Mayor Walsh, AT&T, and the Mayor’s Office of Arts and Culture invite artists and arts groups to submit their proposal for the use of space within the AT&T Boylston flagship store for small group or individual music rehearsals. The selected artists or group will enter into an agreement with the AT&T Boylston store for free rehearsal space according to the space availability and requirements stated below. This Call for Artists is for free rehearsal space only and does not come with any funding.

Call for Artists Timeline

  • Released: Thursday, November 10, 2016
  • Deadline to submit proposals: 5:00 pm Friday, December 9, 2016
  • Artists/Organizations selected: January 2017

Who should apply / Eligibility

This call is open to individual artists, non profits, and artist groups. You do not need to be a non profit organization to apply. Boston residency is preferred.

Space Description and Requirements
  • Space: The available space is on the second floor of the AT&T store at 699 Boylston Street in Boston MA. There is room for up to 4 people, and chairs will be provided. Electrical outlets are not available.

  • Hours: The space will be available for one three-hour block of time per week during store hours (10am - 8pm Monday through Saturday and 11am - 6pm on Sunday). For example, the space could be available from 3 - 6pm every Sunday.

  • Storage: There is a small amount of space to leave music stands or other small equipment. Storage space is not secured, but is private and off the sales floor.

  • Site visit: We encourage interested applicants to see the space firsthand. The AT&T store is open to the public during business hours (10am - 8pm Monday through Saturday and 11am - 6pm on Sunday).

  • The space is ideal for small musical groups that do not require amplification.

Project Background

In June 2016, the City of Boston issued Boston Creates, the city’s cultural plan. The Alternative Space Pilot Project was announced as one of the first implementation steps, responding to the lack of affordable rehearsal and work space for artists. This program will make use of underutilized private space as rehearsal space for arts organizations and artists. The Mayor’s Office of Arts and Culture will help match arts organizations and artists to the available spaces for rehearsals on a regular basis, for a minimum of a one-year commitment.

Artist Selection and Process

Applications will be reviewed by the selection committee, based on the evaluation criteria below. Once an artist or group is selected, a rehearsal schedule and space details will be finalized through a signed agreement between the artist(s) and AT&T. The artist(s) will have access to the space for one year from signing. The Mayor’s Office of Arts and Culture will serve as a resource throughout the year to both AT&T and the selected artist(s). Periodic check-ins may be scheduled with all three parties as needed.

Selection Committee

  • Nurys Camargo, AT&T
  • Scott Wheeler, Composer
  • Mark Kates, Fenway Recordings

Evaluation Criteria

  1. Space match - is the applicant a good fit for the store and the available space?

  2. Expression of need - does the applicant sufficiently demonstrate a space need?

  3. History of presenting or working in Boston - does the applicant demonstrate a history of sharing artistic work with the public and contributing to the arts and culture sector in Boston?

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

Please contact 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. 

Ends on December 15, 2016

Opportunity Fund Working Guidelines

Purpose: This grant aims to support individual artists in activities that continue their education and skill building, or helps them share their work or teach others. Additionally, teachers may use this fund for field trips. This is a pilot program and our guidelines will be evolving.  

Eligibility: An artist living or working in the City of Boston (preference will be given to Boston residents); a teacher at a school located in Boston; a teaching artist offering workshops in a Boston Public Library, BCYF Center, senior housing or senior center, or non-profit social service agency. Current Boston Artists in Residence and City of Boston Artist Fellows are not eligible to apply.

Application Cycle: Applications will be accepted starting the first of every month, except October and April when other BCC grant applications are due. Individuals may only receive grant funding from the Opportunity Fund once per year.

Eligible Expenses: This grant will fund specific needs, such as materials, professional development costs, conference fees, travel related to professional development, stipends for teaching artists, field trips, or anything that helps you share your work with the public.

Ineligible Expenses: Grant funds cannot be used for staff salaries or benefits, per diems, or incidental expenses incurred during the conference/professional development experience.

Available Funds: Applicants may request up to $1,000. $10,000 will be available per month until it runs out.

Reporting Requirements: All grantees will be required to submit a final report that describes the outcomes of the experience and how the funds were used. Final reports must be filed online.