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Please see the information below about two critical pieces of upcoming MA legislation.  It is very important that you act today and contact your state senator or house member.  It only takes 2 minutes to place a phone call and speak with a legislative staff person (a very effective way to communicate your point of view).  Please read on!
Pass the Creative Challenge Index!

Senate bill #2345, An Act Relative to Economic Development Reorganization, will be debated this Thursday, April 1 in the MA State Senate. 


The cultural community has the opportunity to advocate for three legislative priorities that have been proposed by amendments from Senator Stan Rosenberg (D-Amherst).


1.      Amendment #50 will establish a "Special Commission to Develop an Index of Creative and Innovative Education in the Commonwealth," also known as the Creative Challenge Index. This amendment does NOT require new or increased spending.  The Creative Challenge Index will enhance creativity by establishing incentive for schools to implement the core curriculum frameworks that support creative thinking, especially in and through the arts.  The Creative Challenge Index will provide a measurement to hold our schools accountable for this valuable 21st century skill beyond MCAS-only testing.  The Creative Challenge Index has been reported out favorably by the Joint Committee on Education.


2.      Amendment #87 will give cities the power to establish cultural districts to enhance the creation of art and to create new tourist destinations


3.      Amendment #51 will create a disaster aid fund for artists.


Please call, e-mail or write your State Senator right away to support these three amendments.  To find your State Senator click here.  You can find his/her e-mail address at the State House by clicking here.


To call your state senator, please dial 617-722-2000, select operator and ask for your state senator by name.


The debate begins Thursday, April 1, so we have ONE DAY to make our voices heard.

Save our Performing Arts Centers!
Need 500-seat limit on Casino Venues

Contact your state representative to ask him/her to support a 500-seat limitation on casino entertainment venues.

Sometime in the next one-two weeks, the Massachusetts House of Representatives will debate the new casino gambling bill which will authorize resort casinos. The proposed resort casinos plan to build 2500 seat entertainment venues that will snatch headline performers, concerts and even Broadway shows away from existing theaters.  Arts|Learning does not take a stand on whether or not to support casino gambling; the issue regarding entertainment venues, however, is concerning.

Resort casinos use entertainment to draw people to the slot machines.  Consequently, they undercut ticket prices and lock up the best acts by paying premium prices.  Often times they require exclusivity contracts forbidding the entertainers to perform elsewhere in the state within a 150 mile radius.

The downtown performing arts centers strengthen our communities.  These theaters draw people to their communities and provide the customer base for restaurants.  Historic theaters like the Hanover Theatre, Worcester; Lowell Memorial Auditorium; Springfield City Stage; Colonial Theater, Pittsfield; Citi Center, Boston; and many more across Massachusetts are the anchors for downtown revitalization.


Now is the time to raise your voice to save the downtown theaters!

You can find your legislator at this link.


Whether you support gambling or not, ask for a level playing field!   Act now to save our performing arts centers and protect our downtowns!

For more information about this legislation, please contact us.

Jonathan C. Rappaport, Executive Director
Arts|Learning, Inc.