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Boston Mayor Thomas Menino promotes his arts policies

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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.

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About Author

Matthew Nash is the founder of Big Red & Shiny. He is Associate Professor of Photography and New Media at the Art Institute of Boston at Lesley University and was the 2011-12 Chair of the University Faculty Assembly. Nash is half of the artist collaborative Harvey Loves Harvey, who are currently represented by Gallery Kayafas in Boston and have exhibited in numerous venues since 1992.

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