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.
***PLEASE NOTE: If you are planning on submitting an application to the Terrace Street Artist Condos Lottery, you must submit your Artist Housing Certification application before 5PM on July 27 to guarantee that you will receive your certification letter (if you are approved) before the Terrace Street Artist Condo application deadline of July 30.***
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, 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. 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?
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 Housing 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.
- This is an ongoing search, there is no deadline
Applications must be submitted three weeks before a Boston Art Commission meeting and six weeks before the proposed installation start date. The BAC meets on the second Tuesday of every month.
The Mayor's Office of Arts and Culture is following the City of Boston's phased re-opening plan. We encourage you to monitor the City's re-opening page, where we continue to update exhibit and performance guidelines. As you consider applying, keep in mind that these phases may impact approval and installation timelines.
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.
This form is for BAC review 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 may be reviewed by the Boston Art Commission at our monthly meeting, generally scheduled for the second Tuesday of the month. Applications must be submitted three weeks before a BAC meeting and six weeks before the proposed installation start date.
The City of Boston is looking for its next Youth Poet Laureate. The Boston Youth Poet Laureate program (BYPL) was created in cooperation with national youth literary organization, Urban Word, and local youth literary leaders, Boston Public Library, MassLEAP, and 826 Boston to promote appreciation for poetry. Similar to the Poet Laureate's civic challenge, the Youth Poet Laureate is tasked with inspiring deeper engagement in the written and spoken word.
Like the City’s Poet Laureate, the Youth Poet Laureate will act as an advocate for poetry, language and the arts, and create a unique artistic legacy through public readings and civic events. They will also attend a variety of civic functions, participate in poetry events, and oversee special civic projects. The mission for the youth laureateship is to raise the status of poetry in the everyday consciousness of Bostonians.
The Youth Poet Laureate is a ceremonial and not a political appointment, and is intended to be a significant fixture in Boston's cultural and artistic arena. The Youth Poet Laureate will be able to learn, teach, and be a part of the great literary traditions of Boston.
The Boston Youth Poet Laureate will be expected to:
- Present appropriate works at civic events and attend official functions as a literary ambassador.
- Enhance current Boston Public School and Boston Public Library poetry programs through engagement and outreach.
- Act as a resource during National Poetry Month each April.
- Work in harmony with the City of Boston Poet Laureate.
- Represent Boston in local and possibly national Youth Poet Laureate competitions.
- Be 13-18 years of age.
- Have resided in the City of Boston for a minimum of one year prior to nomination.
- Display a strong commitment to the community.
- Be enthusiastic about fulfilling your duties and serving in a public facing role.
- Be willing to present your work in public.
- Be comfortable with public speaking.
NOTE: The committee welcomes candidates regardless of race, gender, belief, national origin, sexual orientation or physical ability.
Term of Service
The recommended term of service for the Youth Poet Laureate is two years, based on the calendar year. A Poet Laureate may serve a maximum of two consecutive terms (four years) at the Mayor’s discretion. If the Poet Laureate cannot fulfill his/her/their term due to illness, relocation, or inability to perform, the Laureate Selection Panel shall select a new Youth Poet Laureate to complete the term.
The Youth Poet Laureate will:
- Earn a $2,000 honorarium each year.
- Receive mentoring from the City of Boston Poet Laureate.
- Publish a collection of poems.
Applications must include the following:
- Artist Statement and Biography - 250 words.
- Artist Intent - What are some of your goals if awarded BYPL? (150 words.)
- Up to five (5) original poems, ten pages, total. One of the poems should explore the theme "Boston".
- Proof of City of Boston residency.
- Candidates should also have written permission and contact info of Parent or Legal Guardian.
***The Youth Poet Laureate position may require minor local travel, and will provide potential opportunities to travel to out-of-state for Regional and even National Youth Poetry competitions.
- Digital entries strongly preferred, but you may also mail in printed entries to: The Mayor’s Office of Arts and Culture Attn: Youth Poet Laureate Selection Panel Boston City Hall, Room 802 One City Hall Plaza Boston, MA 02201
- All entries must be submitted in a conventional font (such as Times New Roman) at 12-point size. Do not place name or address on works of poetry.
- Photocopied poems from publications are acceptable, however, name and/or address cannot be included. Do not staple documents.
- If return of materials is desired, enclose a self-addressed envelope with sufficient postage.
- Faxed or emailed applications will NOT be accepted.
Submissions - both digital and printed – must be received by November 14, 2021.
The selection process will consist of two-phases. After an initial screening of eligible applicants, the Laureate Selection Panel will evaluate all entries and choose its top candidates. Selection Panel will then hold interviews with the final candidates. During the interview, candidates may be asked to read some of their works, along with answering questions related to how they will make use of the Youth Poet Laureateship.
Ten finalists will receive an interview with the Selection Panel on December 4, 2021 and will be notified by mid December 2021. Boston Youth Poet Laureate will be announced at Finalist Showcase on January 15, 2022 at Boston Public Library Central.
All writings, notes, and original materials produced by the Youth Poet Laureate during the tenure as the Youth Poet Laureate shall remain the property of the Youth Poet Laureate. However, the City of Boston will have the right to reproduce these works.
For further information, contact:
Tom Johnston, the Mayor’s Office of Arts & Culture at 617.635.1238 or email@example.com.
This year, in addition to the Boston Cultural Council grants, the City of Boston is also offering grants for Reopen Creative Boston - funding available through the American Rescue Plan Act for arts and culture organizations that need financial relief as a result of COVID-19.
In order to streamline this process, the Mayor's Office of Arts and Culture has one application form for all applicants. Please review the information below and read the full guidelines before applying.
Eligibility for Fall Funding:
- Organizations with annual operating budgets under $2 million are eligible for the Boston Cultural Council grant and the Reopen Creative Boston grant.
- Organizations with annual operating budgets over $2 million are eligible only for the Reopen Creative Boston grant.
- Organizations must be located in the City of Boston or demonstrate that they provide programming to people in the City of Boston.
Boston Cultural Council Overview:
The BCC offers general operating support grants to arts and cultural organizations with budgets of less than $2 million. If an organization is selected as a recipient, they will receive the total amount they are eligible for in their budget category:
- Organizations with budgets less than $100,000 may apply for a grant of $5,000
- Organizations with budgets between $100,000 and $500,000 may apply for a grant of $3,500
- Organizations with budgets between $500,000 and $2,000,000 may apply for a grant of $2,000
Reopen Creative Boston Overview:
The RCB is a $3M grant program to cover expenses related to reopening the arts and culture sector and resuming cultural programming and services.
Eligible organizations include:
- Arts and cultural organizations of any budget size that can demonstrate that they have been negatively economically impacted by COVID-19, such as: performing arts facilities, music venues, creative youth development organizations, and presenting organizations.
- Up to $50,000 to cover costs for reopening and restarting programs. Eligible costs include payroll, new technology, and costs related to ongoing organizational shifts in response to the negative economic impact of COVID-19 such as consulting services and new technology costs.
- Arts and Cultural non profit and for profit organizations that operate and own cultural facilities will be eligible for an additional grant up to $50,000.
Application Forms and Submission
- You can save your application and return to it later!
- BCC applicants who want to apply for additional funding through Reopen Creative Boston will be asked to answer three additional questions about the impact of COVID-19 on their organization. The more detail provided the better we will be able to determine your grant amount.
- We prefer to have all proposals submitted online. You can pick up a hard copy at the Mayor's Office of Arts and Culture and drop off hand-written copies. The Mayor's Office of Arts and Culture is located at 1 City Hall Square, 8th floor room 802, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from 9am-5:00pm.
- Applicants must have Vendor ID, Application Name & Address match the information on the City of Boston supplier portal. For assistance using the Supplier Portal, creating a new vendor account, updating existing vendor account updates, creating a User ID, etc you will find detailed instructions with screenshots at this link. Scroll to the bottom of the page to the 'Related Documents' section.
- Applicants for Reopen Creative Boston will be required to submit a DUNS number. Click here for instructions on how to receive a DUNS number if you do not have one already.
- If using a fiscal sponsor, you must have a letter from the sponsor confirming that they will accept the funds and distribute the funds to the applicant.
- Online and paper applications must be received on or before October 15, 2021, 5:00 pm EST.
- No late applications will be accepted.