Arts + Policy

Arts + Policy


Cambridge arts groups seek city COVID relief funds

Cambridge arts groups seek city COVID relief funds

Organizations say they are in danger of closing permanently

BEFORE THE PANDEMIC, Improv Boston averaged about 2,000 patrons a week who watched its comedy shows and participated in acting classes at its Central Square location. Now, almost six months after it closed in compliance with state coronavirus rules, the nonprofit improvisational theater is asking the city of Cambridge for help. “Due to necessary public(...)

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Will the shows go on in Pittsfield?

Will the shows go on in Pittsfield?

Stage productions seek exemption from outdoor gathering limits

THE OLD ADAGE that the show must go on is facing a real test out in the Berkshires. The story begins in mid-March, when the coronavirus shut down the stage lights on Broadway and plunged regional theaters across the country into darkness. Actors’ Equity, which represents 51,000 actors and stage managers nationwide, barred its members(...)

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This is the wrong time to cut arts education

This is the wrong time to cut arts education

Schools should not be focused just on tested subjects

IN TIMES of great financial strain and uncertainty, arts education is often the first thing cut from the school curriculum. Indeed, several school districts across the Commonwealth have already laid off teachers and arts educators in the face of expected budget cuts and an unpredictable fall. Some districts may be anticipating a stricter focus on(...)

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Feb 18, 2020

Pandemic devastating to arts and culture sector

Will take years to recover, lawmakers are told

STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE THE ARTS AND culture sector, a major piece of the Massachusetts economy, will need hundreds of millions of dollars and multiple years to recover from the impacts of the COVID-19 crisis, according to testimony delivered to state senators on Wednesday. Senators have been holding a series of listening sessions to gauge(...)

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Italian-American pride means goodbye, Columbus

Italian-American pride means goodbye, Columbus

Let's honor ancestors worthy of recognition

I’VE BEEN THINKING a lot about Christopher Columbus lately. That wasn’t always the case. Growing up an Italian-American kid, in an Italian-American town in New Jersey, we had summer feasts celebrating our Italian pride—but Columbus never entered my mind much, beyond the day off from school. When I had my own children and began raising(...)

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Art for everyone's sake

Art for everyone’s sake

Without financial relief, the arts will become inaccessible to all but a few

DYSTOPIAN STORYTELLING IMAGINES time and place without light, color, and life—elements that art, music and performance provide. We’ve had a taste of it during these many weeks at home, and it’s changing the world around us. If we’re not careful, these changes could be with us long after the coronavirus is gone. The arts are(...)

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06/10/20

Beheading of Columbus statue prompts discussion

Walsh putting six-foot figure in storage for now

SOMEONE BEHEADED the statue of Christopher Columbus in the North End of Boston Tuesday night, prompting a discussion about what the piece of chiseled Tuscan marble symbolizes. Boston Mayor Marty Walsh condemned the act of vandalism, but said the statue and its head will be kept in storage for the time being. “Given the conversations(...)

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We’ve got to have art

We’ve got to have art

Our cultural organizations need us because we need them

THE IMPACT OF arts and cultural programs on our lives is not easily quantifiable. Whether we are in a museum, concert hall, or any other venue, enjoying art together is much more than a mere source of entertainment. It’s a way for us to collectively experience the human condition. The value that this brings to(...)

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How do arts and culture come back?

How do arts and culture come back?

It won’t be easy, and it will be expensive

SINCE GOV. CHARLIE BAKER’S first emergency order was issued and social distancing was implemented, many local news outlets have provided excellent and thorough coverage of the economic impacts of COVID-19 on cultural organizations in Massachusetts. Our own research at the Mass Cultural Council puts numbers behind the stories: more than $264 million in lost revenue and(...)

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Aquarium, zoo, and museums appeal for federal aid

Aquarium, zoo, and museums appeal for federal aid

Ask delegation to press for huge bump in funding

TOP OFFICIALS at six of the Boston area’s top cultural attractions said on Tuesday that their survival and the survival of other institutions like them depends on a huge increase in federal aid to the nonprofit sector. In a letter to the Massachusetts congressional delegation, the leaders of the New England Aquarium, the Boston Children’s(...)

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