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Applications open for Artist Fellowship Award, new Project Partnership Grant

April 18, 2019

Arts and Culture

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Arts and Culture

The City of Boston is now accepting applications for a second round of the Artist Fellowship Award and a new Project Partnership Grant. 

Mayor Martin J. Walsh and the Mayor's Office of Arts and Culture today announced the City of Boston is accepting applications for a second round of the Artist Fellowship Award and a new Project Partnership Grant.

photos of Michelle Fornabai's project

photos of Michelle Fornabai's project






Photos from Michelle Fornabai's project (Credit Anne Piessens)

"These two grant programs will allow us to better recognize local artists and their meaningful contributions to the City, as well as provide a new level of support for some of the City's most impactful and important cultural events," said Mayor Walsh. "This is an exciting moment for the City of Boston and another step forward in Boston's role as a city that champions and supports the arts."

The Artist Fellowship Award invests in the advancement of mid-career artists living in Boston. This direct, unrestricted award aims to recognize exceptional original artistic work throughout the City, with the goal of helping recipients advance their careers and continue their work in Boston with success. Applications are due by Friday, May 17 at 5 p.m.

"To support individual artists is a stunningly beautiful act of trust as a city," said Michelle Fornabai, who developed a project at the Erich Lindemann Mental Health Center in which she placed a concrete poem in dialogue with Paul Rudolph's essay in concrete. "As an inaugural Boston Artist Fellow, I felt inspired to take risks and make works to match the profound generosity shown to me by the City of Boston. Working with the city of Boston as an artist, extraordinary things can happen in everyday life."

The Artist Fellowship Award is part of the City's $200,000 FY20 investment in sustaining key grant making programs for individual artists. In addition, the City is investing $250,000 for the Boston Artist in Residence Program, providing operating funds for two full-time staff positions in the Mayor's Office of Arts and Culture, and investing an additional $400,000 to enhance the Boston Public Library and its local branches. These investments and the new City-funded grants will create a permanent long-lasting home for arts funding.

The City of Boston will distribute five Artist Fellowship Awards of $10,000 each in 2019. Individual artists who work professionally in art disciplines, including but not limited to dance, music, theater, visual arts, poetry/fiction writing, interdisciplinary/performance art, and media arts may apply for the award. Applicants must be City of Boston residents, and applications submitted on behalf of an artist are welcome.

Applicants will be evaluated on whether their work conveys rigor in their artistic practice, how their work stands out within their artistic discipline, and how well they show potential for them to advance in their creative practice. This year, the Mayor's Office of Arts and Culture has chosen to focus on mid-career artists, and is looking for applications from this population. To see examples of what a mid-career artist could look like, click here.

The Project Partnership Grant aims to elevate recurring events and programs that create opportunities for artists in Boston. Eligible projects may include arts or cultural programs, activations, annual cultural traditions, and community arts events.  

The City of Boston will offer three Project Partnership Grants in 2019, with a maximum grant of $10,000 each. In addition to the financial award, the City of Boston may provide assistance with event or program production, navigating permitting/licensing processes, and press and marketing efforts.

Prioritized projects include those that amplify the work of artists from under-represented communities, including communities of color, LGBTQ communities, immigrant communities, people with disabilities, and others, as well as projects that highlight art traditions and disciplines that currently lack visibility in Boston.

"These programs really help us to act on our goal of celebrating and support diverse cultural expression across the City," said Kara Elliott-Ortega. "They will also provide us with the opportunity to illustrate the impact and necessity of continued investment in the arts in enhancing the City of Boston as a whole."

In addition to these grants, the City of Boston announced earlier this year that 221 organizations received Boston Cultural Council grants totaling $487,000, making it the largest ever amount of funding distributed through this program. The City of Boston also continues to support individual artists through the Opportunity Fund, which provided over $190,000 to 198 artists in 2018. The City is continuing to support public art, with several Percent for Art projectsunderway in Jamaica Plain, Roxbury, and East Boston. In March, the City also announced 10 projects that will improve public spaces have been awarded grants totaling $809,500 through the Edward Ingersoll Browne Trust Fund.

The Project Partnership Grant is open to individual artists, art collectives, non-profits, producers, and curators, and all artistic disciplines are welcome. The project must occur before July 1, 2020.

The deadline to apply for both the Artist Fellowship Award and the Project Partnership Grant is Friday, May 17 at 5 p.m. To learn more about the Artist Fellowship award, visit here. To learn more about the Project Partnership Grant, visit here

About the Mayor's Office of Arts and Culture (MOAC)

The Mayor's Office of Arts and Culture's mission is to support artists, the cultural sector, and to promote access to the arts for all. The office houses the Boston Cultural Council, the Boston Art Commission, and the Poet Laureate program. Responsibilities include leading up the City's cultural plan, Boston Creates; managing the Boston Artist-in-Residence program; curating exhibitions in City Hall; and operating the historic Strand Theater in Dorchester. For more information, click here.