Arts Foundation of Cape Cod Announces Initiative to Highlight Arts and Culture During Barnstable Town Council Elections
HYANNIS, September 7, 2017—The Arts Foundation of Cape Cod announced today that it has launched a nonpartisan Create the Vote initiative to raise awareness of the ways that arts and culture improve Barnstable schools, strengthen its local business districts, and build vibrant neighborhoods where people want to live, work, and play.
“There is no better time to talk about the challenges our community faces and how we can meet them than during an election campaign,”said Julie Wake, Executive Director of the Arts Foundation of Cape Cod. “We usually hear a lot from candidates about jobs, education, and public safety. Typically very little is said about arts and culture even though they are so important to the education of our students and the overall health of our community.”
As part of the Create the Vote campaign, the Arts Foundation of Cape Cod will present candidates with a questionnaire about the arts and share their answers. The Create the Vote initiative is one of approximately 35 nonpartisan voter awareness campaigns around the state. Organized by MASSCreative, a statewide arts advocacy group, in partnership with local cultural councils, Create the Vote 17 will raise local awareness about the impact of creative expression and the arts in communities around the state.
“Creative expression and the arts build powerful connections among communities of people and strengthen educational offerings and local economies,” said Matt Wilson, Executive Director of MASSCreative. “Local initiatives, such as library reading programs, outdoor concerts, and cultural districts that encourage residents and visitors alike to patronize local businesses are among the most powerful examples. These programs thrive, and their impact scales dramatically when they enjoy the support of municipal leaders. That’s why it’s so important to talk about these issues with candidates.”
Create the Vote was a significant presence during 2016 legislative races on the Cape and Islands and in the Berkshires and in 2015 mayoral campaigns in Fitchburg, Gloucester, Medford, New Bedford, and Worcester. During the 2014 gubernatorial race, Create the Vote hosted six candidates at the first-ever Gubernatorial Forum on Arts, Culture, and Creativity; met with candidates; and publicized the answers to candidates’ Create the Vote questionnaires. In the 2013 Boston mayoral race, Create the Vote succeeded in securing a pledge from candidate Marty Walsh to create a cabinet level position for the arts, a promise he fulfilled after his election with the hiring of Julie Burros as Chief of Arts and Culture.
A recent analysis by the National League of Cities (NLC), shows that mayors across the country view arts and culture as an important economic driver worthy of investment. NLC’s 2017 State of the Cities report analyzes and catalogs the top issues articulated by U.S. mayors in their annual State of the City speeches. Predictably, economic development topped the list of the mayors’ priorities. Breaking down that issue, NLC noted that arts and culture was one of the top five economic subsets—along with job creation, business attraction, downtown development, and employment—that mayors identified as important or of interest in the growth of their cities.
Follow the campaign on the MASSCreative Website Twitter with the hashtag #CreateTheVote. You can also “like” us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter @MASSCreative, and visit http://www.mass-creative.org/ctv.
Partner Members ~ Create the Vote: Barnstable Town Council
Arts Foundation of Cape Cod
Cahoon Museum of American Art
Cape Cod and Islands Art Educators
Cape Cod Community College – Tilden Arts Center
Cotuit Center for the Arts
Hyannis Business Improvement District
Love Live Local, LLC
The Osterville Historical Museum
Founded in 2012, MASSCreative works to build a more vibrant, healthy, and equitable Massachusetts. MASSCreative works with artists, leaders, supporters, and partners of the arts, cultural, and creative community to advocate for the resources and support necessary for the sector to thrive. Nearly 400 arts and cultural organizations and working artists from across the Commonwealth are members of MASSCreative.
The Arts Foundation of Cape Cod is the regional arts agency for Barnstable County serving all artists, all art forms, and all cultural and historical centers. The AFCC’s mission is to support, promote, and celebrate the arts and culture of Cape Cod in order to sustain a vibrant, diverse, and strong arts community.