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Opportunity Fund

Apply for a grant to help continue your professional development, build skills, share your artistic work, and teach others.

Update: The Opportunity Fund has been modified to best address the current needs of artists whose creative practices and incomes are being adversely impacted by COVID-19. As of March 12, 2020, the Opportunity Fund application will operate as the Boston Artist Relief Fund.


The Opportunity Fund provides grants of up to $2,000 to support individual artists, increased access to the arts, and local arts events.

Upcoming application cycle

The Boston Artist Relief Fund will be open on a rolling basis and will replace the Opportunity Fund through June 30, 2020. The Opportunity Fund will reopen for applications after July 1. Please sign up for our newsletter and follow us on social media to stay updated.

Apply for the Artist Relief Fund

Have questions?

If you have any questions about the program, you can contact Arts@Boston.gov

Latest News

Latest News
Singing woman photo

Boston establishes Artist Relief Fund in response to Coronavirus

Arts and Culture
Yo Soy Lola event funded by Opportunity Fund

Starting the year off strong with the Opportunity Fund

Arts and Culture
Image for 826 boston 2

Applications open for 2020 Boston Cultural Council Organizational Grants and Opportunity Fund

Arts and Culture
Image for boston artist opportunity fund 2 1

More than $66,000 awarded in last two rounds of Opportunity Fund, 198 artists supported in 2018

Arts and Culture

Application and requirements

Keep in mind

You can only receive an Opportunity Fund grant once per fiscal year, which is July 1-June 30. You’re not eligible to apply if:

There are also different eligibility rules depending on the grant category you apply for. 

Available funds

In FY20, we will distribute $200,000 in funds.

Reporting requirements

If you receive a grant, you must submit a final report that describes your experience and how you used the funds. You must file the final report online within one year of receiving the grant.

Please note

If we award you a grant, you or your fiscal sponsor must apply for a Vendor ID number from the City of Boston to receive your funds.

Grant categories

Grant categories

Artists living in the City of Boston who want to pursue one-time artistic opportunities to further their career can apply for up to $1,000. This includes funding:

  • to help support an artistic project
  • for artistic materials, and
  • for professional development opportunities.
Eligibility

You need to live in the City of Boston. Your annual household income must also be less than 65% of the area median income (AMI). Nearly 80% of Certified Artists we surveyed make an income of under $50,000 per year. See below for 2017 income limits:

Household Size

65% AMI

1

$51,600

2

$58,950

3

$66,300

4

$73,650

5

$79,550

6

$85,450

Eligible expenses
  • Cost of artistic materials.
  • Cost of travel, conferences, or residency fees.
  • Costs related to an artistic project, such as help framing paintings before an exhibition.
Who can apply?

Artists and teaching artists who would like to bring free arts experiences into a Boston community can apply for up to $2,000. We focus on neighborhoods that have a lower concentration of arts activities open to the public.

Focus communities include:

These arts experiences don’t need to happen in these neighborhoods. But, we’re prioritizing these areas. We encourage you to explain how the community where your event will take place is underserved by arts experiences.

Where you can hold events

Experiences can take place in libraries and schools. You can also hold them in less traditional arts-learning spaces, like senior centers, health centers, or community centers.

Please note

Your arts experience must be free and open to the public.

Eligibility

You can live anywhere, but the arts experience must take place in the City of Boston. We prefer an event that takes place in one of our priority neighborhoods. Your arts experience must be also be free and open to the public.

Eligible expenses
  • Materials for the arts experience
  • Pay for artists putting the experience together
Who can apply?

Are you producing a festival in the City of Boston and you received a Mass Cultural Council Festivals Program grant? You’re eligible to receive a matching grant from the Opportunity Fund.

Eligibility

You can live anywhere, but your festival must take place in the City of Boston.

Eligible expenses
  • Fees paid to artists, musicians, performers, celebrities, special guests, and speakers.
  • Programming and production costs.
  • Equipment rentals, such as sound, stage, and lighting.
  • Accessibility services, like enhancements for people with visual impairment or hearing loss.
  • Audience surveys and research or economic impact studies related to the festival.
  • Translation costs for content like promotional or programming materials.
  • Marketing and promotional materials.
When to apply

For festivals taking place between March 1 - August 30, 2018, please apply by the April 30 Opportunity Fund deadline.