By Anne B. Pope, Executive Director, TN Arts and Susan Robinson, President, Tennesseans for the Arts –
Senator Becky Duncan Massey has been tapped to chair the Tennessee General Assembly Arts Caucus. Senator Massey will be the second chair of the Caucus since its inception over a dozen years ago.
“It is an honor to succeed former Senator Doug Overbey as chair of the Arts Caucus. Having been involved with different aspects of the arts over the years, I understand the positive impact of the arts in our state,” said Senator Massey.
The Arts Caucus was created to promote the importance of the arts and to help facilitate valuable policy discussion concerning the preservation and cultivation of the arts in Tennessee. It consists of approximately 38 members of the Tennessee legislature.
“Senator Massey is the ideal choice to lead this caucus. She is a valued member of our Senate team serving on essential committees, including Transportation and Finance, Ways and Means. Senator Massey’s passion and advocacy for the arts is well-known and well-established. She will do an excellent job promoting the arts within the General Assembly and throughout the state of Tennessee,” said Lt. Governor Randy McNally.
House Speaker Beth Harwell noted, “Senator Massey has been an active member of the Arts Caucus and will be a strong leader.”
A long-time community advocate and supporter of the arts in Knoxville, Senator Massey has been active with many nonprofit arts and cultural organizations including as past chair of the Dogwood Arts Festival and former executive director for the Sertoma Center, which serves individuals with disabilities including through the arts. Her sister is a successful visual artist and her daughter is a professional dancer and choreographer.
A recent arts and economic prosperity study found that each year Tennessee’s nonprofit arts and culture industry generates $1.17 billion in annual economic activity, supports 38,482 jobs and generates $135.9 million in state and local government revenue.
“The arts offer all of us a better quality of life, stimulate economic development and help attract tourists to our state,” continued Senator Massey.