Stockbridge, MA—The Massachusetts Cultural Council (MCC) and members of the Massachusetts Legislature today announced a $100,000 state investment in the Berkshire Creative Economy Project.
The grant from MCC's Adams Arts Program will help the region leverage its rich array of cultural and artistic assets to stimulate economic growth and job creation. The Berkshire Creative Economy Project focuses on the creative cluster, which includes nonprofit cultural institutions, artists, and commercial businesses that produce and distribute creative products and services. It is part of the Berkshire Blueprint, an economic action plan that encourages and motivates cooperative regional initiative and outlines a clear, well-articulated focus on business priorities for the area.
"Berkshire County is truly a national leader in the creative economy effort," said Anita Walker, MCC Executive Director. "The MCC is proud to support the Berkshire Creative Economy Project in its efforts to foster a robust and vibrant economic cluster of arts, cultural institutions, and the businesses that fuel, support and supply them."
"This is a major vote of confidence in the Berkshire Creative Economy Project," said Representative Daniel Bosley of North Adams, House Chair of the Joint Committee on Economic Development and Emerging Technologies. "I'm delighted to know that the Commonwealth is now an official investor and partner in this unprecedented regional partnership."
"This MCC grant will help us continue to build collaboration between the cultural and traditional business community leaders as we identify growth strategies that will enhance the quality of life across the county," said Senator Benjamin Downing of Pittsfield.
"There is growing awareness of the potential of the creative sector to help fuel our long-term prosperity," added Representative Smitty Pignatelli of Lenox, a member of the Joint Committee on Tourism, Arts, and Cultural Development. "This new investment will help us realize that potential for the benefit of the people who live, work, and visit the Berkshires."
"Art means business in the Berkshires. This was the key finding of the Berkshire Creative Economy Project," noted Laurie Norton Moffatt, co-chair of the Berkshire Creative Economy Project and director/CEO of the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge. "Creativity is a core competency and competitive advantage of a vibrant Berkshire economy that is recognized internationally for its creative brand. We are grateful to our supporters in the Legislature and the MCC for recognizing this sector and investing in it."
About the Massachusetts Cultural Council
The Massachusetts Cultural Council promotes excellence, access, education and diversity in the arts, humanities and interpretive sciences, in order to improve the quality of life for all Massachusetts residents and contribute to the economic vitality of our communities.
MCC is committed to building a central place for arts and culture in the everyday lives of communities across the Commonwealth. The agency pursues this mission through a combination of grants, services, and advocacy for cultural organizations, schools, communities, and artists. MCC receives an annual appropriation from the state of Massachusetts and funds from the National Endowment for the Arts and other sources. See www.massculturalcouncil.org for more information.
The MCC recognizes the pivotal role that creative enterprises play in driving the Massachusetts economy. Tapping into our state’s wealth of cultural assets, the agency supports projects that create jobs and income, revitalize commercial areas, and draw visitors. Its Adams Arts Program inspires innovative, progressive, and systemic approaches to economic development in communities across Massachusetts.