Introduction

As one of the United States’ oldest cities, Boston has been at the forefront of many of the conversations that have shaped the country. Boston is famous for spearheading the rebellion against Britain, leading abolitionist efforts, and in recent years fiercely advocating for immigrant rights. It has also maintained de facto and de jure racism from beginning with its storied role in European conquest and colonialism, through acting as an economic engine for slavery, and in recent generations, through supporting segregation in housing and education. This complex cultural legacy of revolution and erasure remains largely misunderstood as divergent and opposing narratives. Today, over half of the city’s residents are people of color. The city’s changing demographics present an opportunity to better understand our diverse, and often untold, historical and cultural inheritance, as well as our potential to live up to our democratic ideals. 

The Mayor’s Office of Arts and Culture (MOAC) is committed to the arts, however, we are also charged with representing and advancing culture in all of its forms. In addition to this RFI, we are seeking a thought partner to help us craft and implement a strategy that centers a multitude of cultures present in our communities and prioritizes funding artists, art organizations, and art forms that have historically had difficulty accessing funding through traditional channels.

This RFI’s purpose is to enable us to create a public roster of entities that do cultural equity work that we can publish on our website for people seeking these services. 

What We Are Seeking

In order to create a publicly available roster of qualified individuals and firms who focus on racial equity at the intersections of our program areas, MOAC is seeking individuals and firms who operate at the intersection of equity and arts and culture to:

  1. Inform the City’s ongoing consulting needs
  2. Serve as a resource for the arts and culture sector in Boston, and 
  3. Integrate creative and holistic approaches into ongoing equity and cultural competency trainings and work. 

For this RFI, MOAC is seeking information from individuals and firms with expertise in leading equity transformation and experience in the following areas of practice:

  • Arts and Culture Grantmaking and Program Design
  • Arts and Cultural Policy
  • Arts and Cultural Data Collection, Analysis, and Visualization
  • Creative Community Engagement
  • Creative Placemaking
  • Cultural Competency
  • Cultural Planning
  • Participatory Action Research
  • Socially Engaged, Social Practice, and Civic Practice Art
  • Technical Assistance and Professional Development for Artists and Cultural Workers/Practitioners 

We are also seeking information from individuals and firms with professional expertise in:

  • Trainings on any of the topics outlined above
  • Project evaluation on any of the topics outlined above
  • Facilitation on any of the topics outlined above
  • Case study research and development on any of the topics outlined above

What We Will Provide

This document is a Request for Information only. This RFI does not guarantee an award of contract. This is a solicitation for the advertisement of services. As we endeavor to support the advancement racial equity we want to know who works in this field and be able to provide a list that can be shared publicly between organizations that seek this kind of assistance from qualified service providers. This process may serve as the source for the creation of that curated list. 

MOAC will not be liable for any costs or expenses incurred by any Respondent in connection with this RFI. The costs and expenses incurred by a Respondent in the preparation, submission, and presentation of the response are the responsibility of the respondent and not chargeable to MOAC. Only respondents to this RFI will be included in the resultant directory. 

How to Reply

Please note All written responses to this RFI, or other written materials or presentations submitted in response with this RFI, or written questions regarding this RFI including return email addresses if questions or RFI responses are delivered via email, will become public records under the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Public Records Law (Massachusetts General Laws chapter 66 section 10; the “Public Records Law”) upon submission, regardless of any confidentiality notices that may be set forth on such written responses, materials, presentations, or questions. All such responses, materials, presentations, and questions are subject to public disclosure unless they, or any portions thereof, are otherwise exempted from the requirements of the Public Records Law pursuant to General Laws Chapter 4, Section 7(26). Do not submit confidential information in your response. Interested parties are invited to respond to this Request for Information (RFI).

We may request a follow-up interview or demonstration once we’ve reviewed the responses.

Artist Certification Guidelines

What is an Artist Certificate? 

An Artist Certificate is a letter from Mayor’s Office of Arts and Culture. 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 live/work and work spaces listed through the Artist Space program - spaces developed by the City of Boston. The Artist Certification is valid for a period of eight years. Upon expiration, the artist will need to reapply ro renew their 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.

Who is eligible for an Artist Certificate?

Applicants must able to demonstrate that they have a recent body (last three years) of fine 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, 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

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.

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 artist 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 including image files, video clips, and writing samples. Files must be dated or they will not be considered. 
  • Recommendations and letters of support from peers and professionals in the arts.

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?

You will hear back about your application the week after we review applications. 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 Certification application and upload your fellowship letter in the Work Samples section. Letter must prove reception of award in the past three years.

Public Art Curator Roster Guidelines

The City of Boston is creating a list of qualified curators interested in leading in the creation of municipal, private, and public-private public art projects. The Public Art Curator Roster is a response to an increase in requests for qualified curators experienced in the public realm from stakeholders in the field. In order to provide interested parties introduction to experienced public art curators, this list will be made publicly available on Boston.gov/arts. 

The Public Art Curator Roster is valid for a period of eight years. Upon expiration, the curator will need to reapply to renew their inclusion on the roster.

Who is eligible for a Public Art Curator Roster?
Applicants must able to demonstrate that they have a recent body (last three years) of curatorial experience and must be at least 18 years of age. Additionally, curators and other professionals with experience and interest in the following categories are considered:

  • Public art planning
  • Public art project management

Curators with experience and interest in the following categories of projects are considered:

  • Private property projects
  • Public property projects
  • Interior projects
  • Exterior projects
  • Temporary installations
  • Long-term installations
  • Two-dimensional projects
  • Three-dimensional projects
  • Participatory activations working with multiple stakeholders 

Curators may work as a sole proprietor or may be a member of a larger organization or company but must apply individually. 

The City of Boston is committed to creating a diverse and inclusive environment. Qualified applicants will be considered regardless of their sex, race, age, religion, color, national origin, ancestry, physical or mental disability, genetic information, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, military, and veteran status, or other protected category.

Why create this roster?

The Boston Mayor’s Office of Arts and Culture (MOAC) released the City’s first cultural plan, Boston Creates, in 2016, calling for increased support to Boston’s arts and culture ecosystem. In order to integrate art into Boston's landscape, the City created a Percent for Art Program demonstrating the City’s leadership and commitment to sustainable funding for the arts by setting aside one percent of the City’s annual capital borrowing budget for the commissioning of public art. 

In order to fulfill this shared vision of a robust arts and culture ecosystem, the City's efforts must be met with private endeavors and public-private partnerships. Urban visionaries across the world invite curators and artists to join their design teams; we encourage all leaders working in Boston to celebrate the unique cultural vibrancy of the city of Boston through the creation of innovative and transformative artworks in our built environment. 

Who reviews the applications?

The Mayor's Office of Arts and Culture reviews applications and decisions are final. If an applicant is not accepted during this round, it is because they were not able to convey that they have been actively curating public art projects 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 a resume or CV that lists dates and locations of exhibitions, installations, publications, performances, press, awards, residencies, jobs held in arts discipline field, and formal training if relevant.
  • Documentation of installations and exhibitions including image files, video clips, and writing samples. Files must be dated or they will not be considered. 
  • Recommendations and letters of support from peers and professionals in the arts.

When are applications accepted?
Applications for the Public Art Curator Roster are reviewed on a rolling basis. Applications are reviewed the last week of every month. If you submit your application by close of business on the last Tuesday of the month, your application will be reviewed that month.

When will I hear back about the status of my application?
You should expect to wait no more than 6 weeks to hear back.

Boston City Hall

Call to Artists & Art Organizations

The Scollay Square Gallery, The Mayor’s Gallery, and 

The Mayor’s Neighborhood Gallery at Boston City Hall.

 

Seeking artists and artist organizations, that live or create in Boston to exhibit at Boston City Hall. Your submission will be kept on file for future consideration.

 

Selection process

  • This is an ongoing search, there is no deadline


City of Boston logo 


Boston Art Commission logo 

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 note that the BAC only commissions artwork through public Requests for Proposals. This form is for BAC review and vote on whether to allow artwork to be sited on City property; this is not an application for funding. 

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 ask for applications to be submitted three weeks before a BAC meeting and six weeks before the proposed installation start date.

City of Boston Arts and Culture