Representative Ferrante Joins Committee Chairs to Lobby for More Funding

Representative Ferrante Joins Committee Chairs to Lobby for More Funding

State Representative Ann-Margaret Ferrante lobbied alongside Representative Cory Atkins and Senator Kathleen O’Connor Ives, the Chairs of the Joint Committee on Tourism, Arts and Cultural Development, for more funding for the Massachusetts Cultural Council and the Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism. The delegation was joined by Anita Walker, Executive Director of the Massachusetts Cultural Council; Ann Marie Casey, Executive Director of the North of Boston Convention and Visitors Bureau; and Betsy Wall, Executive Director of the Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism.

“Cape Ann is a perfect example of how strong support for the arts, culture, and tourism is a driver for local economics. Cape Ann is home to four cultural districts – Gloucester’s Rocky Neck Cultural District, Gloucester Harbortown Cultural District, the Rockport Cultural District, and the Essex River Cultural District. Without the support we received from the Massachusetts Cultural Council and the Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism, the significant distinction as a cultural district may not have been possible. It is increasingly important to maintain state investment to keep tourism and cultural development of our cities and towns thriving to help grow our local economy” said Ferrante.

In fiscal year 2012, tourism generated $17.7 billion in direct spending as well as $1.1 billion in state and local taxes, making it the third largest industry in Massachusetts. Tourism supports nearly 126,500 jobs for Massachusetts residents, which pay $3.7 billion in wages. The arts and culture industry employs 16,700 full-time and part-time workers and 14,000 independent contractors generating $32 million in payroll taxes. In addition, $1 billion is generated through direct spending on goods and services while $138 million is generated by individual contributions from Massachusetts and beyond.

On average, every $140,283 spent in Massachusetts by domestic and international travelers generated one job in 2012. Without these jobs generated by travel, Massachusetts’s 2012 unemployment rate of 6.7 percent would have been 3.6 percentage points higher, increasing it to 10.4 percent.

On Cape Ann we have witnessed the benefits of our cultural and tourism assets such as The Rocky Neck Cultural Center, the Shalin Liu Performance Center, Cape Ann Museum and Gloucester Stage, which have all been recipients of Cultural Facilities Funding.

Today Representative Ferrante will vote to recognize The Cultural Facilities Fund in the hopes of providing more local aid to our cultural assets such as Gloucester City Hall.

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