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 $5,000 and $10,000 to support individual artists and local arts events planned by artists.
The application is currently open. The deadline to apply for the current round of funding is January 28, 2022, at 5 p.m.
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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. This year, we are prioritizing:
- artists who live or work in communities that have had the highest rates of COVID-19, like Dorchester, East Boston, Hyde Park, and Mattapan
- artists from demographics that saw the most economic impact due to COVID-19, including women, people of color, immigrants, artists who have lower levels of education, and artists who identify as LGBTQIAP+, and
- artistic professions that were most economically impacted by COVID-19, like the performing and teaching artists.
In FY21, we will distribute nearly $245,000 in funds.
If you receive a grant, you must submit a short, one-page report summarizing your experience or artist career development opportunity. The report must describe the outcomes and how the funds were used.
If you don't want to submit a report, you can take part in a question-and-answer session with our staff. The meeting must take place a week after your community arts experience or artist career development opportunity.Please note:
- You or your fiscal sponsor must have a Vendor ID number from the City of Boston to complete your application.
- The deadline to apply for the first round of the Opportunity Fund grant in fiscal year 2022 is January 28, 2022.
Grant categoriesGrant categories
Artists living in Boston who want to pursue one-time artistic opportunities to further their career can apply for $5,000 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 individual income must also be less than $50,000. More than 70% of artists surveyed through our office’s Artist Housing Survey make an income of under $50,000. Our office aims to prioritize supporting these artists in Boston.Eligible expenses include:
- the cost of artistic materials
- the cost of travel and travel-related meals, conferences, residency fees, work workshop fees, and
- costs related to an artistic project, such as help framing paintings before an exhibition, or producing an album.
This category prioritizes bringing arts experiences into neighborhoods that have a lower concentration of free, public arts activities. They were also hit hardest by COVID-19. The focus communities include:
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 or in-person. They can be recurring or one-time events. Experiences can also be in libraries, schools, or less traditional arts-learning spaces. These include senior centers, health centers, or community centers.Please note
Your arts experience must be free, accessible, and open to the public.Eligibility
Applicants must live in Boston and the arts experience must take place in Boston. We prefer an event that takes place in one of our priority neighborhoods. This grant is open to individual artists, teaching artists, creative workers, cultural practitioners, and art collectives, like groups and bands.Eligible expenses
- Materials for the arts experience (this can include refreshments)
- Marketing for the arts experience
- Renting a space for the experience
- Paying for artists putting the experience together, or artists hired (this can include the applicant)