“Our community is still here, we’re just spread out a little bit more”
– Erin Dionne, Faculty
How You Can Support During This Time
The COVID-19 crisis has brought unprecedented struggles to Montserrat’s campus, as we face this uncertain reality in our world. Our classroom teaching has been transformed to remote learning for our 370 students. Galleries that showcase our students’ work and provide our community artistic inspiration has closed to the public. The faculty and students have had to quickly adapt to a new style of art and design education immediately and with little time to prepare. But throughout the upheaval and ever-changing dynamics, one thing has remained clear. Our Montserrat community is continuing to create.
As artists, no matter the struggles of the present, we will always look toward our vision of the future. Our passion as creators has taught us to challenge ourselves, to look for creative solutions, and to always persevere. We cannot express how proud we are of the resiliency of our faculty, staff, and especially our students. While circumstances may keep us apart, our creativity will always bring us together.
As we continue to respond to the needs of our community at this critical time, we welcome the support of our donors and extended community. Your gifts, more than ever, will impact the lives of our next generation of creative talent. Please consider a gift today.
Ways to Give
SUPPORT US AS WE SUPPORT OUR STUDENTS
Gifts to Montserrat’s Annual Fund support the operations at Montserrat that keep us going. These dollars can make an immediate impact as we respond to the growing needs of our community during the COVID-19 crisis. By making a gift to the college’s Annual Fund, you allow us to adapt to the new circumstances we are facing. Support us as we support our students, faculty, and staff.
GIFTS TO THE MONTSERRAT EMERGENCY FUND
Montserrat has established the Montserrat Emergency Fund in response to the COVID-19 crisis. This newly created fund is in direct response to the growing and immediate needs of our students. The Montserrat Student Emergency Fund will provide financial assistance grants up to $300 for students who are unable to meet essential expenses.
Charitable Giving Deduction
The new Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) has created a new above-the-line deduction for total charitable contributions of up to $300, for all taxpayers, even if you do not itemize. The incentive applies to cash contributions made in 2020 and can be claimed on tax forms next year. The law also lifts the existing cap on annual contributions for those who itemize, raising it from 60 percent of adjusted gross income to 100 percent. Please contact your tax advisor for additional questions.
President Steinberg in the Salem Evening News
THE CREATIVE ECONOMY, CARES ACT, AND SUPPORTING ALL SECTORS
It continues to amaze me how in crisis the best and the worst of people and institutions emerge. The pressure and stress of crisis doesn’t allow for cover up or nuance. I am proud to say that the people and institutions of the North Shore have been the best in this time of crisis. It has been reinforced every day, on my campus of Montserrat College of Art; that creative people pull together and the atmosphere of support and empathy is active and intensely genuine.
I am also mindful that the greater creative community needs our support and care more than ever. Real people are impacted profoundly by this crisis. Everyone, those in creative industries and non-creative industries, are struggling with tough choices. It is at this cross roads where the worst can emerge and unfortunately that happened last week.
In a tweet on March 26, Nikki Haley, former UN ambassador to the United Nations, reminded us that outside our North Shore bubble people and institutions feel the need to divide in a crisis with the goal of devaluing real peoples’ jobs and life efforts. This is her tweet just in case you missed it:
“These are the items included in the stimulus bill:
$75 mill for public television/radio
$25 mil for the Kennedy Center
$75 mil for the Natl Endowment for the Arts
$75 mill for the Natl Endowment for the Humanities
How many more people could have been helped with this money?”
The last sentence is really my focus. This assumes that no one is employed in the creative industries and that there are no real jobs or economic impact associated with the creative industries. I have a few facts to throw on the “book-burning fire” this tweet wants to start.
The economic impact of the arts from the US Bureau of Economic Analysis:
The arts generate about $800 billion in economic impact in the U.S.;
There are more than 5 million workers employed in the arts. (Many more in embedded in other industries especially in design fields.);
More than $5 billion is generated in economic activity by museums;
Art workers alone (design professionals add more) earn about $386 billion in salaries;
The arts account for more than 4.3% of the overall national gross domestic product;
The arts generate as much and more than the agriculture, transportation and construction sectors to the national economy.
This last point is not to say that the arts sector of our economy is more important than another sector. I don’t play those devaluing games. All of these facts are really to point out how much a quilt of activity our national economy continues to be and that helping each sector is important to any economic recovery or sustainability. The sectors are partners in keeping the US economy strong and vibrant.
Real people work in the creative industries. Your neighbor in the creative industries is working hard just like you to attain dreams for their families. They are working with you to move our country forward for the benefit of everyone.
Real people benefit from what the creative industries produce every day. Montserrat College of Art plays an important part in training the next generation of creatives to enhance the $800 billion impact of the arts on our economy moving it forward and growing.
I am grateful to work in a region of the country that values the creative industries and lets facts speak for the true impact of creative people and institutions. Join me as a witness to this truth for our society. Support creative people and artistic institutions today and tomorrow through your patronage and also in your conversations with friends and colleagues that slip into old and tired habits of devaluing when in crisis.
Together is the only way we will recover from this.
Kurt T. Steinberg, EdD, is president of Montserrat College of Art.