Mass. House reverses Cultural Council cuts, Senate to act next

This month, the state Senate is expected to pass its version of the state budget for fiscal year 2014 and advocates for arts spending, a key component of creative placemaking, are hoping to increase spending for the Massachusetts Cultural Council.

The MCC budget was originally cut by 15 percent by the House Ways and Means Committee, but the full House voted late last month to increase MCC funding by $1.6 million in the next fiscal year, which begins on July 1.

From the MCC:

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.

                    – Robert David Sullivan

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