Photo of a bronze sculpture of a mother duckling with eight ducklings trailing behind her on a sidewalk in Boston Commons.
The sculpture by Nancy Schön, celebrating the Robert McCloskey's children's classic, "Make Way for Ducklings;" photo by Marcio, via

Mass Cultural Council Seeks Public Input on Cultural Sector COVID Relief

Commonwealth’s ARPA Spending Plan includes $60M to aid artists and cultural organizations in pandemic recovery; Stakeholders can offer comments during virtual Public Input Session on January 24 or submit written comments through February 7

The sculpture by Nancy Schön, celebrating the Robert McCloskey's children's classic, "Make Way for Ducklings;" photo by Marcio, via

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Boston – Mass Cultural Council, the independent state agency charged with supporting the Commonwealth’s cultural sector will convene a virtual Public Input Session on Monday, January 24, 2022from 4pm to 6pm, to solicit public comment on how the $60 million in the state’s ARPA spending plan to aid artists and cultural organizations with pandemic recovery should be utilized and invested.
Mass Cultural Council is seeking feedback from all stakeholders to determine what types of assistance programs are considered most helpful or necessary by artists and cultural organizations. Those who prefer to submit written comments can do so until 5:00pm on Monday, February 7, 2022.
Under the law, Mass Cultural Council must administer grant programs to help artists and cultural organizations with pandemic recovery and to operate more efficiently. Mass Cultural Council has $60 million to award, and, is directed to both “consider racial, geographic and programmatic diversity and equity within the cultural sector when establishing grant criteria” and “consider and prioritize those applicants with the largest demonstrated economic need as a result of the 2019 novel coronavirus pandemic, and the applicant’s demonstrated economic impact in terms of job creation and tourism generated.” 
The Legislature’s direction to “consider racial, geographic, and programmatic diversity and equity within the cultural sector“ when developing these relief programs mirrors Mass Cultural Council’s own equity and access goals, which are outlined in the Agency’s Race Equity Plan. Mass Cultural Council hopes all stakeholders, especially individuals who identify as, and organizations who serve BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) communities, under-resourced rural communities, and Gateway Cities will engage in this process and share feedback. 
As outlined by Mass Cultural Council’s Access Policy, language translation assistance is available and can be requested through Equity & Inclusion Program Officer Cheyenne Cohn-Postell.   
The virtual public input session will be conducted via Zoom and co-chaired by Michael J. Bobbitt, Executive Director and Jo-Ann Davis, Chair of the governing Council’s Grants Committee. Members of the Agency’s Governing Council and staff will be in attendance to listen to stakeholder testimony.
Those wishing to comment will be asked by the Co-Chairs to “raise their hands” using the Zoom feature and will be called in order. Comments should be limited to three-minutes during the forum, however, there is no limit to the length of written comments and those who present may follow up in writing. 
Written comments will be accepted until 5:00pm on Monday, February 7, 2022. Stakeholders may register their thoughts online.
WHAT: Mass Cultural Council Public Input Session on Cultural Sector COVID Relief

WHO: Michael J. Bobbitt, Executive Director, Mass Cultural Council; Jo-Ann Davis, Chair, Governing Council Grants Committee; Members of the Agency’s Governing Council; Members of Mass Cultural Council Staff

WHEN: Monday, January 24, 2022, from 4pm to 6pm
PRESS: This session is open to the public and the press.


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