Massachusetts Cultural Council Head Pledges New Funding, Focuses on Arts and Culture in Northern Berkshires | Northern Berkshires







ArtsVisit1

From left to right, Olivier Meslay, director of The Clark Art; Michael Bobbitt, executive director of the Mass Culture Council; State representing John Barrett III; and Kristy Edmunds, director of Mass MoCA, discuss how to improve public funding for the arts in the Northern Berkshires at a meeting on Friday.




WILLIAMSTOWN – There is $ 60 million in American Rescue Plan Act funding for the Massachusetts Cultural Council to distribute, and Executive Director Michael Bobbitt is eager to put some in the hands of Berkshire County cultural entities. This was one of the things discussed during Bobbitt’s visit to the Northern Berkshires on Friday. During a discussion at the Clark Art Institute, Bobbitt said that before the money is distributed in the form of grants, there will be regional listening sessions to help them underestimate where the money is. necessary and what it is used for. “I hope to withdraw this money as soon as possible,” he said. Bobbitt was invited to visit the Northern Berkshires, one of the state’s most cultural regions, by State Representative John Barrett III (D-North Adams) because “culture and the arts are the main engines of our economy, so it is important to bring the CMC together with our artistic community. Bobbitt’s first stop on Friday morning was at Mass MoCA, followed by a meeting with officials from the Williamstown Theater Festival at the Williams Inn. His last stop was at the Clark, where he had lunch with a number of representatives of cultural entities from across the region. Were present Olivier Meslay, director of The Clark; Cecelia Hirsch, co-chair of the North Berkshire Cultural Council; Erica Wall, Executive Director of MCLA Arts and Culture; Yina Moore, Founder and Executive Director of the Adams Theater; Kristy Edmunds, director of Mass MoCA; and Jenny Gersten, Acting Artistic Director of the Williamstown Theater Festival, among others.






ArtsVisit2

Olivier Meslay, director of The Clark Art, left, and Michael Bobbitt, executive director of the Mass Cultural Council, discuss how to improve public funding for the arts in the Northern Berkshires during Bobbitt’s trip to the region on Friday.




During the discussion, Barrett noted that culture and the arts are an economic engine, especially in the county of Berkshire. In the Northern Berkshires, the arts industry as a whole is the largest employer. “These are your biggest employers, this is your economy,” he said. “It’s just not understood by most people.” He suggested that more pressure from the arts sector is needed to increase its share of state funding.






ArtsVisit3

Michael Bobbitt, executive director of the Mass Cultural Council, explains how to improve public funding for the arts in the Northern Berkshires during a meeting with representatives of local arts organizations at the Clark Art Institute on Friday.




Wall said a big concern is the lack of support for unpaid artistic interns. They need housing, transportation and other supports to “stay and afford to work.” There is no shortage of artists who want to be here. Bobbitt agreed. “We are not meeting the needs of our individual artists,” he said.






ArtsVisit1

From left to right, Olivier Meslay, director of The Clark Art; Michael Bobbitt, executive director of the Mass Culture Council; State representing John Barrett III; and Kristy Edmunds, director of Mass MoCA, discuss how to improve public funding for the arts in the Northern Berkshires at a meeting on Friday.




WILLIAMSTOWN – There is $ 60 million in American Rescue Plan Act funding for the Massachusetts Cultural Council to distribute, and Executive Director Michael Bobbitt is eager to put some in the hands of Berkshire County cultural entities.

This was one of the things discussed during Bobbitt’s visit to the Northern Berkshires on Friday.

During a discussion at the Clark Art Institute, Bobbitt said that before the money is distributed in the form of grants, there will be regional listening sessions to help them underestimate where the money is. necessary and what it is used for.

“I hope to withdraw this money as soon as possible,” he said.

Bobbitt was invited to visit the Northern Berkshires, one of the state’s most cultural regions, by State Representative John Barrett III (D-North Adams) because “culture and the arts are the main engines of our economy, so it is important to bring the CMC together with our artistic community.

Bobbitt’s first stop on Friday morning was at Mass MoCA, followed by a meeting with officials from the Williamstown Theater Festival at the Williams Inn.

His last stop was at the Clark, where he had lunch with a number of representatives of cultural entities from across the region.

Were present Olivier Meslay, director of The Clark; Cecelia Hirsch, co-chair of the North Berkshire Cultural Council; Erica Wall, Executive Director of MCLA Arts and Culture; Yina Moore, Founder and Executive Director of the Adams Theater; Kristy Edmunds, director of Mass MoCA; and Jenny Gersten, Acting Artistic Director of the Williamstown Theater Festival, among others.






ArtsVisit2

Olivier Meslay, director of The Clark Art, left, and Michael Bobbitt, executive director of the Mass Cultural Council, discuss how to improve public funding for the arts in the Northern Berkshires during Bobbitt’s trip to the region on Friday.




During the discussion, Barrett noted that culture and the arts are an economic engine, especially in the county of Berkshire. In the Northern Berkshires, the arts industry as a whole is the largest employer.

“These are your biggest employers, this is your economy,” he said. “It’s just not understood by most people.”

He suggested that more pressure from the arts sector is needed to increase its share of state funding.






ArtsVisit3

Michael Bobbitt, executive director of the Mass Cultural Council, explains how to improve public funding for the arts in the Northern Berkshires during a meeting with representatives of local arts organizations at the Clark Art Institute on Friday.




Wall said a big concern is the lack of support for unpaid artistic interns. They need housing, transportation and other supports to “stay and afford to work.” There is no shortage of artists who want to be here.

Bobbitt agreed.

“We are not meeting the needs of our individual artists,” he said.


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