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Do you enjoy the beauty of a painting, the harmony of a musical piece, or the enchantment of a theatrical show? The arts enrich our lives by providing an outlet for self-expression, encouraging creativity and imagination, and fostering self-confidence and self-discipline. Reaching across racial, cultural, social, educational, and economic borders, arts provide an opportunity for people from all walks of life to come together to appreciate a common medium of communication.

Massachusetts is rich in culture and offers a multitude of opportunities to learn about and explore the arts throughout the state, from art museums and galleries to theaters and dance. You can even admire the work of various artists during your daily commute on public transportation in the nation’s first art in transit collection. The Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority (MBTA) began this program in 1967 as a way to advocate the arts by incorporating beautiful artwork such as murals and sculptures into its station design. The MBTA continues to add to its collection, which has grown over the years to include more than 90 pieces on six commuter rail and subway lines.

Instilling the value of arts and culture in our communities begins in Massachusetts public schools. The Arts Education Advisory Council supports the Massachusetts Board of Education by advising on matters pertinent to the development of arts education in the Commonwealth. Recommendations made by the council help establish statewide guidelines for learning, teaching, and assessment in arts studies, as outlined in the Department of Education’s Arts Curriculum Framework. Additionally, the Massachusetts Cultural Council (MCC) promotes the benefits of incorporating culture in the classroom and the community through grant programs, partnerships, and services for nonprofit cultural organizations, schools, communities, and artists. Funding from this state agency is provided in part by the National Endowment for the Arts and helps with initiatives such as building and improving art facilities in the state, recognizing the work of Massachusetts artists, and supporting organizations that connect children and adults with theater, music, dance, and visual arts.

In an effort to recognize the importance of culture in America, October has typically been proclaimed National Arts & Humanities month. This annual tribute encourages everyone to explore and participate in different forms of creative expression. By spreading the message of the benefits and value the arts add to our lives, we can ensure they retain a prominent place in education and communities throughout the Commonwealth.

Do you know of a great piece of artwork or location to enjoy the arts? Share it by tweeting @massgov 

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