Update: The Opportunity Fund has been modified from last year to best address the current needs of artists whose creative practices and incomes are being adversely impacted by COVID-19. Please review this website and our grant guidelines to make sure you are eligible to apply.
The Opportunity Fund provides grants of up to $1,000 to support individual artists and local arts events planned by artists.
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Application and requirements
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:
- you’re taking part in our Artist in Residence program,
- you are a current recipient of the Artist Fellowship Award, or
- you are employed by the City of Boston.
There are also different eligibility rules depending on the grant category you apply for.Available funds
In FY21, we will distribute $200,000 in funds.
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.
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Grant categoriesGrant categories
Artists living in the City of Boston who want to pursue one-time artistic opportunities to further their career can apply for $500 or $1000 grants. This includes funding:
- to help support an artistic project
- for artistic materials, and
- for professional development opportunities.
You need to live in the City of Boston. Your annual total household income must also be less than 65% of the area median income (AMI), or $51,600/year. Nearly 90% of Certified Artists we surveyed make an income of under $50,000 per year.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, or producing an album.
Artists and teaching artists who would like to bring free arts experiences into a Boston community can apply for $1,000. We focus on neighborhoods that have a lower concentration of arts activities open to the public.
- Chinatown-Leather District
- East Boston
- Mission Hill, and
These arts experiences and events 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.
Experiences can be virtual until holding in-person events is safe and permitted, due to COVID-19. When it is safe to do so, events can take place in libraries and schools, or less traditional arts-learning spaces, like senior centers, health centers, community centers, or churches.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. Only individual artists are eligible to apply.Eligible expenses
- Materials for the arts experience
- Marketing for the arts experience
- Pay for artists putting the experience together, or artists hired.