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    City needs bold vision for the arts from next mayor

    Your Aug. 26 editorial on the Boston mayoral race (Aug. 26) was spot on in its observation that candidates are “crowd-sourcing a new agenda for Boston.” Given what we have been hearing in the candidates’ stump speeches, debates, and conversations with potential voters, we were surprised that strategic planning and development for the arts and creative community did not make your list.

    This campaign has seen an unprecedented conversation take place among our local political leaders about the importance of arts and culture to Boston’s ability to retain young innovators, reduce racial tensions, and provide high-quality education. It is significant that the candidates are talking not just about the need for public investment in arts and cultural initiatives, but also about the need for a bold vision for the arts from the next mayor. The creative sector is key to the region’s economic health, and political support coupled with thoughtful leadership would help it work to its fullest capacity and return even more to the city than it already does.

    MASSCreative, of which ArtsBoston is a member, plans to continue this conversation with the candidates at a mayoral forum on the arts Sept. 9 at the Paramount Theatre. We fully expect that the next mayor of Boston will be a catalyst for specific initiatives that support the creative community’s intersection with talent retention, housing, public health and transportation, and education.

    Catherine Peterson

    Executive director