Arts + Policy

Arts + Policy


June 11, 2019

Mass Cultural Council weathers Boston Herald storm

Lawmakers boost agency’s funding with minimal restrictions

STATE BUDGET-WRITERS put a gloss of stringency on their handling of the Massachusetts Cultural Council budget, but ultimately imposed few real restrictions on how the council conducts itself aside from new reporting requirements that accompany a hefty raise. The biggest change would be a $2 million increase in the state’s appropriation for the quasi-independent arts(...)

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In Holyoke, arts education takes front seat

In Holyoke, arts education takes front seat

Non-profit helps integrate creativity into the regular curriculum

SIX-YEAR-OLD JUAN patted an inflatable ball as he peered out of his blue-rimmed glasses. Which way to send the ball? What could he knock down? Juan was playing “human bowling” in Kat Lorenzi’s kindergarten class in Holyoke. The objective was to get the ball to bounce off a few of his classmates, and figure out(...)

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June 11, 2019

Arts agency gets reined in by lawmakers – and a raise

Cultural Council sees funding boost, but new restrictions too

NO STATE AGENCY has taken more of a pounding from the press this year over its spending practices than the Massachusetts Cultural Council, but the agency is poised to emerge from the Beacon Hill budget-writing process with its highest appropriation in years, even if that comes with some new restrictions on its spending. How that(...)

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Western Mass. ‘Hilltowns’ look for a foothold

Western Mass. ‘Hilltowns’ look for a foothold

Often overlooked region banks on tourism, arts, and history for revitalization

THE ARRIVAL OF warmer weather means visitors will be flocking to the Berkshires, where a set of towns come to life as summer homes to renowned music and dance enterprises at Tanglewood and Jacob’s Pillow. They add to a year-round arts economy in the region anchored by the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art in North(...)

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Students need new skillset – creativity

Students need new skillset – creativity

Needed to prepare students for an unknowable future

TODAY WE MUST educate children for jobs that don’t yet exist, using technologies that haven’t been invented. The tumultuous change on our planet, in our societies, and in our schools, presents a steep challenge to educators and legislators.  How do we prepare our children for a world not yet imagined?  What skills should schools teach(...)

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Veep’s Massachusetts connection

Veep’s Massachusetts connection

Lesser tries to keep the HBO scripts real

SEN. ERIC LESSER of Longmeadow knows what’s going to happen this season on Veep, but he’s keeping it to himself. Lesser has been working since 2011 as a consultant for the HBO political satire starring Julia Louis-Dreyfus as vice president turned train-wreck-in-chief. Even with a comedy, HBO wants to keep it real, and Lesser was(...)

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Can private sector save the Mohawk?

Can private sector save the Mohawk?

North Adams mayor seeks ideas for reviving theater

LIKE NORTH ADAMS, the community in which it is located, the Mohawk Theater has long been regarded as down and out. But as the town tries to reinvent itself as an arts and tourism destination, the marquee of the shuttered Mohawk, one of the last art-deco style movie houses in the nation, continuously beckons. The(...)

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Creative economy losing some steam

Creative economy losing some steam

Leadership, investment declining in Berkshire County, across state

1BERKSHIRE, Berkshire County’s leading economic development organization, released a strategic report last month called The Berkshire Blueprint 2.0 that, on the surface, seems to provide helpful action steps for supporting the region’s vibrant creative economy. The report’s six “creative cluster” recommendations include collaborations, professional development, and communication tools that connect creative people to resources as(...)

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