Dear Friend of HSTF,
We are writing to ask you to act right now to protect state funding for the Massachusetts Cultural Council (MCC). The Massachusetts House of Representatives proposed a 28% cut to the MCC budget this week. This is a devastatingly high number. See details below.
Cuts to the MCC budget directly impact our ability to serve youth in our arts, academic, and civic engagement programs. At Hyde Square Task Force, we see the impact of state arts funding every day. The arts impact everyone: from a 14-year-old who feels her parents’ financial stress at home but relaxes at HSTF’s salsa dance class to neighbors from different class and race backgrounds who begin as strangers but get to know each other through community programming such as concerts, Zumba, and arts activities.
Every dollar the MCC allocates to programs like HSTF generates a return on investment that goes well beyond the impact on the 1200 youth we serve annually. In Massachusetts, more than 8,000 arts and cultural nonprofits employ nearly 30,000 people, spend over $2 billion annually, and generate another $2.5 billion of economic activity across the state. These numbers dwarf the economic impact of professional sports.
Bay State businesses, colleges, and hospitals cite Massachusetts’ strong arts and cultural sector in their recruiting strategy. For example, here in the Hyde Square/Jackson Square neighborhood of Jamaica Plain, HSTF will provide more than 35 community arts events this summer, which will attract thousands of people from our neighborhood and beyond. We’re also working to strengthen the fabric of the Hyde/Jackson corridor by seeking a formal MCC designation for this neighborhood as Boston’s Latin Quarter.
Arts and culture are key threads in the fabric of Massachusetts. The arts provide joy and nourish the soul. They showcase our diversity. They are not a luxury or a frill. They’re an essential ingredient of a healthy community, economy, and society. Culture Is Our Common Wealth.
Please support MCC today! Contact your legislator using the links below. Tell them to keep prioritizing our youth and our communities by investing in the budget of the MCC. Hyde Square Task Force and countless others depend on the support of organizations like MCC to grow our work to support emerging and established artists in our neighborhood and throughout the city.
Hyde Square Task Force Staff and Board