Opinion: Making a better case for supporting the cultural sector

Posted on: March 16, 2021

“For as long as I can remember, sports franchises, tech companies, financial services firms, and pharmaceutical outfits have only had to say ‘Jump!’ and the response from elected officials has been an eager chorus of ‘How high?’ ” writes Dan Aucoin in Friday’s (3/12) Boston Globe. “Yet … the arts have seldom enjoyed that kind of ardent solicitude from policymakers in Massachusetts. It’s time that they do…. Cultural nonprofits have lost nearly $590 million in revenue since March 2020…. The year after venues reopen could be filled with jeopardy … because … patrons might still be unwilling to return in sufficient numbers…. Before the pandemic hit, cultural nonprofit organizations supported by the Mass Cultural Council generated $2.3 billion in economic activity across Massachusetts.… More than 21 million people attend cultural events each year in Greater Boston—which is four times the combined annual attendance at Red Sox, Patriots, Celtics, and Bruins games…. The restaurant industry has been quite skillful at keeping its need for assistance in the public spotlight throughout the pandemic…. The cultural sector overall needs to do a better job of telling its own story…. To the question ‘Are the arts worth fighting for?’ … will our answer be ‘Yes’? Or ‘No’?”