Senator Dan Wolf
Massachusetts Cape & Islands District
Senator Wolf: $1 million in Cultural Council funding restored

Cape and Islands State Senator Dan Wolf, (D-Harwich), who also serves as co-chair of the Massachusetts Cultural Caucus, reports that the Massachusetts Senate budget has added $1 million over the Senate Ways and Means proposal to fund the Massachusetts Cultural Council (MCC) this coming fiscal year.

The Senate amendment would provide $5,449,866 to the Council, up from $4,449,866. This is the identical funding already approved by the House, and proposed by Governor Deval Patrick.  Even with the increase, it represents a 7-percent cut from last year’s budget.

 “This boost not only is justified, it represents a great grassroots investment in our community,” said Senator Wolf.  “Funding for arts and culture creates jobs, supports some of our most important institutions, and celebrates creativity.  This money ripples through our economy in many positive ways.”

“Arts and culture are critical to every area of the Commonwealth, but many don’t realize how important they are to our economy,” added Senator Eileen Donoghue (D-Lowell), co-Chair of the Joint Committee on Tourism, Arts, and Cultural Development. “This is the third largest industry in our state.  When we can show that every dollar we put toward cultural activity returns five dollars to our coffers, that’s not just a win win, that’s a wise investment.”

The Massachusetts Cultural Council is a state agency that receives an annual appropriation from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Wallace Foundation, and others, as well as from Massachusetts taxpayers via the state Legislature.

In turn, MCC makes thousands of grants to non-profit cultural organizations, schools, communities, and individual artists, a cross-section of citizens in each Massachusetts city and town.

Last year, MCC invested more than $360,000 in grants on the Cape and Islands. According to the New England Foundation for the Arts, organizations who received MCC funding in our region account for more than $64 million in economic impact, and upwards of 930 jobs.