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Strengthening Arts and Culture

The City of Boston is making significant investments to ensure an equitable recovery for the arts and culture sector, from theater to dance, public art, and public libraries.

The Mayor's Office of Arts and Culture (MOAC) aims to foster the growth and well-being of the cultural community and promote participation in the arts, in line with the goals of the Boston Creates cultural plan. MOAC seeks to promote access to arts and culture to all City residents and make Boston a municipal arts leader.

Neighborhood and Downtown Revitalization

Boston’s arts and culture sector is a vibrant and thriving part of the City’s economy. In FY23, the City will use $20 million in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding to support the arts and cultural activities in Downtown and in neighborhoods across Boston.

With the renovation of City Hall Plaza nearing completion, the Plaza will become a more accessible, sustainable, and connected public space at Boston's civic heart. Through partnerships and opportunities to contract with local business and artists, the City will utilize the new Plaza to host live events and set the stage as a place of belonging, celebration, and civic engagement for all Bostonians.

In neighborhoods across the City, investments in creative neighborhood placemaking will reactivate public spaces and retail storefronts in the face of shifting local economies. Place-based activations around the City will help artists, cultural workers, and communities participate in reanimating neighborhoods and creating a sense of community connection. This investment includes support and expansion of existing programs like the Love Your Block program, to make place-keeping and play accessible to all communities. An additional $500,000 investment in the Mayor's Office of Housing's Operating Budget will support repairs and improvements to the historic Strand Theatre in Upham's Corner.

Mayor Wu with Mural

Equity in the Arts

The FY23 budget and ARPA investments recognizes the importance of expanding access to public art and aims to tackle the systemic lack of investment in BIPOC cultures in Boston. The City will provide multi-year grants for BIPOC organizations, grants for cultural facilities and venues, and contracts with festivals and event producers with a focus on building the cultural anchors that we want to see in a thriving, multi-cultural city.

In addition, the Operating Budget funds two new MOAC project managers to focus on community engagement and developer review, amplifying the voices and experiences of communities historically underrepresented in public art.

    Young violinist plays in front of art in City Hall

    On top of investments in cultural infrastructure, the budget also includes new capital investments to support the creation of permanent public art. The FY23-27 Capital Plan increases funding for the Percent for Art program and funds a number of new projects: 

    1. Chinatown Worker Statues in Chinatown
    2. Emergent Memory (Cocoanut Grove Memorial) at Statler Park
    3. Park Plaza Monument/Memorial
    4.  Art Signage Upgrades
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