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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.

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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Exhibit in the City Hall Galleries

There are three galleries in Boston City Hall where we showcase rotating exhibits featuring local artists and groups.

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Equity Transformation Project RFI

We're creating a publicly available roster of qualified individuals and firms who focus on racial equity at the intersections of our program areas.

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Artist Certification

Artists who receive a City of Boston Artist Certification qualify for affordable artist spaces to live and work.

Latest news

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Meet the Boston Art Commission: Robert Freeman

Arts and Culture
Boston Youth Poet Laureate Alondra Bobadilla with Chief of Arts and Culture Kara Elliott-Ortega and Poet Laureate Porsha Olayiwola

Alondra Bobadilla named Boston's inaugural Youth Poet Laureate

Arts and Culture
Image for Seventeen new designs chosen from our latest Holiday 'B' contest

Seventeen new designs chosen from our latest Holiday 'B' contest

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Older and Bolder, an elder voice project from Boston AIR

Application open for fourth round of Boston AIR, City's artist residency program

Arts and Culture
More Arts news

Artist Resource Desk

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

Artist Resource Desk

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. 

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Apply for public art projects

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

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Our Public Art Projects

We commission artists for both temporary and permanent public art projects in the City of Boston.

Strand Theatre

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

Strand information

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. These artists explore the ways they can use art and media to improve and bolster City initiatives.

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.

One Boston Resilience Project

We're beginning a citywide community engagement process to envision our collective strength after violence, as illuminated by the Boston Marathon Bombing.

Open Studios

Talk to and buy art directly from artists, see demonstrations, listen to music, and more.


Local artists can paint a City of Boston-owned utility box with their original designs.

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.