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Last updated: 11/27/17

Opportunity Fund

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

The Opportunity Fund provides grants up to $1,000 to support individual artists, increased access to the arts, and local arts events.

Have questions?

If you have any questions about the program, you can contact Julia Ryan at 617-635-ARTS, or email julia.ryan@boston.gov.

Upcoming Application Cycle

The Opportunity Fund is open for applications. The upcoming deadline for applications is December 30, 2017.

Application and requirements

Keep in mind

You can only receive an Opportunity Fund grant once per calendar year. You’re not eligible to apply if:

There are also different eligibility rules depending on the grant category you apply for. Check the grant category section on this page for more information.

Available funds

In FY18, we’ll distribute $200,000 in grants through the Opportunity Fund. We grant funds throughout the year.

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.

Application

Learn more about the fund — and apply — on our application page:

Opportunity Fund application

Grant workshops

Grant workshops

Application timeline

We accept applications on a rolling basis and review them every other month. Remember, you can only receive grant funding once per year.

If you need funding between:

Apply by this deadline:

We notify you if you received funding by:

February 28 - April 30, 2018

December 30, 2017

February 28, 2018

April 30 - June 30, 2018

February 28, 2018

April 30, 2018

June 30 - August 30, 2018

April 30, 2018

June 30, 2018

August 30 - October 30, 2018

June 30, 2018

August 30, 2018

October 30 - December 30, 2018

August 30, 2018

October 30, 2018

December 30, 2018 - February 28, 2019

October 30, 2018

December 30, 2018

Grant categories

Grant categories

Artists living in the City of Boston who want to pursue one-time artistic opportunities to further their career. 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/year. See below for 2017 income limits:

Household Size

65% AMI

1

$47,050

2

$53,800

3

$60,500

4

$67,200

5

$72,600

6

$78,000

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. 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 an artist who leads an annual community-based arts experience, event, or festival? You can apply for funding to support your event.

Eligibility
  • Your event must take place in the City of Boston. It also needs to have been held at least once in past years. For example, all currently existing Open Studios cohorts are welcome to apply for this grant.
  • Events must be free, arts-focused, and open to the public.
  • If your group receives operational support from the Boston Cultural Council Organizational Grant, you can apply for the Event Grant.
  • If your group received programmatic funding through the Boston Cultural Council Organizational Grant, you can’t receive Opportunity Fund funding in the same year.
Eligible expenses
  • Promotion and marketing materials. This includes advertising, design and printing, consultants, and production and design of collateral, such as maps and wayfinding.
  • Supply and equipment needs, including tables, tents, pop-up canopies, chair rentals, and shuttle rentals.
  • Fees paid to designers, artists, musicians, performers, celebrities, special guests, and speakers.
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.

Who can apply?

Teachers at K-12 schools in the City of Boston who are planning arts and cultural field trips are welcome to apply. The grant can help support the costs of the field trip.

Eligibility

You must be a teacher or school administrator at a school located in the City of Boston.

Eligibility expenses
  • Travel
  • Tickets
  • Food