Legislature Urged to Maintain Cultural Facilities Fund

On Monday, July 16th the mayor joined MASSCreative on a campaign to get the legislature to reauthorize the Cultural Facilities Fund for another 5 years. With hundreds of thousands of visitors each year, venues are subject to wear and tear and ever-changing building codes, and require vigilance to make sure they are accessible to all.

Created in 2007 by the legislature, the Cultural Facilities Fund provides grants to restore treasured cultural landmarks and fund visionary capital projects that connect our communities.

The mayor joined other Mayors, Chambers of Commerce, and Arts and Cultural organizations in asking the legislature to increase the Cultural Facilities Fund authorization from $50 million to $75 million.

This increase would in fact help the Huntington Theatre Company Production Center in Everett.

Effective July 1, 2017, the new Huntington Theatre Company Production Center opened at 46 Garden Street and includes 25,000 square feet of production space, 18,000 square feet of storage space, and 4,000 square feet of office space, housing the company’s prop, paint, and scenic shops. The facility features large, open, and flexible work areas and onsite prop, costume, and scenery storage, allowing Huntington staff to produce more complex design work in a more efficient workspace, and to build upon the Huntington’s community mission by expanding production services to other arts organizations and companies.

“I could not be more proud that the Huntington Theatre Company’s production is

in Everett,” says the mayor. Across the Commonwealth, from our world-class facilities to our neighborhood arts centers and community playhouses, arts and culture have connected communities and built a vibrant, thriving economy. Our cultural venues are often the anchor of a neighborhood, making our cities and towns exceptional places to live, work, play, and visit.”

Over the past ten years, the demand for planning and development resources provided by the Cultural Facilities Fund has increased exponentially, outpacing supply. In a 2017 Massachusetts Cultural Council survey, 169 organizations reported $114 million in essential capital projects through 2019. Since its start in 2007, the Cultural Facilities Fund has awarded grants of $110 million to 853 projects across the Commonwealth. These grants benefit organizations of every size and every region of Massachusetts, support individual artists and arts education, and revitalize downtowns.

The arts and cultural organizations behind Cultural Facilities Fund projects employ more than 7,000 workers and generate $1.7 billion in annual economic activity through organizational spending. In addition, these projects have hired over 25,500 architects, engineers, contractors, and construction workers between 2007 and 2017.

More than 16 million people visit organizations receiving these grants annually. For every visitor to our cultural facilities, an additional $27.32 goes to the local economy, including restaurants and local businesses.

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