BOSTON- On Sunday, July 31st, Senator Lesser voted to restore funding to the Massachusetts Cultural Council that had been vetoed by Governor Baker. The veto override restored $7.7 million in funding to the organization.
“This funding allows the Massachusetts Cultural Council to continue their crucial programming, including the Community Music School of Springfield, support for Springfield’s new cultural district, and arts and music programming for thousands of school-aged kids,” said Senator Lesser. “Cultural development is economic development. I’m grateful to the 21 senators and 106 representatives that signed our letter of support for this override.”
Senator Lesser, alongside Senator Wolf and Representatives Pignatelli and Atkins, circulated a letter of support for the override after the Governor vetoed the funding. The letter stated, “From Boston to the Berkshires, from Cape Ann to Cape Cod, our state boasts an array of exceptional cultural organizations, beautiful and distinctive communities, and thousands of talented artists and educators. The MCC nurtures the creative life of Massachusetts. It is imperative that we continue to provide the Massachusetts Cultural Council with the necessary resources to continue the great work it does in the Commonwealth.”
Some of the beneficiaries of Cultural Council grants are small non-profits. Others are major museums and cultural organizations. In Western Massachusetts, the Cultural Council helps fund the Springfield Symphony, the Springfield Museums, Community Music School of Springfield, Drama Studio, Inc, the Performance Project, Springfield City Library, local cultural councils, school programming at elementary, middle and high schools, and more.
Senator Lesser is co-chair of the Committee on Tourism, Arts and Culture. He published an op-ed on the importance of the economic importance of tourism, arts and culture last summer.