In 2004, a diverse group of filmmakers, media arts organization representatives, film/video union and business owners gathered at the home of Lyda Kuth to map out the state of the film and video industry in Massachusetts. We realized that building a strong and vibrant media ecology in our state would require all of us working together, finding solutions to attract new sources of support for the industry and helping one another. We identified a significant opportunity offered by the Massachusetts Cultural Council – The Adams Arts Program—which was designed to provide funds and technical assistance to efforts that include cultural organizations and artists in the design of community and economic development strategies. CID submitted a proposal to this visionary program on behalf of a consortium of partners in the field- and we received the essential seed funding that made the development of the Massachusetts Production Coalition(MPC), and all of its programs and initiatives possible. Simply put, MPC would not be the organization it is today, and the work of developing our industry would not have experienced the success that it has without the support of the Massachusetts Cultural Council. From 2005- 2017, CID administered the Adams Arts Grant on behalf of our field.
Some highlights of the impact this funding created:
- Research and writing of 2 industry economic impact studies
- Funding for staff and administrative support
- Hosting the 2007 National NAMAC conference held in Boston with hundreds of representatives of the media arts field from around the country attending
- Quarterly MPC Member Meetings
- Seminars and workshop training programs (including a retraining program with the state division of unemployment)
- Annual Mass Media Expo events
- Campaign to support local commercial production
- Print and production guides
These initiatives have supported and brought together the very broad spectrum of film, television and media industry members in the state. And they have been essential to boosting the economic climate for the robust film and media community we now have. To put this in perspective, since 2013 through MPC's Adams Arts funded programs alone, this has generated attendance of over 7,000 admissions to quarterly MPC Meetings; regular workshops and seminar programs, and the annual Mass Media Expo. 2017 is the final year of the Adams Arts program as the Mass Cultural Council pursues new initiatives to advance a cultural economic development agenda. We are incredibly grateful for MCC's support through these formative years. We look forward to furthering our industry's work, continuing to be a leading creative economy generator for the Commonwealth while enriching its cultural assets.
At the Mass Media Expo on November 4 th , we were thrilled to have the opportunity to recognize and thank this early and crucial supporter of the MPC and our industry. CID’s Executive Director (and an MPC founding board member) Susi Walsh, and IATSE local 481 Director Chris O’Donnell presented a plaque to the MCC and Adams Arts Program Officer Meri Jenkins. The Massachusetts Cultural Council has been the very best kind of supporter. We are especially grateful for the guidance of our program officer Meri Jenkins, who accepted this recognition on behalf of MCC. In her remarks presenting the award, Susi Walsh said “Throughout their support Meri asked the hard questions, inspired us to base our vision on real data and hard facts; but most importantly she also asked us to dream, encouraged us to take risks, and be bold in our work.” The plaque is inscribed with our thanks: “With our deepest appreciation of your longstanding support and commitment to the Massachusetts Film and Media Arts community.” In her remarks, Meri Jenkins said “I believe the policy is written by the people who do the work, not by government. Our role is to support the creative ideas of the people who do it. Not to tell you the way we think you should do it. It made sense, and I hope it made a difference. And I hope out of it comes some work that will be truly phenomenal."