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November

Central Mass. advocates for art recognized on Beacon Hill

By Kaitlin Milliken Boston University Statehouse Program

Telegram & Gazette

 Nov 10, 2017

 

BOSTON – Each year artists gather under Beacon Hill’s Golden Dome to meet with their state lawmakers and advocate for bills that support the creative economy.

For this legislative session, Rep. Chris Walsh, a Democrat from Framingham, sponsored nearly half of the bills on their agenda. That helped make Mr. Walsh one of two Central Massachusetts government employees recognized by the Massachusetts Artist Leaders Coalition for his work in supporting arts initiatives across the state.

Mr. Walsh is the first architect to serve in the Legislature since the late 1800s and one of the few members of either branch to come from an arts background. State Treasurer Deborah Goldberg has called him a “valiant warrior for the arts,” sponsoring a total of seven bills in relation to the creative sector.

“The creative economy in essence is really built around artists, and it’s a huge amount of money,” Mr. Walsh said. Art “imparts value to everything around it,” he said.

Mr. Walsh said that while artists make sizeable contributions to society, they have fewer support systems than other types of workers. One proposal seeks to increase this support through an emergency aid for artists across the state…

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