Arts + Policy

Arts + Policy


It's time to end gun violence – on movie sets 

It’s time to end gun violence – on movie sets 

Massachusetts can lead in ensuring filmmaking safety 

A 16-YEAR-OLD BOY shivers. It’s cold, dimly lit, and windy outside an old, abandoned city warehouse. He should have worn more than his thin hooded sweatshirt. He pulls the hood tight against the cold. Car headlights approach. Hand in a pocket, he steps out from the shadows. The car stops, the window lowers. The boy(...)

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Mass. recovers Hamilton letter from 1780

Mass. recovers Hamilton letter from 1780

Lafayette correspondence disappeared from state archives by 1950s

ON JULY 21, 1780, Alexander Hamilton wrote a letter to the Marquis de Lafayette warning of imminent danger to French troops in Rhode Island.  “We have just received advice from New York through different channels that the enemy are making an embarkation with which they menace the French fleet and army,” Hamilton wrote in a letter(...)

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We can't afford to take arts sector for granted

We can’t afford to take arts sector for granted

Cultural activities deserve their share of federal ARPA funding

JOCKEYING FOR HOW to disburse the more than $5 billion in federal funds coming to Massachusetts via the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) has been underway for months. From health care to climate change mitigation to housing, Massachusetts lawmakers could likely find worthy ways to spend the money five times over. Reflecting this reality, debate(...)

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A new way to commission public art

A new way to commission public art

Lynnstallation prioritizes public input, artistic support

MOST MASSACHUSETTS communities use the same process to commission public art as they do to pave a sidewalk or hire a streetsweeper. They put out a call for contractors, review the bids that come in, and select one, typically the cheapest one. There is little or no public input into the process. Lynn, with the(...)

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Long-awaited arts funding finally arriving

Long-awaited arts funding finally arriving

Mass. nets $100m so far; Boston Symphony receives $10m

MASSACHUSETTS ARTS appear to be big beneficiaries of $16 billion in federal relief aid that is finally starting to be released after a delayed start and an arduous review process. According to federal data on the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant program, 123 Massachusetts arts organizations have received more than $100 million so far, the seventh-highest(...)

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Mariano scores big victory on film tax credit

Mariano scores big victory on film tax credit

Tax break now permanent; no salary cap included

HOUSE SPEAKER Ron Mariano won a major victory in budget negotiations with the Senate as the January 2023 sunset date for the state’s film tax credit was eliminated and all the major financial incentives associated with the credit were retained. The one concession the House made to the Senate was acceptance of a provision requiring(...)

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Boch Center getting back on its feet

Boch Center getting back on its feet

Federal aid finally arrives, helping with reopening

MASSACHUSETTS’ CULTURAL economy stands among the industries hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. The recent lifting of coronavirus safety restrictions means arts, entertainment, and cultural institutions can finally begin the difficult task of rebuilding audiences. This requires significant financial investments of financial capital and time, but there is hope. After 14-plus months of quarantine and(...)

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Rebuilding the arts sector without a vow of poverty

Rebuilding the arts sector without a vow of poverty

COVID-19 provides opportunity to rethink the way arts are funded

LIKE MANY CREATIVES, Vanessa Calixto works in the arts to fill her heart and in another field to fill her bank account. It’s a tradeoff she accepts to do the work she loves, directing the Worcester-based creative group El Salón. El Salón is a group of organizers and creatives that creates spaces for BIPOC (Black,(...)

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Mass Reboot: The arts sector

Mass Reboot: The arts sector

COVID caused a cultural depression in the state

THE BOCH CENTER and the Dorchester Art Project are arts organizations from very different worlds, but both were hit hard by COVID and are now struggling to find their way back to some sense of normalcy post-pandemic.  The Boch Center, with its massive Wang Theater the setting for major touring theater productions visiting Boston, shut(...)

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Now not the time to hike PILOT payments for arts organizations

Now not the time to hike PILOT payments for arts organizations

The creative economy faces enough challenges already following pandemic devastation

BEFORE THE PANDEMIC, arts nonprofits in Boston were a potent driver of the local economy, supporting at least 45,889 full time jobs, generating over $1.3 billion in spending, and bringing in $34.9 million in local tax revenue annually.  But over the last year, they’ve sustained devastating economic losses. A survey of 314 arts organizations in(...)

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