Mass. Artists, Lawmakers Meet To Discuss Creative Economy

This year the recession is on everyone's mind — including artists like Salem musician Maggie Smith Dalton.

"My biggest concern is that in the rush to survive the crisis, people will shove aside the things that will be the longest lasting, and that is culture and arts."

Elected officials gathered with artists Thursday on Beacon Hill to talk about their role in the state's creative economy.

The annual meeting, called "Artists Under the Dome," is meant to give artists the chance to meet face-to-face with politicians to discuss issues important to them.

State Rep. John Keenan, House Chairman of the Joint Committee of Tourism, Arts and Culture agreed with Dalton's assessment.

"In this budget, it's very difficult, but if we don't have their voices up here explaining it, we wouldn't even have a chance when the budget comes around to actually make our case," Kennan said.

A number of arts agencies and grant programs suffered severe cuts with the last round of state budget cuts, including the Massachusetts Cultural Council, which administers grants to artists.

This program aired on November 20, 2009. The audio for this program is not available.

Andrea Shea Correspondent, Arts & Culture
Andrea Shea is a correspondent for WBUR's arts & culture reporter.



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