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Mayor Walsh Launches Boston Artist Opportunity Fund


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Mayor's Office

BOSTON - Thursday, August 4, 2016 - Mayor Martin J. Walsh today announced the launch of The Opportunity Fund, a pilot grant program designed to support individual artists in activities that help them share their work with the public or teach others, continue their professional development and hone their skills. The fund is one of the early stage implementation programs in support of local artists that was announced when the Boston Creates Cultural Plan was unveiled in mid-June.

Applications for grants up to $1,000 will be accepted on a monthly basis on the first of every month. Up to $10,000 in funding will be available each month to support specific needs such as materials, professional development, conference fees, travel related to professional development, stipends for teaching artists, or anything that helps an artist share their work with the public. Teachers may also apply to help fund cultural field trips.  

"When we launched Boston's cultural plan, we talked about finding ways to enable artists to create and showcase their best and most innovative work," said Mayor Walsh. "There is a tremendous amount of creativity in Boston and the Opportunity Fund is one way we can help them find the resources they need to thrive."

Artists living or working in the City of Boston are eligible to apply for a grant. Grants are also available to teachers at schools located in Boston, teaching artists offering workshops in a Boston Public Library, Boston Center for Youth & Families, senior housing or a senior center, or a non-profit social service agency in Boston.  

Grants will be distributed every month except for October and April, when other Boston Cultural Council grant applications are due. Individuals may only receive grant funding from the Opportunity Fund once per year. This pilot program is expected to evolve to meet the needs of local artists, with guidelines likely to be refined or expanded as the program progresses.

"The Opportunity Fund will allow us to help artists when they need it, when a small investment grant can help them to take advantage of the chance to showcase their work or learn a new skill," said Julie Burros, Chief of Arts and Culture for the City of Boston. "It was created to enable artists to share their work with others throughout the year.  We're excited about getting the Fund started."

All grantees will be required to submit a final report that describes the outcomes of the experience and how the funds were spent. For more information or to apply, visit the Boston Cultural Council website.

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 cultural vitality over the long term.  The full cultural plan can be found online on their website.

About the Boston Cultural Council

The Boston Cultural Council (BCC), under the umbrella of the Mayor's Office of Arts and Culture, annually distributes funds allocated by the City of Boston and the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency, to support innovative arts, humanities and interpretive sciences programming that enhances the quality of life in our city. For more information, please visit here.

About the Mayor's Office of Arts and Culture

The Mayor's Office of Arts and Culture works to enhance the quality of life, the economy, and the design of the City through the arts. The role of the arts in all aspects of life in Boston is reinforced via equitable access to arts and culture in every community, its public institutions, and public places. Key areas of work include support to the cultural sector through grants and programs, as well as the production and permitting of art in public places. For more information, please visit here.