Thursday, May 14, 2009

Senate Panel Proposes 57% funding cut to the Massachusetts Cultural Council

News of interest from the MCC email list.

Senate Panel Proposes 57 Percent Cut to Cultural Funding Through MCC

(Boston, MA) The Senate Ways & Means Committee today released its version of the Massachusetts state budget. Its plan calls for an appropriation of $5.39 million for the Massachusetts Cultural Council (MCC) - a proposed cut of 57%.
The Committee's budget plan for fiscal 2010 would cut MCC's appropriation to $5.39 million from its current $12.65 million. That would reduce funding for MCC and its grants to organizations, local cultural councils, education programs, and artists to 1992 levels.
"The Senate Ways & Means proposal would cause more pain to a cultural sector that is already reeling from the loss of jobs and income," said Anita Walker, MCC's Executive Director. "Nevertheless, it is one step in the budget process. We must continue to make the case for why state investment in this sector is critical to the economic future of our state and the quality of our communities."The Senate Ways & Means budget reflects a continued sharp deterioration of state revenues. The Senate used a consensus revenue figure of $17.9 billion - $1.4 billion less than the one that the House used in April.Starting next week the full Senate will debate the Ways and Means Committee's proposal. That debate is likely to include amendments to add revenue and spending.The Senate budget must then be reconciled with the House spending plan, which proposed cutting MCC's budget by 10 percent after an amendment to restore some MCC funding failed to pass.The budget is then sent to the Governor, who can sign it or veto sections. The fiscal year starts July 1.

About the Massachusetts Cultural Council The Massachusetts Cultural Council is a state agency that promotes excellence, access, education and diversity in the arts, humanities and interpretive sciences, in order to improve the quality of life for all Massachusetts residents and contribute to the economic vitality of our communities.The MCC is committed to building a central place for arts and culture in the everyday lives of communities across the Commonwealth. The Council pursues this mission through a combination of grants, services, and advocacy for cultural organizations, schools, communities, and artists.

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Alicia Hunsicker's art is undeniably beautiful. She is an expert at extracting the highly-detailed textures and fibers of the human body, bringing them from darkness, into the light, with a technical precision that rivals any modern-day master.
David Aquino, Brattleboro Reformer