Arts + Policy

Arts + Policy


DCR ghosts artist group in Hull

DCR ghosts artist group in Hull

Local artists seek to convert empty state building into arts center

A FEW YEARS AGO, the state Department of Conservation and Recreation put an early 1900s dilapidated, long-vacant building it owns across from Nantasket Beach in Hull out to bid for renovation and repurposing. The agency got no bids. Now a group called Hull Artists wants to come to the rescue, telling DCR that they would(...)

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High school junior wows Lawrence crowd

High school junior wows Lawrence crowd

Baker calls performance ‘very, very special’

ALLISON CASTILLO, a junior at Methuen High School, got the call on New Year’s Eve. The singer that Lawrence City Clerk Diane LeBlanc had lined up to sing “God Bless America” at Monday night’s inauguration of city councilors and school committee members couldn’t make it. A possible stand-in also said she wasn’t available. LeBlanc heard(...)

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Michael Rodrigues takes up cause of restoring Azorean Jewish heritage

Michael Rodrigues takes up cause of restoring Azorean Jewish heritage

Catholic politician helped restoration of abandoned synagogue 

PICTURES OF THE old synagogue show a decrepit building with peeling paint, broken furniture, and rotting wood. Prayer books were ripped. There were water leaks, vermin, and structural damage. It looked like what it was – a house of worship abandoned for more than 40 years, built to serve a community that no longer existed. (...)

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Earmark process in ARPA bill undermines racial equity goals

Earmark process in ARPA bill undermines racial equity goals

Arts funding steers $88 million to local projects pushed by lawmakers   

THE RECENTLY PASSED $4 billion state spending bill appears generous to the arts and culture sector, particularly groups with ties to communities of color. It includes $135 million to help the arts community recover from the COVID pandemic, with explicit instructions that the Massachusetts Cultural Council, the state arts agency, “shall consider racial, geographic and(...)

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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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