The Mayor’s Office of Arts and Culture’s (MOAC) believes artists have a crucial role in creating a thriving, healthy community for all and that everyone should have access to creative expression through lifelong arts programming across all Boston neighborhoods. The Neighborhood and Downtown Activation Grant is a program to support community-focused arts, cultural, and creative activations in public spaces that foster joy and strengthen community wellbeing across Boston neighborhoods. 

Who can apply?  

This fund will support individuals, nonprofit organizations, collectives, fiscally sponsored groups, and/or businesses working alongside community partners to implement creative activations across a variety of scales in Boston, with a priority for projects that center communities who have been impacted by long-standing systemic inequities.

What is a creative activation? 

Specific to this grant, a creative activation is an arts, cultural, and/or creative experience in a publicly accessible space that imagines and explores new possible uses for that space. This includes experiences that: 

  • Result in permanent or temporary changes to the physical, social, and/or atmospheric components of the space. 
  • Center the social fabric, traditions, norms, and conversations happening within the  community, highlighting its existing strengths and history. 
  • Demonstrate many kinds of creative elements, cultural traditions, artistic disciplines, artists and community engagement processes. 
  • Are designed, planned, and executed in partnership with, and to benefit, residents, local organizations, business owners, and workers within and surrounding the space.

This grant is open to both existing creative activations that are ongoing and new activations that are being launched for the first time. General examples of creative activations include (but are not limited to): performance art, community celebrations, a community-led stage, interactive theater productions, film screenings with conversation, cultural festivals, arts and cultural markets, community dialogues that center the arts, a digital arts festival, and more.

Please read through the full grant description prior to applying. A strong application will fit the full criteria outlined in this description. 


Contact: For questions regarding the Neighborhood and Downtown Activation Grant, please email If phone is preferred, please leave a message at 617-910-0048 and someone from the grants team will be in touch with you. 

Funding Source: American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), Boston Planning and Development Public Impact Contribution Funds

Total Funds Available: Up to $5 million

Size of grants: 

  • Cultural Festival: $5,000, one time grant
  • Small-Scale Activation: Less than $20,000, one time grant
  • Mid-Scale Activation: Less than $50,000, one time grant
  • Large-Scale Activation: $50,000 - $100,000, multiyear and one time grant
  • Multiyear Activation: $100,000 - $400,000 multiyear up to 3 years

Additional Information

  • Events and programs of all scales will be considered, including those with a budget under $10,000. Applicants are strongly encouraged to submit a budget that is commensurate with their proposed activation. 
  • Individuals with proposals over $100,000 are required to submit an application in partnership with a nonprofit organization or business.
  • Pending on funds available, approved proposals may receive partial funding of the total requested grant amount. 
  • For large multiyear funding, we encourage applicants to list additional funders that you have either confirmed or are considering pursuing.
  • There is a limited number of large, multiyear funding opportunities. 


Applicant Eligibility

Applicants need to meet all of the following criteria to be eligible: 

  • Be an individual, non profit organization, collective, fiscally sponsored group, or business working in partnership with community partners
  • Be Boston residents or demonstrate that their project is led by partners and/or artists who are Boston residents 
  • Have a direct relationship to the community or area in which the activation or program is taking place. This can include being from that community, having spent a significant amount of time working and building relationships in that place, etc. 

Project Requirements

  • All projects and related programming are located in the City of Boston and are free and open to the public 
  • Have a concrete location(s) in which the activations will take place, even if those places are not yet confirmed. Project ideas that list entire neighborhoods will not be considered. 
  • Demonstrate strong alignment with MOAC’s definition of creative activation as an arts, cultural, and/or creative experience in a publicly accessible space that imagines and explores new possible uses for that space. This includes experiences that:      
    • Result in permanent or temporary changes to the physical, social, and/or atmospheric components of the space. 
    • Center the social fabric, traditions, and norms of the community, highlighting its existing strengths and history. 
    • Demonstrate many kinds of creative elements, cultural traditions, artistic disciplines, artists and community engagement processes.
    • Are designed, planned, and executed in partnership with, and to benefit, residents, local organizations, business owners, and workers within and surrounding the space.


  • All events and programs funded by the Neighborhood and Downtown Activation Grant are required to be accessible for persons with disabilities under Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), including additional accommodations to be made available upon request of any person who requires alternately formatted materials, auxiliary aids, or other accommodations.
  • Grant recipients will work with MOAC on an evaluation plan as a part of the grant agreement, to document and communicate the impact of the program to the public

Permitting: All activations must obtain all required permits for the activation, separate from this grant program. For more information on permitting requirements and process, you can go here

Considerations and Priorities

Projects that include some or all of the these elements will be prioritized:


  • Priority will be given to activations that occur or include the following neighborhoods: Mattapan, Roxbury, Dorchester, Hyde Park, East Boston, and Chinatown.

Public participation / co-creation

  • Going beyond the public as an audience and strategically building opportunities for the public to contribute to the vision, creation, and enjoyment of the activation. 

Youth participation and training:

  • Integrating outcomes for young people (ages 14 to 24) into the activation, facilitating opportunities for young people to inform and lead work, including opportunities to learn specific skills or gain career exposure.  

Partnerships and Collaborations:

  • Authentic partnerships and collaboration that bring communities that are segregated due to race, income, or geographic boundaries, into conversation and cross-neighborhood collaboration with each other.  
  • Applications from for-profit organizations that are partnered with non-profits, artists, or community groups will have priority over applications from for-profit organizations that do not have local non-profit partners.

What this does not fund:

  • Fundraising events, advertising, or any activity that is primarily for the commercial benefit of one entity 
  • Religious programs of any kind
  • Ticketed events that have an entry fee (ticketed free events are eligible)
  • Other foundations or grant-giving organizations
  • Events that have taken place prior to the application deadline 

Evaluation and Reporting Requirements 

Once the activation(s) proposed is complete, grantee partners will be asked to complete a brief final report form, as well as a survey about the grant process. This will allow MOAC to improve our grantmaking processes in the future to better support community work. Some applicants will be required to meet with the Grants + Programs team periodically and to review the final report. 


The application is available on submittable here. Funds will support activations starting in July 2023. All American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds must be in contract by the end of the calendar year 2024 and be fully spent by grantee partners by the end of calendar year 2026. Funds will be dispersed in 1-2 installments for one time grants and over 3 installments for multiyear grants. 

A condensed application process is as follows:

  • Submit application via Submittable
  • Initial review of application by the Grant Review Committee 
  • Virtual Q&A / Conversation between applicant and grants team (only some applicants will be asked to join a conversation)
  • Final Proposal and approval

Due Dates

Grant applications will be reviewed on a quarterly basis. The following quarterly due dates for applications in fiscal year 2024 are as follows: 

  • July 3, 2023 by 11:59 pm
  • October 31, 2023 by 11:59 pm
  • January 29, 2024 by 11:59 pm
  • April 15, 2024 by 11:59 pm

Applications submitted after 11:59pm on the due date will be reviewed as part of the following quarter’s application round. A member of MOAC will inform all applicants on the status of their application within 8 weeks of the due date. If approved, payment can take up 30 days to process. Funds will be limited for each quarter to ensure future funding rounds through 2024.

All applicants will be notified of their application status. Qualifying applications that are not selected for the round they submitted will roll over to the next round of applications. If a qualifying application is not selected during the second round, the application will be removed from the pool and the applicant will be notified by a member of MOAC that their application was not approved. 

Grant Review Committee

MOAC is committed to implementing transparent, equitable and inclusive grantmaking practices, including the way we determine and distribute funding. The Grant Review Committee (GRC) is a diverse cohort across age, race, cultural backgrounds, professional and lived experiences, artists and community members, ability, gender identity, and more. It is comprised of MOAC staff members and community members, positioning community members as decision makers on systems and structures that ultimately have the power to shape their lives and the well-being of their communities. 

Accessibility and Accommodations 

If you need accommodations or assistance with your application, please contact the grants team at or leave a message with Sam Fiddler at 617-910-0048 and someone from the grants team will be in touch with you. 

Review Application Questions

Applications will be accepted through submittable. If you would like to review application questions, you can see a pdf version of them below.  


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.

Boston Cultural Council Grant and Application Guidelines

Fall 2023, Fiscal Year 2024

About the Boston Cultural Council and the Grant

The Boston Cultural Council annually (BCC) distributes general operating grants through the BCC Organizational Grant. Funds are allocated from both the City of Boston and the Mass Cultural Council (MCC), a state agency, to support small and mid sized nonprofit and fiscally sponsored organizations, as well as unincorporated entities and artist collectives, providing innovative arts, cultural, and creative programming that 1.) advances a vibrant, creative and just Boston and 2.) enhances the quality of life in our city. The BCC aims to work in tandem with other grant programs to ensure that all Boston residents can access and participate in arts programming and creative expression. 

The BCC is a five member council composed of Boston residents and is facilitated by the Mayor’s Office of Arts and Culture (MOAC). Council members work in partnership with MOAC on the strategic direction of the grant program, and they also provide final approval of selected grantees. Council members are selected on the basis of their lived experience within Boston’s arts, cultural, and creative communities and their demonstrated commitment to cultural equity.

Our Commitment To Equity

To truly thrive, Boston must be an equitable city. The Mayor’s Office of Arts and Culture (MOAC) and the Boston Cultural Council acknowledge the systemic harm perpetuated by Boston’s arts sector. People of color in Boston have faced significant barriers to creative resources, space, and economic opportunity. We commit to an intersectional racial justice lens that uplifts those most harmed by systemic oppression and racism. We hold ourselves accountable to implement policies and programs that eliminate structural racism, embrace collective healing, and center BIPOC/ALAANA and LGBTQIA+ community members, as well as those who face discrimination due to their age, gender, disability, social status, neighborhood, citizenship status, and more. The BCC, in partnership with MOAC, envisions a vibrant and creative Boston, where everyone can access and participate in the arts.

BCC Grant Strategy 

Ensuring BCC grants contribute towards the goals above requires intentional effort to fund organizations that demonstrate and promote cultural equity in the Boston arts ecosystem. BCC also aims to address inequities in arts funding in Boston. ​A ​2016 study published by The Boston Foundation​ reports that while small to mid-sized organizations make up 86% of Boston’s arts organizations in Boston, they receive significantly less funding compared to larger organizations. It is for this reason that the BCC supports small to mid-sized arts organizations in the Boston arts ecosystem by focusing on organizations with annual budgets under $2 million, committing the majority of grant funds to those with the smallest budgets. In summary, BCC is committed to fund small to mid sized organizations that demonstrate and promote cultural equity in the Boston arts ecosystem.

BCC Grant Categories and Eligibility

Grant Categories

Organizations may apply for grants up to a set limit, based on their organizational budget (total expenses from the most recently completed fiscal year). If an organization is selected as a recipient, they will receive the total amount they are eligible in their budget category. The categories are:

Tier 1:  $5,000: Organizations with budgets between$1,000,000 to $2,000,000 qualify for Tier 1. 

Tier 2:  $7,500 Organizations with budgets between $500,000 to $1,000,000 qualify for Tier 2. 

Tier 3:  $10,000 Organizations with budgets less than $500,000 qualify for Tier 3. 

Eligibility: Who is Eligible to Apply?

  • Non-profit organizations with budgets under $2 million whose mission and programming demonstrates a clear commitment to foster and sustain the arts and/or cultural creative expression in any arts discipline
  • Boston-based organizations or organizations not based in the City of Boston but whose primary programming takes place in Boston and demonstrates strong community partnership.  Reviewers will be looking for specific examples of public benefit to the people of Boston
  • Unincorporated groups can apply with a fiscal sponsor as long as they meet the rest of the eligibility criteria. This includes: artist collectives, volunteer groups, publications, and any other group jointly working toward common creative goals 
  • Organizations can submit only one proposal per funding cycle
  • Nonprofits with L3C designations are eligible to apply

Grant Fund Restrictions

Grant funding may not be used for the following items:

  • To pay salaries or stipends for employees of the Boston school system, library, parks department, or municipality
  • On capital expenditures for schools, libraries, and other municipal agencies
  • On programming that discriminates or discourages participation on the basis of race, gender, religious creed, color, national origin, ancestry, disability, sexual orientation, or age
  • To purchase food or beverages of any kind

The BCC does not award grants to: 

  • Individuals (Individual artists seeking funding from the Mayor’s Office of Arts and Culture may be eligible for the Opportunity Fund and the Neighborhood and Downtown Activation Grant. Please see MOAC’s website for grant opportunities.) 
  • K-12 schools or K-12 school foundations 
  • Main Streets organizations
  • Colleges or universities
  • “Friends of…” organizations whose primary purpose is to support government entities
  • Religious programs of any kind

How to Apply

Application Checklist 

  • Account registration with
  • Most recent financial information like a board approved budget or a budget completed using the BCC budget template
  • Financial documents such as Forms 990 or 1023 that contain your organization’s EIN, year of formation, and NTEE code (if applicable)
  • Materials for the online application including your organization’s mission statement 
  • Up to three support materials such as brochures, flyers, images, testimonials, or other collateral that demonstrates your programming and mission

Application Forms and Submission

BCC uses Submittable for all grant applications. The FY24 BCC Grant can be found here. If you would like to review the application questions in advance of starting an application, you can go here. If you are a first time applicant, you will need to create an account with Submittable. Grant updates and final reports will be made through this account, so we recommend using an email address that is generic for your organization - something that multiple people have access to. While we prefer to have all proposals submitted online, we also accept hand-written hard copies. Hard copies can be picked up in the MOAC’s office: 1 City Hall Square, Boston, MA 02108 (Eighth floor, Room 802).

Application Support

The Mayor’s Office of Arts and Culture will host weekly office hours for applicants to discuss the BCC Organizational Grant and its application. Office hours will be from 3-4PM EST every Tuesday while the grant is open for applications, and you can drop in at any time during that hour. Office hours start on Tuesday, Oct 3, 2023. You can access weekly office hours using this link.

We have an FAQ that you can access here and on our website that we will be updating weekly to include the questions applicants are sending in and their answers, in case that information is helpful to all other applicants.

If you have any further questions, please email with the subject line “Question about BCC Grant Application.” Answers to these questions will be added to the FAQ.

Application Opening and Deadline

The BCC grant application opens on October 1, 2023. The application deadline is Friday, November 17, 2023 at 11:59PM. If you are submitting a hand-written hard copy, it must be postmarked no later than November 17, or delivered to the MOAC’s office by 5:00PM on November 17. No late applications will be accepted, and MOAC staff will not be available after 5pm Friday, November 17. To avoid technical issues, it is recommended to submit your application before the deadline.

Review Process

Once received, grant applications are initially reviewed for eligibility and completeness. If eligible and complete, applications are assigned for review, scored via an evaluation rubric, discussed and selected by the Grant Advisory Team, and approved by the BCC board. All applicants will be notified of BCC funding decisions in March and grants will be disbursed in Spring 2024.

The BCC is committed to implementing transparent, equitable and inclusive grantmaking practices. The BCC Organizational Grant review process will engage MOAC’s Grant Advisory Team, a cohort of diverse stakeholders inclusive of community members and MOAC staff. The aim of the Grant Advisory Team is to position community members as key decision makers on systems and structures that ultimately have the power to shape their lives and the well-being of their communities. 

Evaluation Criteria

Once basic eligibility is met, proposals will be evaluated based on a set criteria. Please see the rubric on page 5 to view the evaluation criteria. 


An applicant may request reconsideration of a decision on its application if the applicant can demonstrate that the BCC failed to follow published application and review procedures. Such requests must be submitted in writing to the Boston Cultural Council within fifteen (15) days of grant notification. No reconsideration may be requested regarding the amount or a decision made about artistic quality or programming priorities.

Grant Payment

During the 2023-2024 grant cycle, all Boston Cultural Council grants will be made in full and up front. Grant reporting is required for grant amounts of $10,000 and over. All grantees must establish a Supplier/Vendor before payment is processed. You can go here to learn how to create a Supplier/Vendor ID. Please email or call 617-961-1058 for additional assistance.

Conflict of Interest

The Boston Cultural Council observes the Mass Cultural Council’s Conflict of Interest Policy regarding review panels. To ensure that all review panels are free from conflicts of interests, panelists are required to disclose any current or prospective affiliations they or their immediate family members have with an actual or potential applicant. “Affiliation” applies to employment, board memberships, independent contractual relationships, advisory or policy relationships, substantial contributor relationships, or other financial relationships. In addition, panelists are required to disclose any past or current adversarial relationships with actual or potential applicants. Panelists will not be permitted to participate in discussions or votes relating to applicants with whom they have an affiliation or relationship.

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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The City of Boston is seeking submissions for the annual Fay Chandler EMERGING Art Exhibition at Boston City Hall, a celebration of the Boston visual arts community. Artists that live, work, or create in the Greater Boston area are encouraged to submit their work for consideration.

Hosted by the Mayor's Office of Arts and Culture, the Fay Chandler EMERGING Art Exhibition will feature fresh, original and contemporary works of art created by Greater Boston area artists. The art will be displayed at Boston City Hall in the Scollay Square Gallery and other galleries November 15, 2023 - December 30, 2023. This year's ay Chandler EMERGING Art Exhibition will be curated and judged by the founders of *Juniper Rag, an art and lifestyle magazine.  

*Fay Chandler was a Boston philanthropist and advocate for the arts. As an artist who started her career later in life, she serves as the inspiration for this exhibition and to artists of all ages! Thank you Fay.

DEADLINE: October 27, 2023 at 11:59 p.m.


  • Best in Show: $2,500.00
  •  Over 50 award: $1500.00
  •  Started making art in the last three years: $1000.00

    * Prize winners from previous year's EMERGING art exhibition are ineligible to apply.

     The reception for the Fay Chandler EMERGING Art Exhibition will take place on Thursday, Nov. 30th from 6-7:30 p.m. in the Scollay Square Gallery, 3rd Floor, Boston City Hall.


       1. Artists must live, work, or create in Greater Boston.

       2. All work must be made in the last 3 years.

       3. Artists with commercial gallery representation are ineligible.

       4. Artists must be at least 18 years old.

       5. 2D art MUST be wired across the back, ready to hang & no larger than 36” in any dimension.

       6. 3D art must be no larger than 18” in any dimension.


       · All work will be displayed in the Scollay Square Gallery and other galleries as needed at Boston City Hall.

       · Artists are responsible for transporting their work.

       · All artists exhibit at their own risk. A waiver will be provided.

       · Artists selected for the exhibition will be notified by November 2, 2023.

       · Drop off of work selected will take place November 6 - 9, 2023.



*About Fay Chandler

In 1960, Fay Chandler was a 39-year-old mother of four who was unsure what to do with her life. She wanted to make a difference, but didn't know how. She was living in Brookline; her husband taught at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His passion was writing history. She wanted a passion of her own. As she enjoyed painting coffee mugs, she wrote away for a painting course offered on the back of a matchbook. Classes followed: first on Nantucket Island and later, more formally, at Boston's Museum School. 

In 1963, her husband accepted a job at Johns Hopkins University and the family moved to Baltimore. Fay applied and was accepted into the Hoffberger Graduate School at the Maryland Institute College of Art. After graduating in 1967, she opened a gallery in Baltimore's very blue collar Fell's Point neighborhood. In 1973, the family returned to New England when her husband accepted a professorship at Harvard Business School. Fay ventured into Boston's South End where a community arts center was struggling to find itself. She rented studio space and became a stalwart supporter of the new Boston Center for the Arts. 

In 1989, she used an inheritance to buy a long-decommissioned fire station in Brighton which she resurrected as artists' studios. As Fay aged and her inventory of paintings and sculptures grew, she realized she needed a creative way to place them. In 1994, she gathered a group of friends; together they developed the concept of an organization that would act as a broker between artists with art to give and social service organizations with walls to cover. The concept became a reality. The Art Connection was born a year later and has now expanded into nearly a dozen cities. 

Over the next 20 years, Fay continued to paint, holding three major retrospectives at the Cyclorama of the BCA. As her ability to give grew, so did her support of the arts and the underserved. Fay particularly believed in helping young people: as such she supported a vast array of arts programs throughout eastern Massachusetts. Fay Chandler died in Brighton on March 3, 2015. She was 92, a widow, living in her beloved Engine House in Brighton and still painting.  

- A. D. Chandler 


*About Juniper Rag 

In 2018, after decades of success working together, Payal Thiffault and Michelle May co-founded Atelier ID Global, a Massachusetts-based design and marketing agency. Because of their personal commitment to artists and the challenges they face, utilizing their skills in marketing with a design legacy and relationships in luxury paper and print, they founded Juniper Rag art and lifestyle magazine to elevate artists globally as they identified a new vehicle for marketing artists. 

Their mission is to elevate visual artists and creative businesses and introduce them to new global markets, while connecting collectors with accessible emerging, mid-level and seasoned professional artists. Juniper Rag celebrates contemporary visual arts and creative businesses — with eyes open to LGBTQIA+ and BIPOC artists. Juniper Rag has curated virtual and live shows as well and collaborated with galleries in Worcester and Boston to grow their reach. 

Boston AIR Continuity Support Funding


The Mayor’s Office of Arts and Culture is seeking proposals from former Boston AIR participants working on projects incubated during their residency.

The budget is up to $9,999, artists may receive partial funding

The application opened on September 1, 2023 12:00 pm EDT.

The application closes on October 13, 2023 5:00 pm EDT.

                  This application is open to any former Boston Artist-in-Residence living or working in Boston.


The Boston Artist-In-Residence (AIR) Program is a City of Boston program that embeds artists in a City department with a City partner to collaboratively research, strategize, and create in that Department. It offers a program on civic art practice, a cohort to learn with, funding for materials, and a stipend. Artists bring their creative approaches and artistic expertise, while the City partners act as subject matter experts and bring their experience working in City systems. Together, they strive to create a community-engaged project that tests more caring approaches to City processes, policies, and practices.

In order to maintain the work begun at the City of Boston through Boston AIR, and to continue supporting the intended outcomes of the residency, the Mayor’s Office of Arts and Culture is seeking proposals from former Boston AIR participants who need support to continue working on projects incubated during their residency.

What can you do with this grant?

You may use this grant for the following:

  • Hire a grant writer to help apply for additional funding
  • Hire a part-time assistant to provide administrative support
  • Pay for professional development workshops or conferences
  • Pay youth or subcontractors
  • Purchase materials
  • Other costs associated with continuing work from Boston AIR

Responsibilities and Scope: What we’ll expect from you

Funding recipients will be responsible for the following:

  • Sharing a final report including any related learnings, feedback, and documentation
  • Presenting at least once to the public about your project and process. The presentation format will be collaboratively determined with MOAC and could be a video, event, blog post, etc.
  • Using funds by the end of June 2024

Resources: What you’ll receive from us

Funding recipients will receive the following resources.

  • Up to $9,999 in funding
  • Access to MOAC communications team for support creating digital content and documentation
  • Check-ins with Mayor’s Office of Arts and Culture

Selection Criteria: What we’re considering while reviewing your proposal

  • Does your proposal connect to previous residency work?
  • Does your proposal explain how the funds support your residency work or make it more sustainable?
  • Does your proposal involve a municipal partner? Is that partner clearly named in the proposal? Municipal includes but is not limited to:                                                                                               
    • Former Boston AIR City partner
    • New City of Boston department
    • State or federal agency
    • Does your proposal involve relevant community partners?
  • Do you have a track record of implementing and completing projects in a timely manner?

Proposal Requirements: What you’ll need to submit in your application

Please include the following in your proposals:               

  • What is your continuity support proposal?
  • How does this proposal connect to your previous residency work?
  • How will these funds support the growth of your practice as it relates to your residency work, or make your work more sustainable?
  • Budget with an outline of how you’re planning to allocate the funds
  • Diversity and inclusion plan                                                                                               
    • The City of Boston is committed to ensuring that vendors who work on the City’s behalf utilize procurement practices that are fully open to the inclusion of small and local businesses, including Small Local Business enterprises, Minority Business Enterprises, Woman Business Enterprises, and Veteran-Owned Small Business Enterprises. Please describe the efforts that you have taken, or will take, to ensure that your selection of subcontractors and suppliers for this contract will be meaningfully open to such companies. If you will not utilize subcontractors and suppliers on this particular contract, please describe any efforts or practices of your company over the past two years that demonstrate a practice of making subcontracting and supplier opportunities available to such companies. In describing your plan, please include specifics.
  •  References related to the work you are proposing (email and phone contact)      
City of Boston Arts and Culture