This morning’s Arts & Culture Hearing at the Boston Public Library was a great event. More than 60 people testifed, myself included. Our friends at Howlround were livestreaming it, and have created an archive as well as storifying of the tweets. Friends, #BosArts was a trending topic on Twitter. The room was packed. Ideas were flowing.
The transition team is meeting today, and a few more times, compiling their recommendations. Weren’t able to be there this morning? You can still submit your ideas here. We will keep you posted on their progress and their report when it is released. And let’s remember, all of us have a role in the success of this administration, so stay involved.
Rather than a laundry list, I decided to focus my testimony (we only had 2 minutes) on a dedicated funding stream for the arts. I have included my testimony here:
Good morning. My name is Julie Hennrikus, and I am the executive director of StageSource, the arts service organization for the theater community, with a membership comprised of both individuals and organizations. We are proud to have our office in the Midway Studios building, where we share a space with the Arts & Business Council and MASSCreative. There is much to celebrate in the Boston arts community. Just looking at the theater sector, on any given night there are dozens of performances throughout the city. There is a depth, a breadth that raises our entire community. But much of this vibrancy has been on the backs of small and fringe companies, and individual artists. This has to change. I am here to encourage the Walsh administration to explore dedicated funding streams for the arts, and to codify them so that they are dependable for future generations. Other cities have created these streams, upon which are built services, grants, subsidies, and infrastructure. This funding also supports initiatives around public art. Let us explore ways to not only feed, but to nourish the grassroots of the arts community. We know that the economic impact of the arts is great for Boston. Let’s make sure that impact supports the people making the art, and the small organizations struggling in this difficult funding environment.