Arts World Draws Boston Hopefuls’ Careful Attention

From Stephanie Ebbert, for The Boston Globe:

Boston’s power constituencies typically hail from the fields of construction and real estate, firefighting, and law. Poets and painters do not usually register as table-thumping political forces with which to be reckoned. But the first wide-open mayor’s race in three decades has motivated Boston’s arts community to form a political movement unlike any in recent memory.

Arts organizations, youth arts groups, and cultural institutions large and small have banded together to compel the candidates for mayor to articulate a vision for the arts in Boston.

The Create the Vote Boston 2013 coalition also has been unusually frank about saying that the outgoing mayor never really had such a vision. While activists considered Mayor Thomas M. Menino a supporter of the arts during his 20 years in office, they didn’t see him a champion.

“He’s done some great things,” saidMatt Wilson, executive director of MassCreative. “But when you start to compare it to other cities and think about what he could have done? More could be done.”

To that end, the coalition plans to grill the candidates for mayor Monday night at a forum at the Paramount Theatre, expected to draw hundreds.

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