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Mayor Walsh announces second year of Boston's Artist-in-Residence Program


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Arts and Culture

Artists are encouraged to apply.

 Building on his commitment to integrate arts and culture into every aspect of city life, Mayor Martin J. Walsh today announced that applications are now available for the second year of the Boston Artist-in-Residence (AIR) program. This year's program will expand the size of the artist cohort and increase the length of the residencies for the selected artists. In addition, this year's selected artists will work in collaboration with Boston Centers for Youth & Families (BCYF), through their community centers and citywide initiatives, such as the BCYF Streetworker Program, youth summer programs and leadership development for young women. The deadline to submit applications is Sunday, July 24.

"Arts are at the center of a city's purpose, and in Boston we are making a concerted effort to encourage the creative expressions of our artists, performers, designers, and students to continually renew and inspire us from within," said Mayor Walsh. "I am excited to announce the second year of the Boston AIR program, which will support Boston artists and integrate artists into the development and implementation of the city's policies and practices."  

The Boston AIR program invites artists to incorporate artistic practice into city departments and community work. Following the application process, 10 artists will be selected by an Artist Selection Committee to study and expand their own civic and social practice, alongside a parallel cohort from 10 BCYF community centers and other city employees. Both the artist and city cohorts will share examples of their work, attend master workshops and lectures by guest artists, and have opportunities to exchange ideas and co-design proposals.  

Each artist will be awarded a $22,500 stipend for a nine-month-long residency to develop and test creative approaches that can meaningfully impact the work of the public sector. Each artist will be paired with one of 10 designated BCYF community centers and provided a studio space at that center.  

An Artist Selection Committee, which will review Request for Qualification (RFQ) responses, will be comprised of representatives from the City of Boston, current Boston artists-in-residence, Boston Art Commission, and local arts professionals. The 10 selected artists will include a mix of artistic disciplines and experience.

Artists working in all media are encouraged to apply; however, seasoned artists with organizational experience and firsthand knowledge of cultures and communities in Boston are preferred.  

Last week, the city launched Boston Creates, a 10-year cultural plan that will align public and private resources to strengthen the city's cultural vitality over the long-term. The Boston AIR initiative will help the city achieve one of the goals of the plan: integrating arts and culture into all aspects of civic life.  

Last fall, Mayor Walsh launched the city's first artist-in-residence program. Ten artists and 12 city departments participated in a series of workshops in collaboration with Massachusetts College of Art and Design over the course of the fall. From that cohort, three artists were selected to develop social practice residencies in coordination with the Boston Police Department, the Office of Recovery Services, Office of Women's Advancement, the Department of Neighborhood Development and the Parks & Recreation Department.  

The program is being supported by the Mayor's Office of Arts and Culture, BCYF, and the Mayor's Office of New Urban Mechanics.  

To learn more about Boston AIR, please visit here.