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May 9, 2013

Thanks to lawmakers fighting to save money for the arts

Thanks to lawmakers fighting to save money for the arts

To the editor:

The Greater Haverhill Chamber of Commerce and its partner, Creative Haverhill, heartily applaud state Rep. Brian Dempsey and the House of Representatives for recommending additional budget support for the MA Cultural Council (MCC). The state’s House of Representatives reversed a proposed cut to arts and cultural funding by voting to increase MCC’s budget by $1.6 million in the coming fiscal year.

It was a victory for Haverhill advocates of state support for the arts, humanities and sciences. We are especially encouraged because the MCC’s prestigious Adams Arts grant program for economic development helps to support Creative Haverhill’s mission. Creative Haverhill exists to support a local, creative workforce by providing jobs, promotion and programming. Increased funding would set state cultural funding at slightly more than $11 million for fiscal year 2014, a significant step toward restoring funds that were lost through budget cuts over the past decade.

In recent weeks, more than 100 state representatives signed onto an amendment to restore MCC funding. Rep. Cory Atkins of Concord, House chair of the Joint Committee on Tourism, Arts, and Cultural Development, authored the amendment and led the effort to enlist cosponsors for it. The strong statewide support for this effort reflected vigorous advocacy from a coalition led by MASSCreative in coordination with MCC, Mass Humanities, Creative Haverhill and the Haverhill Cultural Council.

We thank House Ways & Means Chairman Brian Dempsey, along with Atkins and House Speaker Robert DeLeo, for their support of MCC funding that provides jobs for Haverhill’s creative workforce and cultural programming for its residents and visitors.

We also thank the many creative businesses, cultural and civic organizations, as well as the City of Haverhill, our loyal sponsors, the Chamber’s Board of Directors and its members for establishing Creative Haverhill as the central resource for arts, culture and recreation. Haverhill’s renewed vigor is enriched with MCC funding for programming like Make Some Noise with the Haverhill Cultural Council, the Essex Street Gateway Mural with Team Haverhill, and Public and Private Passions with Haverhill Community Television.

We look forward to serving our community together for years to come, with the help of increased funding for the MA Cultural Council, the state’s arts agency.

Sven Amirian

President, Greater Haverhill Chamber of Commerce

David Zoffoli

Coordinator for arts & culture, Greater Haverhill Chamber of Commerce/Creative Haverhill

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