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FY20 Arts and Culture Priorities

The City of Boston is creating a permanent home for arts and culture, from theater to dance, public art, and public libraries.

The mission of the Arts & Culture Cabinet is to foster the growth and well-being of the cultural community, and promote participation in the arts. The cabinet seeks to promote access to arts and culture to all the City’s residents, and to make Boston a municipal arts leader.

    Still have questions? Contact:
    1 City Hall Square
    Room 813
    Boston, MA 02201-2037

    Arts & Culture

    The Office of Arts and Culture will see a 37.4% budget increase in FY20.

    The Office's budget has more than doubled since it was created in 2014. The dramatic increase in the FY20 operating budget funds a long-term commitment to programs that were created and piloted with external grant resources, including:

    • The Boston Artist-in-Residence program, where selected artists explore the ways they can use art and media to improve and bolster City initiatives.
    • Grants to individual artists, which help to keep local artists in Boston and attract new ones, with the overall intent to make arts accessible to everyone.
    • The Artist Resource Desk, which helps people find out more about services for artists in Boston.

    Image for roxbury cultural district

    Picture of Napoleon Jones Henderson's "Roxbury Rhapsody" 

    Boston Public Library

    The Boston Public Library System is a vital hub for learning and community engagement, and an essential part of the fabric of every neighborhood.


    The Boston Public Library budget will grow nearly 6% in FY20 to support the more than 3.5 million people who visit the system annually. The core of library services is the size and availability of its collections, and the FY20 budget includes $400,000 to purchase additional collection items, with a focus on downloadable and streaming services.

    The FY20 budget also increases librarian staff focused on children and teens. New staff will also support the City’s capital planning efforts to make major improvements to branch libraries including the soon to reopen Dudley Square branch in Roxbury.


    In FY20, $250,000 has been added to the Library budget to expand security staffing coverage. Additionally, $100,000 has been added to expand a successful partnership with the Pine Street Inn to help homeless individuals at libraries get connected with social services.

    Image for bpl branch