9. The Creative Economy

Part of our state’s great strength, sometimes overlooked, is the role of arts and culture in creating jobs, powering tourism, strengthening communities, and enhancing our quality of life.

Years of service on the board of directors of the Arts Foundation of Cape Cod, and other creative organizations in the region, have given Dan a clear understanding of how and why government can support grassroots cultural institutions. As co-chair of the Massachusetts Cultural Caucus, he also has worked closely with the Massachusetts Cultural Council to keep its funding level as high as possible, and distribute those funds across the Commonwealth.

Having hired thousands of people over the decades, the entrepreneur in Dan recognizes that arts education, and a celebration of the creative mind, often is as important an attribute as technical skills, and often a better indicator of success in the workplace. Creative problem solving, seeing things from different perspectives in many rich ways, may be more important to student growth than any core curriculum training. So the last thing we want to do, for the sake of our children and our economic future, is cut education that nurtures this process.

Our artists and our cultural institutions, from museums to theaters, music venues to cultural centers, also offer a great model of decentralized, entrepreneurial, locally controlled economic initiative. Their successes are our successes. Their jobs are our jobs. Their revenue stays in our communities, and our investment in them becomes an investment in us all.

Dan believes that funding for the Massachusetts Cultural Council, which continues to do a superb job despite austere budgets, should be restored and increased.