WHAT IS ARTS ADVOCACY?
According to Miriam-Webster, the definition of advocacy is “the act or process of supporting a cause or proposal.” So, if we’re talking about supporting the arts — and in Massachusetts — then there’s a handful of folks pursuing various kinds of arts advocacy. Sometimes the cause is more funding for the arts, other times it’s about fair pay for artists. Now it’s for protecting cultural spaces.
WHO’S DOING WHAT: NATIONALLY, REGIONALLY, LOCALLY
Nationally, Americans for the Arts holds the top arts advocacy position. In Massachusetts, we have MassCreative, whose primary job is to advocate for increased funding for the Massachusetts Cultural Council.
The MCC offers grants, services and professional development resources. It also advocates for the arts, along with other organizations including Mass Humanities, the Arts & Business Council of Greater Boston, ArtsBoston, Massachusetts ArtsLeadersCoalition(MALC),GreaterBostonMusician’sRelief Fund, the National Independent Venues Association (NIVA), and the newly-formed #ARTSTAYSHERE Coalition, whose primary mission is to preserve current cultural spaces and to prevent arts/ music/cultural displacement across Greater Boston.
#ARTSTAYSHERE was born out of the preservation work at Humphreys Street Studios in Dorchester, which is now majority artist-owned/operated, as affordable workspaces in perpetuity. We are a volunteer organization made up of artists, musicians, advocates and administrators, joined together to stop the culture crisis of dozens of cultural spaces lost in our region.