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FY21 Arts and Culture

The City of Boston is maintaining its strong support for arts and culture, from theater to dance, public art, and public libraries.

The mission of the Arts and 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.

    Arts and Culture

    The Office of Arts and Culture will see a 9.1% budget increase in FY21.

    Since its creation in 2014, the Office has championed Boston's cultural sector. The FY21 operating budget reflects the City's long-term commitment to programs that cultivate, promote, and sustain the work of artists, 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.

    INVESTING IN CORE services at the branches

    The Boston Public Library (BPL) budget will grow by 2.1% in FY21 to support Boston's thriving network of libraries. As a result of the City's ambitious schedule of capital improvement projects for BPL, neighborhoods have greeted their new and renovated library spaces with excitement. In FY21, a $93,000 combined investment in new librarian positions will enable BPL to better serve two such communities. The addition of a Generalist Librarian at the East Boston branch will boost capacity at one of the most popular branches, and the addition of a Program Librarian at the branch in Roxbury's Nubian Square will help staff new program spaces and respond to an anticipated increase in users after the branch reopens.


    In FY21, an investment of about $170,000 will mean that at least one Senior Building Custodian will be assigned to each library in the BPL system, enhancing the patron experience and making community spaces more inviting.

    Image for bpl branch

    Following renovations and new construction, branches of the Boston Public Library, including the Jamaica Plain Branch Library, have experienced significant increases in patronage.
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