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Last updated: 5/8/19

Artist Certification

You can become a certified artist with the City of Boston. This allows you to qualify for affordable artist spaces to live and work.

What is an Artist Certificate? It’s a letter to an artist from:

With an Artist Certification, you are qualified for artist spaces developed by the City of Boston for eight years. After that time ends, you need to reapply to renew your certification. Not all spaces for artists to live and work in the City require an Artist Certification. Click here to see which spaces for artists in the City of Boston require an Artist Certification and which do not.

Apply for Artist Certification

Upcoming deadlines

We review applications at the end of the following months:

  • May
  • July
  • September
  • November
  • January
  • March

Have questions? Contact:

Artist Certificate eligibility

You must be able to show a recent body of work. This means your resume or CV needs to give evidence of artistic work over the past three years, and samples of your art work must be dated. You also need to be at least 18 years of old.


The Artist Resource Manager reviews Artist Certification applications. The decision of the Artist Resource Manager is final. If you are rejected, it is because your application did not prove active artistic work in the past three years. You can re-apply if your application is rejected.

We review applications on a bi-monthly basis. Applicants should hear back no more than two months after applying.

  • 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, nonfiction, poetry, and spoken word
  • Multidisciplinary Art

Evidence of a body of work over the past three years. Your resume or CV should list:

  • dates and locations of group or individual exhibitions
  • publications
  • performances
  • press coverage
  • awards and grants
  • residencies
  • jobs held in field of artistic discipline, and
  • formal training in the arts, if you have it.

Documents related to your artwork. This includes image files, video clips, and writing samples. Works must be dated or else they will not be considered.

Recommendations and letters of support from peers and professionals in the arts. One letter is required.

Automatic certification

An artist receives automatic certification if they received any of the following awards in the last three years:

  • Massachusetts Cultural Council Artist Fellowship
  • Boston Foundation Brother Thomas Fellowship
  • Boston Cultural Council Artist Fellowship
  • Boston Artist-in-Residence (AIR) Award
  • City of Boston Emerging Artist Award

To receive automatic certification, please fill out your contact information in the Artist Certification application. You’ll need to upload your award letter in the Work Samples section.