The Importance of Arts Funding: Our CEO on Cityline

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This past Sunday, IBA CEO Vanessa Calderón-Rosado was featured in Channel 5’s award-winning urban news and feature magazine program “City Line,” in a segment focusing on the importance of funding for the arts. She was joined by Anita Walker, Executive Director of the Massachusetts Cultural Council (MCC), of which IBA is a grantee.

Although budget cuts have been proposed for the National Endowment for the Arts, the independent federal agency that provides funding for art programs across the nation, Congress alternatively reached an agreement that led to an increase in funding. Given this conclusion, Anita expressed optimism that arts programs may not experience cuts on the state level, as budget decisions are being made.

MCC has received $21 million in federal funding over the last seven years, which is distributed across the Commonwealth to organizations like IBA. This funding is crucial to arts organizations, youth programs and individual artists. Among many things, the funds support the salaries of the thousands of employees that work in arts across the Commonwealth, which is the third largest industry in Massachusetts. State and federal investment drives additional support from private companies, foundations, and individuals, and helps organizations and artists to continue furthering the creative economy across the state.

Vanessa spoke about the positive impact this funding has had on our arts programs. The support IBA has received allows us to increase the vibrancy of the work throughout the South End, specifically promoting Latino arts and artists. At IBA, we have been able to use the arts as a vehicle to keep youth engaged, express themselves creatively, and think about the social issues affecting them. Our program allows them to have a voice, encourages them to stay in school, and keeps young people engaged because it shows them a path to the future. The success of IBA’s Youth Development Program made us the recipient of the 2016 National Arts & Humanities Youth Program Award.

As John F. Kennedy once said, “The arts are a test to the quality of a nation’s civilization.” We carry that mantra with us at IBA, where the arts remain a core part of our organization’s’ culture.

For more information on how you can support IBA’s renowned programs, please visit our page:

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