While I still haven't heard back from Mayor Thomas Menino's campaign regarding my questions about their arts policies that I sent a few days back, today I did receive a mass email from John Crowley of the Mayor's Office of Arts, Tourism and Special Events touting Menino's record. Menino is the longest-serving Mayor in Boston history, and is challenged by Sam Yoon, Kevin McCrea and Michael Flaherty in the upcoming election.
From Crowley's email:
As both a City Councilor and Mayor, Thomas M. Menino has championed the cultural community in Boston. Below are just some of the highlights of his long career in supporting this important sector:
· Gospel Fest, launched in 2000, features local emerging groups, as well as nationally known artists such as Byron Cage and Ms. Dottie Peoples.
· Ähts: The Boston Arts Festival has presented the work of more than 70-juried visual artists, as well as a range of performing arts groups, each year since 2003.
· The Hip-Hop Festival, one of New England’s largest free hip-hop events, has drawn headliners since its inception in 2003.
· The Waterfront Performing Arts Series is a weekly free performing arts showcase in July and August, which was re-launched in 2004.
· In 2008, the Mayor launched the first inaugural Caliente!: A celebration of Latin Culture to engage Boston’s growing Latin community.
· In 2008, Mayor Menino introduced Sam Cornish as Boston’s first Poet Laureate. The Poet Laureate program was instituted to increase the role that poetry plays in the everyday life of Boston residents.
· The Boston Cultural Council has distributed $100,000 - $300,000 in grant funding to Boston arts organization every year since 1999.
As always, Big RED & Shiny does not support any particular candidate for office, and encourages everyone to look closely at all policies of the candidates, including their arts policies, when choosing a mayor.