With arts and the economy a much-discussed topic on the Vineyard, the state legislative committee on tourism travels to the Island Tuesday to continue the conversation.
The Joint Committee on Tourism, Arts, and Cultural Development will host a public hearing at 10 a.m. Tuesday in the Martha’s Vineyard Film Center in Vineyard Haven.
“Martha’s Vineyard is a staple of Massachusetts tourism,” said Rep. Cory Atkins in a recent press release. “Name recognition alone draws more visitors to this region than we can imagine.”
Ms. Atkins, a Democrat from Concord and co-chairman of the committee, will join her colleague and co-chairman Kathleen O’Conor Ives, a Democrat from Newburyport, for the hearing.
Representatives from the Massachusetts Cultural Council and the Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism will also attend.
Following a brief presentation about their activities as a committee, the state officials will invite questions from the public in an open forum format.
“This is our opportunity to talk about tourism and culture, in terms of funding for Martha’s Vineyard,” said Ann Smith, director of Featherstone Center for the Arts and chairman of Arts Martha’s Vineyard.
During their visit, the committee will visit the Martha’s Vineyard Museum in Edgartown, Featherstone Center for the Arts in Oak Bluffs, the Edgartown Lighthouse and the Wampanoag Tribe headquarters in Aquinnah. They will spend the night at the Harbor View Hotel in Edgartown.
“It’s really their opportunity to learn more about Martha’s Vineyard,” Ms. Smith said.
Arts Martha’s Vineyard, a group working to leverage the Islands art and cultural assets for greater economic benefit, has collaborated with the Martha’s Vineyard Chamber of Commerce to host the committee visit. Ms. Atkins came to the Island last fall to participate in a creative economy speaker series.
An inventory of the Island’s cultural assets, conducted in early 2012, found that the arts make up 10 per cent of the overall economy. The committee is currently working toward securing a state cultural district designation for Vineyard Haven. The district would highlight creative businesses along a mile of downtown Vineyard Haven.