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Arts and Culture

We foster the growth of the cultural community in Boston and promote participation in the arts.

Our office enhances the quality of life, the economy, and the design of the City through the arts. The role of the arts in all aspects of life in Boston is reinforced via equitable access to arts and culture in every community, its public institutions, and public places.

Key areas of work include support to the cultural sector through grants and programs, as well as the production and permitting of art in public places.

Arts and Culture
Contact
1 City Hall Square
Room 802
Boston, MA 02201-2029
United States
Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Current Opportunities

Current Opportunities
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Our Town Grant Project Support

We're accepting partnership applications from local nonprofits for Our Town, a National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) creative placemaking grant program.

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Fay Chandler Emerging Art Exhibition

We're looking for fresh, original and contemporary works of art created by emerging Boston artists to be displayed at Boston City Hall.

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Public Art Curator Roster

We're creating a list of qualified curators interested in leading in the creation of municipal, private, and public-private public art projects. 

Latest news

News
Love Thyself mural
Jun 14

Two City-supported public art projects honored at Americans for the Arts convention

Arts and Culture
Artist Fellow Michelle Fornabai, Courtesy of Anne Piessens
Apr 29

Artist fellow Michelle Fornabai on what one artist can do for a City

Arts and Culture
Project Partnership graphic
Apr 18

Applications open for Artist Fellowship Award, new Project Partnership Grant

Arts and Culture
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Apr 1

Mayor Walsh asks for help in advocating for dedicated arts and culture funding

Arts and Culture
More Arts news

Arts and The City Newsletter

Sign up to stay connected on updates from our office, local arts events, and general arts news.

Artist Resource Desk Newsletter

Sign up to stay connected and hear about opportunities for artists including jobs, grants, housing, and calls for art.

Artist Resource Desk

Find out about resources and services available for artists in the City of Boston.

Public Art

Public Art
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Boston Art Commission

First created in 1890, the commission advocates for public art in Boston’s civic spaces. 

Grove Hall mural
Apply for public art projects

You can propose both short and long-term public art and design projects on City property.

Dudley library renovation
Percent for Art

We set aside one percent of the City’s annual capital borrowing budget for the commissioning of public art.

Strand Theatre

The theater in Dorchester serves as a cultural and educational resource to artists and audiences.

Boston Creates Cultural Plan

Boston Creates is the City of Boston's ten-year long cultural plan. The goal is to enhance arts and culture in the City. It was established through an extensive community engagement process. This included a town hall meeting and a citywide online survey. Some goals highlighted in the plan include:

  • providing fertile grounds for a vibrant and sustainable arts ecosystem
  • keeping local artists in Boston and attracting new ones here
  • making arts accessible to everyone
  • ensuring that all cultural traditions are respected, and
  • integrating arts and culture into all aspects of civic life.

Other Programs

Alternative Space Pilot Project for Artists
We partner with local businesses and institutions to make underused private spaces available to artists.
Artist Resource Desk
Find out more about services for artists in the City of Boston.
Boston AIR
In the program, artists, community members, and City employees work on projects that help reframe social conversations.
Boston Cultural Council
The council awards grants that help artists and arts organizations thrive.
City Hall Galleries
Boston City Hall is home to several galleries that promote and exhibit the work of Boston artists.
Cultural Districts
Cultural districts are well-recognized areas that help strengthen local economies and add vibrancy to local culture.
Current Open Calls and Applications
See what public art projects the City has planned and submit your proposals.
Finding space as an artist in Boston
We want to help artists of all disciplines find spaces in Boston.
King Memorial
We're working with nonprofit MLK Boston to help bring a memorial honoring Martin Luther King, Jr. and Coretta Scott King to Boston.
Mayor's Recovery Month Book Club
The City hosts a citywide read featuring books focused on substance use and addiction recovery in September.
Open Studios
Talk to and buy art directly from artists, see demonstrations, listen to music, and more.
Percent for Art
The City sets aside one percent of its annual capital borrowing budget for the commissioning of public art.
Poet Laureate
The Poet Laureate works to raise the status of poetry in the everyday lives of residents.
Raining Poetry
The Mayor's Mural Crew works with the Poet Laureate and Mass Poetry to create invisible poems on the streets of Boston.