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Massachusetts Cultural Council has more funding than usual for artist, organization grants

The Massachusetts Cultural Council is the state's arts organization.
The Massachusetts Cultural Council is the state's arts organization.

When Gov. Charlie Baker signed the new state budget into law last week, the Mass Cultural Council received a near record high allocation.

The main appropriation of $23,377,000 is historic said Mass Cultural Council executive director Michael Bobbitt, even factoring in inflation.

The 9.4 % increase will allow the MCC to do more for organizations and allow the agency to hire more people, providing more assistance with grants, Bobbitt said.

There's so much post pandemic recovery work ahead, he added, and the available grant money this year is actually much higher, nearing $100 million.

“That’s $23 million from the state appropriation, $10 million from the capital bond budget, $60 million from pandemic relief funds and we do get two percent of tax money from the casinos, and we estimate we'll get about $5 million from that,” Bobbitt said.

All told, Bobbitt said, the organization will have almost three times what it usually has available for artists and arts organizations.

Jill Kaufman has been a reporter and host at NEPM since 2005. Before that she spent 10 years at WBUR in Boston, producing "The Connection" with Christopher Lydon and on "Morning Edition" reporting and hosting. She's also hosted NHPR's daily talk show "The Exhange" and was an editor at PRX's "The World."