First of all, here are two links to where to vote in Massachusetts and to who represents you. Furthermore, here is a PDF document put together by the Arts Action Fund, the nation's leading nonprofit organization for advancing the arts in America, listing the Republican and Democrat candidates' positions on the arts in this election.
In 2009, an artist survey, Stand Up and Be Counted: Massachusetts Artists Report (PDF), was conducted by The Artists Foundation. This is recommended reading since the issues and challenges the surveyed artists identified still ring true. So what can you do to address them?
If you think your voice as an artist doesn't matter, think again. We'd like to draw attention to a Massachusetts-wide initiative led by MALC (the Massachusetts Artists Leaders Coalition) called Artists Under the Dome, an artist-run website made possible by artist volunteers. Launched in October 2007, it was designed to inform Massachusetts-based artists of the State House Artist Working Group's activities and of State-wide efforts and public policy initiatives that may impact their livelihood.
This site acts as a resource and tool for individual artists of all disciplines and strives to follow and inform artists on the State's policy, legislative & regulatory actions. Artists Under the Dome's goal is to empower individual artists to become more engaged with the democratic process and public policy making. We urge Massachusetts artists to join the Artists Under the Dome list-serve to be alerted when they need to take action and use their vote and their voice to have an impact.
STATE HOUSE EVENT, November 8th, 2012
For the sixth consecutive year, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts invites artists of all disciplines to come to the Massachusetts State House, this Thursday 8 November from 10am to 2pm, 24 Beacon Street, Boston (look for the glistening gilded dome), to thank them for all they contribute to the state's economy and quality of life. Massachusetts is the only state in the country to have such an event.
This year's event was organized by the Joint Committee on Tourism, Arts and Cultural Development; The Massachusetts State Treasury; MALC, the Massachusetts Artists Leaders Coalition; the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development; the Joint Committee on Community Development and Small Businesses; the Massachusetts Cultural Council and the State House's Cultural Caucus. See the event schedule here, it is free and open to the public. Register here.
If not able to attend the November 8th event, artists can still participate online and make their opinions count. The link lists helpful tips on how to contact legislators and even lists talking points to assist conversation.
MALC, its meetings and connected working groups are designed to bring together artists leaders of all disciplines and artist-run organizations, initiatives, and businesses around key issues facing Massachusetts artists working in all disciplines. Though participants may have different perspectives on how best to address the issues facing our community, they are all committed to improving the social and economic position of all Massachusetts artists. The overall goal is to empower the artist community, support artist leaders and mentor new artists leaders. MALC's goal is to ensure that artists are at the policy-making table.
If you are interested in joining MALC more information is available here.