By Alex Venancio, Cat Trudell, Deborah Cardoso
A crowd gathered at Emerson College's Paramount Center in downtown Boston on Tuesday, to rally in support for art funding in Massachusetts. MASSCreative, an organization that aims to bring awareness to the arts, organized the Arts Matter Advocacy Day. They organized the event at the theatre, before marching to the State House to ask legislators to increase the state's proposed arts budget.
"We're fighting battles, as so many people are, on the federal level," said Catherine Peterson, Executive Director at ArtsBoston. "With the president completely cutting out Arts support on the federal level, it makes our state funding all the more important."
In January, Governor Charlie Baker proposed $14 million in state funding to arts and culture for 2018. With the looming federal cuts, art advocates don't think it's enough. MassCreative organized the "Arts Matter Advocacy Day" event so that community members could speak directly with their elected officials. They went door to door in the State House, asking their senators and representatives for a $2 million increase to make it a total of $16 million state dollars for the arts.
"I hope that we can be loud, and we can be seen, and we can talk to our legislators," said Jeff Freeman, the Development Director at Double Edge Theatre in Ashfield. "Also, it's great that we're all in one room, lets make this energy resonate beyond today."