I am the Senate Chairman of the Joint Committee on Tourism, Arts, and Cultural Development. I am proud to be serving on this Committee and helping set the direction of legislative work on all things related to tourism, arts, and cultural development. It is very important that Massachusetts continue to support artists and those working in the creative economy. I truly believe that their work not only has great economic impact, but also makes Massachusetts a great place to live, raise families, and build community.

Specifically, tourists in Massachusetts generate $11.2 billion in direct spending each year. They generate an additional $751 million in state and local taxes, and support 124,800 jobs in a variety of industries. Massachusetts is not only brimming with historical destinations, but is also rich in cultural attractions, and beautiful cities, towns, landscapes, and seascapes. These are a benefit to the people who live here as well as an incentive for non-residents to come spend time in our great state.

The creative sector has a $2.1 billion dollar impact on the Massachusetts economy and provides more than 109,000 jobs, according to a recent report from the New England Foundation for the Arts, "The Creative Economy: A New Definition." Massachusetts ranks among the top ten states nationally in employment in several key industries, including designers, architects, writers, and musicians. These professions are critically important to the continued vibrancy of Commonwealth.

Within the Fourth Middlesex District, there are a number of organizations that receive state funding administered through the Massachusetts Cultural Council, MassDevelopment, and the Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism. Some of these organizations include the Underground Railway Theater, the Lexington Symphony, Folk Arts and Heritage, and the New England Museum Association. Each town also has its own Local Cultural Council, a volunteer-run group that supports community cultural activities. These volunteers do so much on the ground to make sure the arts are visible and accessible for all residents, from students to seniors. Find yours at!

I look forward to continuing to support these great organizations and others that make Massachusetts great.