Boston has a new Mayor, Martin "Marty" Walsh. His transition team held a hearing this morning on arts and culture. He was the first candidate to propose a cabinet level position for the arts, so the Boston arts' community is very excited to see the changes that will happen.
If you're interested in watching the archived hearing, take a look here. Also take a look at #bosarts conversation on Twitter.
The hearing included "testimony" that was actually live performance. So cool! Many people were "watching" and #bosarts became a US trending topic.
One of the highlights was seeing Joyce Kulhawik, an hour into the meeting. She is a true Boston icon for arts coverage. Below are some takeaways from the hearing based on my going back and looking at some of the Tweets.
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Artists need a living wage. No more free labor.
A dedicated and codified funding stream is needed.
Funding needs to be for startup organizations too. Not just established organizations.
Boston needs more housing for artists and more spaces for art to happen.
Boston Public Library branches are closed on the weekends in the summer and need to be funded, so they can remain open.
Artists with disabilities should be part of the planning process. Accessibility should not be an afterthought.
There are many blank walls in Boston that could be filled with murals.
There needs to be permanent space for temporary art.
Not all empty industrial space should become high-end loft housing.
More and bigger public art is wanted in all parts of Boston.
Not many people of color were in attendance at the hearing. Possible reasons are segregation, access, knowledge.
Artists are entrepreneurs who grow the economy and attract tourists.
Lets move from STEM to STEAM and not forget art. A powerful quote from the hearing was, "Young people destroy things because they are not invited to create."
Shine a light on Boston arts, not just sports. Two regional theaters won Tony Awards in the same season. Where was their duck boat parade?
Two kids asked for a library in Chinatown, both for resources and for a space to show art.
Imagine the change if Boston companies spent 10% of what they spend on sports sponsorships on the arts.
A streamlined permitting process is needed.
Many Boston artists go to Cambridge or Somerville, where they feel more supported. Boston needs to make artists more welcome so they will stay.
Getting the word out about what is happening in Boston is a huge need. Joyce Kulhawik is ready to take on the job! She says the new slogan for Boston needs to be, "Boston's got it! Come here!"
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This is not everything, but what I can cover right now. I'm excited to see what will come out of this hearing. Now to see what's next....
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