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Mayor Walsh asks for help in advocating for dedicated arts and culture funding

Dear Friend,

I wanted to make sure you saw the op-ed in Monday’s Globe by Emerson College President Lee Pelton and Martha Sheridan, the new president of the Greater Boston Convention and Visitors Bureau. In it, Lee and Martha mentioned a bill we proposed, filed by Chairman Michlewitz and Senator Collins, that would establish a commission to explore dedicated funding for tourism, arts and culture, and workforce development in the hospitality and creative industries.

Martha and Lee laid out a strong case for the strength of the tourism industry in Massachusetts, and for the inextricable ties it has to arts and culture. Just last week, the National Endowment for the Arts and the Bureau of Economic Analysis released a report stating that arts and culture generate 4.2% of the GDP. That’s more than transportation or agriculture – sectors that enjoy a range of subsidies.

In Massachusetts, tourism is our third largest industry, and while we like to think of Boston as the beating heart of that sector, I know that mayors from Salem, Cape Cod, the Berkshires, the South Coast, and all over the state would agree that investment in tourism is good for the Massachusetts economy.

Here in Boston, we have increased our investment in the arts, expanding grants to small organizations, embedding artists in city departments, and instituting a “Percent for Art” program, which invests 1% of our capital borrowing in public art in and around municipal buildings. We are currently working on projects in Jamaica Plain, East Boston, and Roxbury. We are working with Emerson College and Massachusetts College of Art and Design on a creative industries workforce study that will help us to create pathways to good jobs in design, arts administration, education, and media.

But cities and towns need more resources, and we are asking that the Commonwealth assemble a panel of experts to think about how we measure up to other states, and to identify ways that we can do more.

How can you help?

First, you can call your representative and ask her or him to support H.2943, and call your senator to ask for support for S.2021. Then, you can forward this note to your friends across the Commonwealth, and ask them to do the same.

We know that investment in tourism and arts and culture will pay dividends for decades to come. Please join us in asking the legislature to start this important conversation.

Sincerely,

Martin J. Walsh

Dear Friend,

I wanted to make sure you saw the op-ed in Monday’s Globe by Emerson College President Lee Pelton and Martha Sheridan, the new president of the Greater Boston Convention and Visitors Bureau. In it, Lee and Martha mentioned a bill we proposed, filed by Chairman Michlewitz and Senator Collins, that would establish a commission to explore dedicated funding for tourism, arts and culture, and workforce development in the hospitality and creative industries.

Martha and Lee laid out a strong case for the strength of the tourism industry in Massachusetts, and for the inextricable ties it has to arts and culture. Just last week, the National Endowment for the Arts and the Bureau of Economic Analysis released a report stating that arts and culture generate 4.2% of the GDP. That’s more than transportation or agriculture – sectors that enjoy a range of subsidies.

In Massachusetts, tourism is our third largest industry, and while we like to think of Boston as the beating heart of that sector, I know that mayors from Salem, Cape Cod, the Berkshires, the South Coast, and all over the state would agree that investment in tourism is good for the Massachusetts economy.

Here in Boston, we have increased our investment in the arts, expanding grants to small organizations, embedding artists in city departments, and instituting a “Percent for Art” program, which invests 1% of our capital borrowing in public art in and around municipal buildings. We are currently working on projects in Jamaica Plain, East Boston, and Roxbury. We are working with Emerson College and Massachusetts College of Art and Design on a creative industries workforce study that will help us to create pathways to good jobs in design, arts administration, education, and media.

But cities and towns need more resources, and we are asking that the Commonwealth assemble a panel of experts to think about how we measure up to other states, and to identify ways that we can do more.

How can you help?

First, you can call your representative and ask her or him to support H.2943, and call your senator to ask for support for S.2021. Then, you can forward this note to your friends across the Commonwealth, and ask them to do the same.

We know that investment in tourism and arts and culture will pay dividends for decades to come. Please join us in asking the legislature to start this important conversation.

Sincerely,

Martin J. Walsh

leverton

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