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Call for artists for alternative space pilot project announced

November 17, 2016

Arts and Culture

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Arts and Culture

First Available Space Will Be Located at AT&T Flagship Store  

BOSTON - Mayor Martin J. Walsh today announced the first call for artists for the Alternative Space Pilot Project, a partnership between the City of Boston and local businesses and institutions, allowing artists and organizations to apply for non-traditional space to create and rehearse.

First announced as part of the implementation strategy for the Boston Creates Cultural Plan, the Alternative Space Pilot Project is designed to respond to a need for affordable rehearsal and work space.  The program creates partnerships with private organizations, allowing artists to use underutilized private space as rehearsal space.  The first call for artists is for space at the AT&T Flagship Store on Boylston Street in the Back Bay.

"The Alternative Space Pilot Project brings together unlikely partners to address a need in Boston's cultural community," said Mayor Walsh.  "AT&T is the first of what we hope will be many private organizations who will step up to work with local creators, maximizing their space and providing much needed rehearsal space."  

The call for artists for the space at the AT&T Flagship Store is now open. The space will be available free of charge for one three-hour block per week during store hours, and is ideal for individual musicians or for small musical groups that do not require amplification.  Before applying, interested applicants are encouraged to visit during store hours.  The call for artists is open to individual artists, non-profit organizations and artist groups.  Boston residency is preferred but not required.

The call for artists will close on December 9, 2016.  Applications will be reviewed by a selection committee and one artist or organization will be selected based on their fit for the space, a demonstrated need for space, and a demonstrated history of sharing artistic work with the public and contributing to the arts and culture sector in Boston. The successful artist or organization will be announced in January 2017.  For more information and to apply, visit here

We are excited to get the Alternative Space Pilot Program underway and we look forward to creating additional partnerships between our local artists and private organizations across the city

chief of arts and culture Julie Burros

"We're proud to offer up some of our great display space at our flagship New England store to some of the city's promising local artists, as part of the Boston Creates Cultural Plan. It's just one way we can give these talented artists some great visibility, and support the city's thriving arts and culture community," said Patricia Jacobs, President of AT&T New England.

The Mayor's Office of Arts and Culture will work with other host organizations with suitable spaces interested in participating in the program by writing and distributing an RFP for use of their spaces for rehearsals on a regular basis, for a minimum of a one-year commitment.  A second call for artists for space at Mass Eye and Ear is expected later this winter.

"Rehearsal and production space continues to be a challenge for Boston's artists of all genres," said Julie Burros, Chief of Arts and Culture for the City of Boston. "We are excited to get the Alternative Space Pilot Program underway and we look forward to creating additional partnerships between our local artists and private organizations across the city."

Mayor's Office of Arts and Culture

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 (BostonAIR); curating exhibitions in City Hall; and operating the historic Strand Theater in Dorchester.  

About the Boston Creates Cultural Plan

The cultural plan 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.