Development, authored the amendment and led the effort to enlist cosponsors for it. The strong statewide support for this effort reflected vigorous advocacy from a coalition led by MASSCreative in coordination with MCC, Mass Humanities, and many others.
MCC Executive Director Anita Walker thanked Chairwoman Atkins for her leadership, along with House Speaker Robert DeLeo and Ways & Means Chairman Brian Dempsey for their support of MCC funding.
“Today’s vote demonstrates that we can make a strong case for why the arts, humanities, and sciences matter,” said Walker. “When the cultural sector speaks with one voice, our leaders on Beacon Hill listen.”
The $11 million appropriation for MCC was approved as part of a consolidated amendment that will be included in the final House budget to be voted on later this week. The Senate will then release its own budget recommendations in May. The two chambers must then agree on a budget before sending it back to the Governor for final approval before the new fiscal year begins July 1.
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 Massachusetts Cultural Council is a state agency that promotes excellence, access, education, and diversity in the arts, humanities, and sciences, to improve the quality of life for all Massachusetts residents and contribute to the vitality of our communities. MCC pursues this mission through a combination of grants, services, and advocacy for nonprofit cultural organizations, schools, communities, and artists. MCC’s current state appropriation is $9.4 million.