Julie Wake, Sarah Johnson, and Molly Demeulenaere advocating for the arts at the Massachusetts Statehouse in September 2023.

Editorial: Join Us in Advocating for the Arts

H.3241/S.530 and H.3246/S.2190 – this assortment of letters and numbers probably doesn’t mean much to many of you, but they represent substantive change to the arts in the Commonwealth.

This past September, I drove up to Boston with Cahoon Museum of American Art Executive Director Sarah Johnson and Cultural Center of Cape Cod Executive Director Molly Demeulenaere to speak in front of the Joint Committee on Tourism, Arts and Cultural Development in support of these two bills which are currently before the state legislature.

They are among five arts-related bills being considered as part of the current legislative session.

The Creative Space Preservation Act (H.3241/S.530) would create a defined property restriction for creative maker space, performance space, or exhibition space – similar to conservation land and affordable housing preservation restrictions currently in place – which would enable Massachusetts cities and towns to hold assets and property for the creation and preservation of creative spaces as a tool to keep artists in their communities.

The PLACE Act (H.3246/S.2190) would establish the PLACE Fund to be used toward the creation and maintenance of public art projects across Massachusetts with priority given to artists living and working in the Commonwealth. Revenues for the Fund would be raised by allocating a percentage of construction costs on any state-owned property and new public construction projects.

Our day in Boston advocating for these two bills won’t make the front page of any newspapers, but it is critically important to the work we’re doing at the Arts Foundation. It gives a voice to our creative community here on Cape Cod which would be positively impacted if these two measures are passed.

As the region’s arts agency, it is our job to take a leading role in pushing for bills like this which will strengthen the arts by keeping artists on Cape Cod (Creative Space Preservation Act) and providing a much-needed funding mechanism that makes public art projects (PLACE Act) possible.

But we can’t do this work alone. We need your help! It’s simple – all you have to do is use your voice and reach out to your State Representative and State Senator to encourage them to push these bills forward.

Our friends at MASSCreative, the state’s leading arts advocacy organization, have an easy-to-follow page on their website (you can find this here on our website) which details all five priority bills before the legislature; a simple form that allows you to email your legislators asking them to support these initiatives; and additional ways you can take action.

Should you want to get more involved as an advocate for the arts, please reach out to me directly at jwake@artsfoundation.org. Together, let’s work to keep Cape Cod creative, and ensure the cultural vibrancy of this place we call home.

“It is so impressive to see the Arts Foundation of Cape Cod work with other creative leaders across the Cape to make sure their voices are heard.”


– MASSCreative Executive Director Emily Ruddock