Ends on July 10, 2017

BCC Artist Fellowship Award

Mayor Martin J. Walsh, The Mayor’s Office of Arts and Cultural and the Boston Cultural Council introduces the City of Boston’s first Artist Fellowship Award. The Artist Fellowship Award invests in the advancement of artists living in Boston. This direct, unrestricted award aims to recognize exceptional original artistic work throughout the city, with the goal of helping recipients advance their careers and continue their work in Boston with success.

The Award

The City of Boston will offer five fellowship awards, each worth $10,000 in 2017. Awards will be distributed across artistic disciplines, and the number of awards per discipline will vary according to the applications received and the recommendations of the review panel. Awards will be distributed throughout Boston to artists from a diverse range of backgrounds who live and work in different neighborhoods throughout the city. During the 12 month period of fellowship, recipients will be asked to collaborate with the City of Boston on one public event showcasing their individual work. In addition to a monetary award, recipients will receive professional development support, mentorship specialized to their needs, and collaborative programmatic support on public events from the Mayor’s Office of Arts & Culture. Recipients will also be encouraged to serve as a juror for the following year’s Fellowship Award.


  • To commend the work of extraordinary artists living in Boston and invest in their future success

  • To allow Boston-based artists the resources necessary to dedicate their time to creating high-quality work

  • To provide professional growth and career development opportunities to Boston-based artists; and

  • To elevate local artists within our city.

Who May Apply

Individual artists who work professionally in art disciplines, including but not limited to dance, music, theatre, visual arts, poetry/fiction writing, interdisciplinary/performance art, and media arts may apply. Applicants must be City of Boston residents and able to provide accurate documentation upon request. Applications submitted on behalf of an artist are welcome. Awardees must maintain their residency through the 12 months following when they receive the fellowship.


  • Must live in Boston, and must plan to remain a City of Boston resident for 12 months after receiving the Artist Fellowship Award if awarded

  • Must be at least 18 years old

  • Cannot be enrolled in a degree program when applying for the Artist Fellowship Award and during the 12 months after receiving the Artist Fellowship Award

  • Must be able to illustrate at least three years of experience creating art through the application process

  • Applicants must have lived in Boston for three years before applying

  • Previous recipients of the Artist Fellowship Award are not eligible to apply again for the Artists Fellowship Award

  • Must have one public presentation of work during the year of fellowship

  • Current recipients of Boston AIR (Boston Artists-in-Residence) are not eligible to apply

Allowable Expenses

This is an unrestricted award that can be used for expenses at the discretion of the recipient, with the intention of providing recipients with the support they need to be able to continue their high-quality artistic practices. Artists will be asked in the application process to detail how this award will help advance their careers and how they envision using the award.

Timeline and Review Process

Applications for the Artist Fellowship Award will open on May 31. Once received, award applications will be initially reviewed for eligibility and completeness. If eligible and complete, they will then be evaluated by a panel of jurors from the Boston Cultural Council and scored against an evaluation rubric. Scores are then tallied and averaged. The BCC will review and discuss finalist applications to approve recipients of the award. Awardees will be notified of Artist Fellowship Award decisions in August and selected applicants will receive the award thereafter. Recipients will be recognized as Boston Artist Fellows for a year and will be asked to work closely with the Mayor’s Office of Arts and Culture during that time to plan a public event highlighting their work, and to receive further professional development support and mentorship. At the end of the fellowship period, recipients will provide a final report about their experience.

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