Interested in creating public art in Boston?

Why am I completing this form?

The Mayor’s Office of Arts and Culture and the Boston Art Commission believe that public art is any artwork installed in publicly accessible spaces where they can be experienced by everyone for free. In order to install art on public property, you will need approval from the Boston Art Commission and the department that owns the site. 

Complete this form to start the approval process! Once you submit your application, the public art team will be in touch but you can reach out to us with questions at anytime! Please email us at 


Please check out our website to see calls to artists and other opportunities! This form is not an application for funding but there are a couple of different options for finding funding through the city. You can also apply for the Opportunity Fund.

Artist Housing Certification Guidelines

What is an Artist Certificate? 

An Artist Housing Certificate is a letter from Mayor’s Office of Arts and Culture. The letter confirms that the artist has been active in their artistic practice in the past three years. An Artist Housing Certificate qualifies an artist as eligible for artist live/work housing and some work space in Boston. The Artist Housing Certification is valid for a period of eight years. Upon expiration, the artist will need to reapply to receive a new Artist Housing Certification. The Mayor's Office of Arts and Culture keeps a list of all spaces for artists in the City of Boston, whether they require the Artist Certification or not. Review those spaces here. The Mayor's Office of Arts and Culture does not maintain a waitlist for these spaces and is not able to confirm when these spaces will become available.

Who is eligible for an Artist Housing Certification?

Applicants must able to demonstrate that they have a recent body (last three years) of artwork and must be at least 18 years of age. Artists in the following disciplines are considered:

  • Visual Arts: including painting, printmaking, sculpture, photography, conceptual art, craft arts (ceramics, woodworking, jewelry, etc.), architecture/design (not including engineering and home staging), media arts, film, and new media.
  • Performing Arts: including dance, theater, and music.
  • Literary Arts: including fiction, non-fiction, poetry, and spoken word.
  • Multidisciplinary Art

If you are a commercial artist who has an office space to do your work, and/or works for a company instead of for yourself (sole proprietor) we require examples of your personal fine art to ensure that you need an artist space for your artistic work. This is also the case for artists who are employed full-time in other industries.

Who reviews the applications?

The Artist Resource Manager in the Mayor's Office of Arts and Culture reviews applications.

The decision of the Artist Resource Manager is final. If an applicant is not certified during this round, it is because they were not able to convey that they have been actively making art in the past three years through their application.

Applications will be reviewed based on the following criteria.

  • Evidence of a recent body of work (last three years), demonstrated by an artistic resume or CV that lists dates and locations of exhibitions, publications, performances, press, awards, artist residencies, jobs held in arts discipline field, and formal training if you have it.
  • Documentation of artwork (or "work samples) including image files, video clips, and writing samples. Files must be dated or they will not be considered. 
  • One reference letter of support from peers and professionals in the arts who can confirm you have been active in your artistic practice over the past three years.

When are applications accepted?

Applications for the Artist Certification are reviewed every other month. Please check out website to see when we will be reviewing applications.

When will I hear back about the status of my application?

Use the link above to check when we will be reviewing applications.

What is Automatic Certification?

Automatic certification is granted to artists who have received any of the following awards in the last 3 years: the Massachusetts Cultural Council Artist Fellowship, The Boston Foundation Brother Thomas Fellowship, the Boston Cultural Council Artist Fellowship, or the City of Boston Emerging Artist Award.

To receive automatic certification, please fill out your name and contact information in the Artist Housing Certification application and upload your fellowship letter in the Work Samples section. Letter must prove reception of award in the past three years.

The Strand Theatre serves as a cultural and educational resource to artists and audiences, regardless of race or cultural background, age, ability, gender, economic level, or sexual orientation. Please complete the application below based on your rental needs.

Please note: The first quote for your event is an estimate only. A final quote cannot be completed until all technical information and production schedule are complete and reviewed by the Strand Technical Director and General Manager. All forms and schedules must be reviewed no later than 60 days prior to your event.

Things to know before you apply:


Tickets may be produced through the Strand Theatre's box office (fees apply). Renters may print their own tickets and have the right to sell tickets at a third party location, however tickets cannot be sold until the following are completed:

  • Lease application
  • Signed contract
  • Insurance certificate
  • Copy of headliner signed contract with the organization (if applicable)


Lessee must provide their own liability insurance. They must obtain either a one day entertainment policy (coverage of one million of liability minimum) or a rider from their existing policy. Insurance must list additional insured as the Strand Theatre - location and venue Strand Theatre, 543 Columbia Rd, Dorchester, MA. 02125

Hip Hop, hard rock performances, and sporting events are not covered under standard liability. A copy of secured insurance must be provided at least 30 days in advance. Failure to provide an accurate genre description of your event or artist roster will result in an automatic termination of your event.

If service of liquor is approved for your event, you must apply for a one day liquor license from the City of Boston and apply for liability coverage at least 60 days prior to your event. Service must be by a licensed bartender. This coverage is only applicable provided the venue has not obtained coverage and is not operating a house bar. Lessee will provide 2 copies of all permits and licenses. Lessee may obtain liquor services from a catering company that has a traveling liquor liability license and tip certified bartender for service (this is the best option).

Event Security

Security guards are booked based on the number of patrons expected and the type of performance. Changes to booking must be completed at least two weeks prior to the event. Boston Police details are booked on the same criteria and are at the discretion of management (and in some instances, the Boston Police Department). Management reserves the right to add additional security staff during an event at the Lessees' expense. Laminates or optional pre-approved staff recognition badges are required for Lessees' event staff. In addition, a list of all approved backstage staff employed by Lessee and Artist/Performers must be provided.

Advertisement and Website

Events will be linked on the Strand Theatre website at no cost to Lessee. All clients advertising a ticketed event must also create an event listing on the ArtsBoston calendar and send it to us prior to the event. Events will be listed on a revolving marquee with all other scheduled events. Please provide a description of your event and send a flier, photo or image for the website. Other than the above mentioned advertisement and listing, The Strand is not responsible for any additional advertisement, media, print or video marketing of the Lessee’s event.


It is at the discretion of the Lessee to allow video/audio or photos. All photography stations must not obstruct patron aisles or handicap seating. All cables and wiring running on or through walkways, stairs or entrances, must be secured and taped down properly. Please discuss set up area requirements with the Technical Director. Bring extra gaffing tape and/or walkway covers to prevent cancellation of use.

Event Merchandise Sales

The Strand has 10 2x6 folding tables and 50 folding chairs for use during events. The rental of additional tables and chairs are the Lessee’s responsibility. You must supply all table cloths.

Merchandise sales may include CDs, DVDs, clothing, photos, and books. If approved, any edible items require a one day vendor’s license and health permit, obtained from City Hall. All food vendors must be pre-approved by the Strand General Manager. Two copies of all paperwork must be submitted one week prior to the event. Food items must be wrapped individually and gloves and head nets must be worn at all times. Vendor food items allowed - cupcakes, specialty cookies and other pre-approved baked goods associated with the event. There is a power source to assist with the selling of merchandise and all extension cords must be supplied by vendors.

There is a $25.00 fee, per station required for the sale of any and all merchandise, by Lessee and/or Lessee’s vendors. It must be in the form of a bank check or money order, made out to the Strand Theatre. All fees apply unless waived by the Strand General Manager.


Allowed decorations include: balloons, free standing displays, posters, photographs, informational displays, literature tables, approved banners, and flowers. Drapery/fabric is permitted only if they meet safety/fire codes for the venue. You must provide a copy of all current fire retardant certificates for these items.

The gallery space has hanging lips for artwork and 12 picture hanging rods. Lessee/ its vendors must get pre-approval before any items are affixed to the walls. Due to the age of the plaster on walls you cannot nail or tape items to the walls. Please discuss all decoration ideas for pre-approval.

Event Catering

Organizations can provide catering for the event, which can include full meals. Lessee may use any licensed catering company of their choice. Caterers must provide a copy of all current licenses, fire permits and insurance if applicable and follow all safe serve and food handling requirements for transporting, service and staffing. The Strand does not have a working kitchen space for catering, therefore catering companies providing food service must be completely mobile.

Event Sound

Please refer to the Strand Technical Specifications for house sound equipment.

All wires and cables running throughout walkways, stair and public traffic must be taped down with gaffing tape and/or portable cable walkways. A charge of $35.00 per roll for gaffing tape will apply, if supplied by the Strand. (No exception) This amount will be collected from Lessee prior to the show.

All optional microphones such as body and head microphones must be rented by Lessee. The Strand can supply a vendor contact if needed, but will not be responsible for pick-up and return. The Strand is not responsible for poor sound quality or damages to rented microphones.  Lessee is responsible for providing AAA batteries for each wireless mic required. Fresh batteries for each mic will be required for each performance.

Event Lighting & Scene Requirements

Please refer to Strand Technical Specifications for house lighting equipment provided in the Technical packet.

Basic color washes are available through our technical team. Any color not in the house supply may be supplied with advance notification. Please allow adequate time to restore all house equipment back to its original place after removing it for special lighting and/or sound equipment. Soft Goods: The Strand has a main curtain and valance, three (3) panels of black borders, three (3) sets of black legs, one (1) scrim, one (2) panels Upstage travelers(1) one Cyc and (1) one movie screen for front throw movie projection or color wash . The Strand does not provide rigging /flying hardware other than the line sets available. (See Strand Technical Specifications) We do not provide general construction hardware to organizations nor do we have an area or maintain supplies to build sets in house. It is the Lessee’s responsibility to ensure safe hardware usage and maintenance and to maintain all scenic pieces including fire retardant certificates. Fire certificates must be provided for all upholstered furniture and set design fabrics being used on stage. *** Please allow at least 60 days to complete the Fire Certificate process. Applications are available online through Fire Dept. or at 1010 Massachusetts Ave.

The use of hazing requires fire details and auto-system shut off monitor. The number of marshals is based on the number of patrons and the rate is based on the detail marshal's position rank. Additional fees include fire system monitor turn off/on ($640), truck fee ($50), 7am – 3 pm $130 per hr. after 3 pm $190 per hr.., Sat $190 per hr., Sun $220 per hr. The use of hazing is a lengthy process and must be scheduled 90 days in advance. The Strand’s Fire System will need to be turned off one hour before show begins and remains off until all vapors have dissipated from the theater. A monitor remains at the system for the duration and is billed to Lessee directly. Average cost for hazing use on a weekend is $2500 up per day.

All application forms and permits can be found here:

You must know what kind of machine and chemicals you will be using and it cannot be changed once approved

Restoration Fee

It is the responsibility of the Lessee to allocate enough time in their schedule for load-out and to restore all Strand lighting & sound equipment, staging, and general building areas to the condition in which you received it or back to the Strand working condition if you requested anything removed for your event. Staff hours will be been scheduled and billed into your invoice. However, if additional time is needed due to your organization's failure to comply with restoral requirements, you will be charged a $300.00 restoral fee plus any staff hours required. A walkthrough must be done at the end of Load-out and restoral time, to assess completion and/or damages.


Budget: $1,000,000
Virtual Q & A: Thursday, June 1, 2023  at noon and 6pm ET
Call Released: Monday, May 22, 2023, at noon ET.
Call Closes: Friday, June 30, 2023, at 5 p.m. ET.

This Call is open to all practicing visual artists, national and international, ADD TEXT
View the complete Call to Artists document here. (change this link) 

We welcome written questions until 5 pm EST on Tuesday, July 26. We will post answers and recordings on Friday, July 29.  
(Add link) to written Questions and Answers.

  • post info session recording
  • post info session recordning

Interested artists can also submit written questions by using THIS FORM or emailing Sarah Rodrigo, Senior Public Art Project Manager, at

Technical questions about the Submittable application are welcome until the deadline!

PLEASE submit your application well before the deadline so that we have time to help you if you have technical issues.

Who Should Apply | Eligibility
This Call to Artists is open to all artists, domestic and international.

The Mayor’s Office of Arts and Culture will not discriminate on the basis of race, color, sex, age, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, ancestry, or disability, nor will it fund projects that discriminate on these attributes.

About the Boston Art Commission
This project is commissioned by the City of Boston via the Boston Art Commission. The Boston Art Commission must vote to formally approve the project. The artist will meet with the Boston Art Commission staff and/ or board at each phase of the project. The artist is expected to be collaborative and open to community input; however, the Boston Art Commission has sole approval over each phase of the public art project and the final acceptance of the artwork into the City of Boston permanent collection.

English: IMPORTANT! This document or application contains important information about your rights, responsibilities and/or benefits. It is crucial that you understand the information in this document and/or application, and we will provide the information in your preferred language at no cost to you. If you need them, please contact us at,  or 617-635-4445.
Spanish-Español: !IMPORTANTE! Este documento o solicitud contiene información importante sobre sus derechos, responsabilidades y/o beneficios. Es fundamental que usted entienda la información contenida en este documento y/o solicitud, y le proporcionaremos la información en su idioma preferido sin costo alguno para usted.  Si lo necesita, póngase en contacto con nosotros en el correo electrónico,  o llamando al 617-635-4445.
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 Arabic - العربية
تنبيه هام! يحتوي هذا المستند أو طلب على معلومات هامة عن حقوقك و/ أو مسؤولياتك و/ أو منافعك. من المهم أن تفهم المعلومات الواردة في هذا المستند و/ أو طلب، وسوف نوفر لك هذه المعلومات بلغة اختيارك دون تحملك أي تكلفة. إذا كنت بحاجة إلى ذلك، يرجى الاتصال بنا على العنوان،
أو، أو رقم الهاتف 6176354445.

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Portuguese - Português:  IMPORTANTE! Este documento ou formulário contém informações importantes sobre os seus direitos, responsabilidades e/ou benefícios. É importante compreendê-las; podemos fornecê-las gratuitamente no idioma de sua preferência. Para solicitar, fale conosco:, ou 617-635-4445.
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Somali - Af Soomaali: MUHIIM AH! Dukumintigaan ama arjigaan waxaa kujira macluumaad muhiim ah oo ku saabsan xuquuqdaada, waajibaadkaaga iyo/ama dheefahaaga. Aad ayey muhiim u tahay inaad fahamto macluumaadka ku qoran dukumintigan iyo/ama dalabkan, waxaana ku siin doonnaa macluumaadka ku qoran luqadda aad doorbidayso iyadoo aan lacag lagaa qaadaynin. Haddii aad u baahatid iyaga, fadlan nagala soo xiriir,  ama 617-635-4445.

City of Boston Arts and Culture