On Tuesday, the non-partisan advocacy group, MassCreative hosted a forum in Worcester where all the gubernatorial candidates were invited to attend and talk to arts leaders and advocates about their platforms for supporting the arts in Massachusetts. Most attended, though Republican Charlie Baker neither bothered to show up in person nor send a representative. About 600 arts leaders, participants, and activists were in the audience, and they were both enthusiastic and determined to get some nitty-gritty answers to their questions about arts funding and state support.
MassCreative put together a summary of much of the tweeting that went on at the event here, and I also tweeted a number of the moments that caught my ear (find the whole set @mwinikates). You can also find much of the same material from the evening covered in the candidates’ position surveys here.
Overall, I thought Don Berwick and Martha Coakley both had good and interesting points that got cheers and applause, and Steve Grossman clearly had support in the hall. Falchuk was very focused on affordable housing and cost of living issues, and McCormick had a very business-minded approach to dealing with the arts, while Fisher seemed underprepared and tone-deaf to the concerns and realities of his audience. Here are a few of the evening’s highlights:
(And here I am, catching up with Neil Gordon of the Discovery Museums, my old stomping ground, and Dan Yaeger of NEMA.)
Plugging back in to the theme of the evening, in response to an audience question about how to get the legislature to get behind a gubernatorial arts initiative:
I agree, and I hope that MassCreative keeps up the good work in the time between now and the election (and after!).
Looking for more? There’s another great round-up of the evening’s event over at Dig Boston.