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Wake Up the Night Grant Pilot Program

Through the Wake Up the Night Grant, Mayor Michelle Wu and the Office of Nightlife Economy will award individuals and organizations up to $10,000 for nighttime activations.  

The Wake Up the Night Grant Pilot Program aims to revitalize Boston’s nightlife economy and foster safe, inclusive social spaces by investing in events aligned with the following categories: 

  • Accessible Programming: Social events specifically curated for persons with diverse  abilities (physical, cognitive, or emotional)
  • Cultural Expression: Activations showcasing the many cultural interests and expressions of Bostonians.
  • Intergenerational: Activations promoting multi-generational social interaction. 
  • Spirit-Free Programming: Activations mindfully omitting the consumption and presence of alcohol.
  • Weekday Activations: Events promoting social interaction Monday through Thursday, specifically in the Downtown and surrounding neighborhoods.
  • Youth Programing: Activations aimed to serve persons 20 years old and younger.


Eligibility & Requirements


To be eligible for the Wake Up the Night Grant, applicants must meet all of the following criteria: 

  • Be an individual, nonprofit organization,or business working in partnership with community partners
  • Be Boston residents or demonstrate that their project is led by partners who are Boston residents Have a direct relationship to the activation or program’s community 
  • Plan an event addressing one of the grant focus categories: Accessible Programming, Cultural Expression, Intergenerational, Spirit-Free Programming, Weekday Activations, or Youth Programing)
Project Requirements

All funded activations must:

  • Conclude on or before Sunday, December 1, 2024.  
  • Be located in the city of Boston.
  • Be free and open to the public.
  • Be accessible for persons with disabilities under Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

Frequently Asked Questions


A  ‘nightlife activation’ refers to a free and open to the public, community-led social event or event series. These activations can take place inside or outside.

Individuals, established 501(c)3 nonprofit organizations, fiscally sponsored groups, and small businesses working in partnership with community partners are able to apply.

Grant funding can be used for the following expenses:

  • Venue Use Fee
  • Artist/Entertainment Fees
  • Vendor Fees
  • Equipment
  • Staging
  • Staffing (event staffing, security, coordination)
  • Food and Soft Beverages
  • Event Design Elements 
  • Event Specific Promotion

Grant funding cannot be used for the following expenses:

  • Permit Fees
  • Alcoholic Beverages
  • Legal or Illegal Recreational or Medicinal Substances or Drugs

Fundraising events, non-event specific advertising, or any activity that is primarily for the commercial benefit of one entity cannot be funded by this Grant. 

The Grant also does not fund religious programs, events with an entry fee, or those that take place prior to the application deadline.

Yes. However, please list specific locations, even if those places are not yet confirmed. Project ideas that list entire neighborhoods will not be considered.

Funds will support activations starting in July 2024. Funds will be disbursed in one to two installments. A condensed application process is as follows:

  • Submit application via Google Forms
  • Initial review of application
  • Virtual Q&A/Conversation between applicant and grants team 
  • Final Proposal and approval

The application deadline is Tuesday, May 28, 2024.

Yes. Grant recipients will work with the Office of Nightlife Economy on a reporting plan as a part of the grant agreement. In this plan, they will document and communicate the impact of their activation.

Please email or leave a message at 617-635-5702.

Additional Information

Please note that all activations must obtain the required permits. Assistance may be provided upon request. For more information on permitting requirements and process, visit this page.

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