The arts aren’t represented on a 17-member Reopening Advisory Board that Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker announced he was forming on April 28 in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

“Members of the Advisory Board bring a range of perspectives to the table, such as an understanding of workplaces and workforces and insights into key areas like financial markets, education, manufacturing and transportation,” according to the announcement on the state’s website.

But, Emily Ruddock, executive director of MASSCreative, noted in an April 30 email to supporters, the “board is missing representation from some key sectors including labor, childcare, K-12 education, and the arts and cultural community.” The state arts advocacy organization and Mass Cultural Council Executive Director Anita Walker sought signatures that day for a “Letter from the Creative Community to the Reopening Advisory Board” asking it to “consult leaders of the creative and cultural sector as you develop a reopening framework. We stand in support of a strong reopening strategy and are ready to offer our expertise.”

More than 600 arts, cultural, and creative leaders signed onto the letter, Mass Creative reported on May 1.

Massachusetts creative professionals have lost $16,527,749 in personal income—averaging $7,048 per person—due to coronavirus closings and restrictions, the Massachusetts Cultural Council announced on April 28 that its surveys have shown. “These are not projections, but actual income figures and employment opportunities lost by Massachusetts artists and teaching artists, humanists, and scientists during this pandemic,” the agency says. On April 15, the agency reported that more than 15,000 cultural jobs across the state had been affected by coronavirus and Massachusetts cultural organizations had lost more than $264,000,000 in revenue.

According to the state’s website, the Reopening Advisory Board is “charged with advising the administration on strategies to reopen the economy in phases based on health and safety metrics. It will meet with key stakeholders and solicit input from a variety of constituencies over the next three weeks to develop a report by May 18th that will include DPH approved workplace safety standards, industry frameworks and customer protocols and guidelines, including enforcement mechanisms and coordination with municipal leaders.”

The Reopening Advisory Board is co-chaired by Lt. Governor Karyn Polito and Housing and Economic Development Secretary Mike Kennealy. Its members include the mayors of Lawrence and Easthampton; the chief of staff for the City of Boston; the state’s public health commissioner; the chief of the Infectious diseases division at Massachusetts General Hospital; the head of the Massachusetts Department of Transportation; a public affairs director for a financial management corporation; the president of Worcester Polytechnic Institute; the owner of two Nantucket bookstores; and executives from a military technology manufacturer, a menswear manufacturer, a cybersecurity firm, an internet-based workforce management firm, a regional airline, a healthcare conglomerate, an electronic health records management and telehealth company, and an Italian steakhouse chain. (See full list below.)

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Reopening Advisory Board Members, April 28, 2020

The Reopening Advisory Board formed by Gov. Charlie Baker on April 28 is co-chaired by Lt. Governor Karyn Polito and Housing and Economic Development Secretary Mike Kennealy. Board members include:
• Aron Ain, CEO, Kronos Inc & Ultimate Software
• Carlo Zaffanella, Vice President and General Manager, Maritime & Strategic Systems, General Dynamics Mission Systems
• Corey Thomas, CEO, Rapid 7
• Daniel Rivera, Mayor, City of Lawrence
• Rochelle Walensky, MD, MPH, Massachusetts General Hospital
• Girish Navani, CEO and Co-Founder, eClinicalWorks
• Joe Bahena, Senior Vice President, Joseph Abboud Manufacturing
• Kathryn Burton, Chief of Staff, City of Boston
• Laurie Leshin, Ph.D., President, Worcester Polytechnic Institute
• Linda Markham, President, Cape Air
• Mark Keroack, President & CEO, Baystate Health
• Dr. Monica Bharel, M.D., Commissioner, Department of Public Health
• Nicole LaChapelle, Mayor, City of Easthampton
• Pamela Everhart, Head of Regional Public Affairs and Community Relations, Fidelity Investments
• Stephanie Pollack, Transportation Secretary and CEO
• Steve DiFillippo, CEO, Davios Restaurants
• Wendy Hudson, Owner, Nantucket Book Partners

Categories: Art