The budget for the Massachusetts Cultural Council will increase by 20 percent after the state Legislature on Wednesday voted to override Gov. Charlie Baker's July 17 budget veto that would have level funded the state arts agency.
"The House and Senate voted separately to restore $2.37 million to MCC’s budget, overriding the Governor’s earlier veto of the increase. State funding for MCC will be $14.16 million for FY16, up from $11.79 million in FY15. The new fiscal year began July 1," the state arts agency reports. "The votes came after the Cultural Caucus circulated a letter to the Legislature’s leadership asking it to support the override. The letter was written by the Caucus Co-Chairs, Sen. Dan Wolf of Harwich and Rep. William "Smitty" Pignatelli of Lenox. 'It is imperative that we continue to provide the MCC with the necessary resources to continue the great work it does in the Commonwealth,' their letter stated. MASSCreative and its statewide network of advocates urged legislators to sign onto the Cultural Caucus letter."
Many people, of course, deserve credit for making this increase happen—but in particular MassCreative's role stands out. The arts advocacy group, which was founded by the Massachusetts Cultural Council and The Boston Foundation, has made increasing state arts funding its central mission—so this is really a landmark victory for their efforts.
"Good news from the State House today," MassCreative comments. "The arts and cultural community was loud and proud. Nearly unanimous override of Charlie's veto. Biggest increase for the arts in a decade!"