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Boston's Artist-In-Residence program now accepting applications

October 10, 2017

Arts and Culture

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Arts and Culture

This is the third round of the Boston Artist-in-Residence (AIR) program. The deadline to apply is November 5, 2017.

Building on the commitments made in the Boston Creates Cultural Plan to ensure arts are integrated into all aspects of civic life, Mayor Martin J. Walsh today announced that applications are now being accepted for the third round of the Boston Artist-in-Residence (AIR) program. The deadline to apply is November 5, 2017.

Boston AIR brings together artists, community members and City of Boston employees to collaborate at the intersection of civil service, social justice and artistic practice to explore and reframe critical social conversations. Grounded in community, artists work to explore the ways art and artistic inquiry can be used to improve and bolster City initiatives and incorporate social and civic practice into government and community work.

"The Boston Artist in Residence programs helps us enhance and integrate the vast cultural capital of our city into our core services, for the benefit of all of Boston's residents," said Mayor Walsh. "We are excited to kick off year three, this time with a focus on resiliency and racial equity, key priorities for the city."

The Resilient Boston Strategy, issued in July of 2017, will provide the overarching policy framing for the third round of Boston AIR. The strategy outlines a pathway for Boston to be an equitable, connected city where all residents are connected to each other and to their city through resilient approaches to growth that benefits all families, regardless of their race, class, or neighborhood.

"This year, Boston AIR will be a hybrid of the past two residency years. Once again, we are partnering with Boston Centers for Youth & Families, an effort that will continue to ground each residency in the local community and meet the needs of Boston residents," said Julie Burros, Chief of Arts & Culture for the City of Boston. "At the same time, we are asking artists to connect their residency to one of Mayor Walsh's key priorities.  We are excited to see what they come up with."

In the third year, artists can apply as an individual or as an artist collective, with up to three artists working together and sharing responsibilities for the work.

A total of six artists or collectives will be selected for the third year of the Boston AIR program. An Artist Selection Committee will be comprised of representatives from the City of Boston and local arts professionals. The artist cohort will include a mix of artistic disciplines and experience. The successful artists or collectives will demonstrate a strong, clear artistic vision, organizational experience and firsthand knowledge of cultures and/or communities in Boston.

The 2018 Artists in Residence program will officially begin in January 2018 and continue through December 2018. There will be an informational webinar for applicants on Thursday October 267-8 PM. To learn more about Boston AIRor to apply, visit

Last month, Mayor Walsh announced the successful completion of projects created by the second cohort of Boston AIR artists. The projects represented varying arts disciplines, from printmaking to sculpting and more, and build on Mayor Walsh's commitment to implementing Boston Creates. For more information on those projects, click here.

"With Boston AIR, the city of Boston has launched a program from which every city could benefit. It provides financial and structural support to solidify and expand the role of the arts in place making within a community, paying artists directly and providing a stipend," said artist-in-residence Cornell Coley, who participated in the second cohort of Boston AIR. "Personally, I have been able to bring the healing properties of community drumming to youth and families, to support local businesses and to further develop my own art form. The feedback has been overwhelmingly positive."

The Boston Creates Cultural Plan helped inform Imagine Boston 2030, Boston's first citywide plan in over 50 years. Imagine Boston 2030 is a comprehensive vision to boost quality of life, equity and resilience in every neighborhood across the city. Both plans lay out a strategic framework to support Boston's artists and work to attract new artists, integrate arts and cultural into all aspects of civic life, align public and private resources to strengthen our cultural vitality, and more. To learn more about Imagine Boston2030, please 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 implementation of the City's Cultural Plan, Boston Creates; managing the Boston Artist-in-Residence program (BostonAIR); curating exhibitions in City Hall; and operating the historic Strand Theater in Dorchester.  For more information go to:

About the Boston Creates Cultural Plan

The cultural plan is a ten year plan for supporting arts and culture in the City of Boston. It was created out of a year-long community engagement effort designed to help local government identify cultural needs, opportunities, and resources and to prioritize, coordinate, and align public and private resources to strengthen Boston's cultural vitality over the long term. The full cultural plan can be found online at

About Boston Centers for Youth & Families

Boston Centers for Youth & Families (BCYF) is the City of Boston's largest youth and human service agency. BCYF operates 36 community centers in Boston that offer a variety of engaging and enriching programs for people of all ages created through community input and need. BCYF also oversees many citywide programs including the nationally-recognized violence intervention and prevention Streetworker Program and SuccessLink, Mayor's Summer Jobs Program. For more information on BCYF, please visit

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