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City of Boston • The Mayor’s Office of Arts and Culture
Peters Park Graffiti wall: Call to Artists Requests for Proposals (RFP)

Request for Proposals
ALA (African Latino Alliance) Collective, City Lights, Washington Gateway Main Street, Friends of Peters Park, and Old Dover Neighborhood Association, in coordination with the Boston Art Commission, invite Boston artists to submit conceptual designs for consideration for a mural in Peters Park in the South End on the Peters Park Art Wall. 

Call released Thursday January 26, 2017
Deadline Sunday February 26, 2017

This RFP is open to all professional artists, artisans, or teams (hereinafter, referred to as “artists”), with experience in public art, site responsive design, project management, and working with youth. 

About the Art Wall

In 2016, Mayor Martin J. Walsh launched Boston Creates, Boston’s cultural plan. Following the Mayor’s leadership in elevating arts and culture in the City of Boston, we are excited to continue the tradition of the Art Wall into the future with a neighborhood project that aims to celebrate and preserve a history of culturally relevant art for the next wave of artists and community youth. 

The Peters Park Art Wall was proclaimed a legal graffiti wall in 1986 under Mayor Raymond Flynn in order to decrease vandalism in the South End. Local artists, in partnership with local organizations and businesses, seek to continue the tradition of curating and programming the Art Wall both for the enrichment of the neighborhood as well as the preservation and celebration of this area’s diverse cultural history.

For three decades, graffiti artists, community members, and inner-city youth have come to view the Peters Park Graffiti Art Wall as a safe outlet for creative and cultural expression: 

“My son plays baseball in the little league based there. Seeing that art at every game helped root us, realizing that part of my culture is proudly represented here. Long live graffiti on this wall.”- Franklin Miller (Facebook post, Sept. 2016) 

ALA Collective, City Lights, and their network of artists and associates have played a significant role in creating a space where local graffiti writers and other visual artists can showcase their artwork at the Peters Park Graffiti Art Wall, resulting in community events, culturally relevant murals, and a rich history of inner-city youth learning mural painting techniques and life-building skills from progressive graffiti artists. 

“Luis: ... then [we] got the opportunity to paint on some prestigious walls. Especially Peters Park in the South End. So many people wanted to paint there. It started with a crew there [ALA Collective], and some type of partnership with a guy at City Lights. He protected us, and when the police took our paint, he went and got it back."  (Graffiti Kept Me Alive. Jan. 2015. http://bit.ly/2jBBuUz )


ALA Collective, City Lights, Washington Gateway Main Street, Friends of Peters Park, and Old Dover Neighborhood Association, in coordination with the Boston Art Commission, are seeking applications for mural concepts reflecting the traditional and cultural experiences of Boston and the South End community, to replace the existing mural. Selected mural concept to be executed by the submitting artist(s) and a selection of Boston city youth in May 2017.

The Site

The art wall (approximately 25’ x 12’) separates the tennis and handball courts. The design will be on the tennis court side and should include an extension that will wrap around the wall surrounding the handball court walls.

Project Details

Finalist will be selected by Victor “Marka27” Quiñonez and Robert “Problak” Gibbs of ALA Collective, Duggan Hill of City Lights, Kristin Phelan of Washington Gateway Main Street, Bob Wells of Friends of Peters Park and Old Dover Neighborhood Association, and approved by the Boston Art Commission.

$10,000 is budgeted for artist fees and materials, with an additional $500 toward payment for youth.

Deadline for applications: Sunday, February 26, 2017 at 12 AM (Midnight)


  • Sketch of proposed work
  • Brief narrative of design (250 words)
  • Brief narrative of experience working with, mentoring or teaching youth (250 words)
  • Images of past related work (up to 10 image files)
  • Image list / description sheet
  • CV

Please Note:

  • Electronic submissions only
  • Only complete submissions will be reviewed; please see above checklist for requirements.

Please direct all questions to the Boston Art Commission at  BAC@boston.gov.

The Mayor’s Office invites Boston area artists to make art out of overlooked urban forms. Submit your design idea for City utility boxes!


The PaintBox program, organized by the Mayor's Office of Arts and Culture, is geared towards the recognition and celebration of local artists. Artists paint City of Boston utility boxes with original designs. Once professionally painted, these utility boxes in neighborhood business districts will contribute to the vitality and attractiveness of the urban streetscape and deter graffiti.


● Up to three (3) designs by each Boston artist will be considered at a time. The PaintBox design template can be downloaded herehttp://www.publicartboston.com/sites/default/files/PaintBox%20Design%20Template.pdf.
● Selections will be made by the Mayor's Office of Arts and Culture.
● Submissions will be reviewed on a rolling basis.
● Artists will be notified if and when their designs are selected.


Artists must be at least 18 years of age. Artists can only receive one PaintBox stipend per year.


● You must submit a specific location. We encourage artists to select boxes in neighborhoods underserved with public art and boxes that are in need of aesthetic improvement. PaintBox projects proposed for some historic districts may not be approved.
● Artists must avoid dark palettes in order to prevent boxes from overheating in the sun.
● Artists must supply their own materials, tools, and water while painting.
● The utility boxes must be scraped, cleaned and primed (with automobile spray primer) before painting. Please tape over functional areas– hinges, vents, locks, meters, keyholes, and any cautionary text – as the operational use of the boxes cannot be obstructed by paint.
● Artists are responsible for protecting their work from the elements and possible vandalism by using durable materials and a protective varnish and coating of wax. As you develop your designs, please keep in mind that large, empty monochrome areas do not help to discourage vandalism.
● The area around the box must be maintained at all times, including passage on the sidewalk for pedestrians and unobstructed traffic lanes, as well as protecting the area from drips, etc. A dropcloth must be used while priming and painting.
● Please subtly incorporate the text 'Sponsored by the City of Boston' into your design.


Participating Boston artists may receive one $300 stipend from the City of Boston upon completion of their box(es). Artists are responsible for the cost of all materials required to complete and protect their artwork. In order to receive payment, artists must submit the following:

● A photo of the electric utility meter number (if visible) – this is part of a collaboration with the Environment Department to promote energy efficiency through improved tracking for our street lights and traffic lights.
● Photos of the completed PaintBox
●A City of Boston vendor ID number

Visit publicartboston.com to see examples of PaintBoxes in the city. Please click here to view and download the PaintBox design template.

Please contact art@publicartboston.com with any questions.

Artist Certification Guidelines

What is an Artist Certificate? 

An Artist Certificate is a letter from Mayor’s Office of Arts and Culture and the Boston Planning and Development Agency (formerly BRA) to an artist. The letter confirms that the artist has been reviewed by a committee of peers and is “certified” as a working artist. An Artist Certificate qualifies an artist as eligible for artist spaces for a period of eight years. Upon expiration, the artist will need to renew their certification.

Who is eligible for an Artist Certificate?

Applicants must able to demonstrate that they have a recent body of work 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, ceramics, woodworking, architecture/design, 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

Who reviews the applications?

A Peer Review Panel selected from a pool of Boston artists and arts professionals reviews applications on a quarterly basis.

The decision of the panel is final. If an applicant is not certified during this round, they can request feedback on how to improve their application and reapply in a future round. 

Applications will be reviewed based on the following criteria.

  • Evidence of a recent body of work, demonstrated by an artist resume or CV that lists dates and locations of exhibitions, publications, performances, or press. 

  • Documentation of artwork including image files, video clips, and writing samples.

  • Recommendations and letters of support from peers and professionals in the arts.

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 Certification application and upload your fellowship letter in the Work Samples section. 

Public Art  Design Application

The Boston Art Commission, housed within the Mayor's Office of Arts and Culture, advocates for the creation of innovative and transformative art and promotes its accessibility to enrich the lives of Boston’s diverse citizens and visitors. The Art Commission advises, supports, and consults with artists and communities, City departments, and others. It commissions, approves, and conserves the City of Boston’s collection of art and historical artifacts.

Please fill out the following form to propose both short and long-term public art and design interventions and installations on City of Boston property.

All applications will be reviewed by the Boston Art Commission at our monthly meeting, scheduled for the second Tuesday of the month. We generally ask for applications to be submitted 2 weeks before a BAC meeting and 6 weeks before the proposed start date, to allow us time to process the request and work with other departments for permissions and the insurance waiver scheduled BAC meeting.




“We are pleased to release our annual call for poetry as part of the Mayor’s Poetry Program,” said Julie Burros, Chief of Arts and Culture for the City of Boston. “This is a wonderful opportunity afforded to poets around Boston each year and I look forward to reading the work of the talented poets selected.”

Boston is known for its rich literary history, but it is also home to many talented contemporary writers whose work is enjoyed locally, nationally, and internationally. In honor of the diverse and creative village we call Boston, the chosen poems are printed and publicly displayed on the walls of Boston City Hall for 12 months. The goal of the Mayor’s Poetry Program is to honor the great literary tradition that is so strong in our city. The works show great insight into a city that prides itself on diversity, hard work and education, and the poets are a prime example of the talent and energy that exist today in our neighborhoods.

“This year, we welcome poems on the themes of the City of Boston itself, our various neighborhoods, and, in particular, poems that explore the design and architecture of Boston City Hall and City Hall Plaza. Our program coincides with a series of new works, performances and events called Heroic Encounters: Artists Respond to City Hall” notes Danielle Legros Georges, Boston Poet Laureate. She adds, “We’re excited about the conversations these poems will spark.”

SUBMISSION DEADLINE: March 20, 2017   

Selection Process

  • Poet Laureate Danielle Legros Georges will select 30 poems based on strength of content and style

Please submit the following in one document:

  • Up to 3 poems (each poem 250 words or fewer) 

  • A brief bio (no longer than a paragraph)

For more information, contact:

John Crowley, Curator/Exhibitions Coordinator

Mayor's Office of Arts & Culture

Boston City Hall, Room 802

Boston, Massachusetts 02201

Phone: 617/635-2368   Fax: 617/635-1850