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More than $26,000 awarded to fourth round of 2018 Opportunity Fund grantees


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Arts and Culture

Through the Opportunity Fund, artists and educators are provided grants of up to $1,000 for meaningful, one-time opportunities.

Mayor Martin J. Walsh and the Mayor’s Office of Arts and Culture, in collaboration with the Boston Cultural Council, today announced over $26,800 has been awarded to 29 grantees in the fourth round of Opportunity Fund grants for 2018.

“Artists are doing incredible work in every neighborhood of our City, and it’s important that we continue to recognize and support their efforts,” said Mayor Walsh. “I look forward to seeing Boston’s artists advance their careers and improve our communities through this program.”

The Opportunity Fund was launched in August 2016 with the goal of supporting individual artists in activities that help them share their work with the public, teach others, continue their professional development and hone their skills. Through the Opportunity Fund, artists and educators are provided grants of up to $1,000 for meaningful, one-time opportunities.

The Opportunity Fund reopened in October 2017 with double the amount of funding and a modified structure including grants that are separated into five different categories, a rolling deadline for applications and new guidelines to help focus investment on artists of limited means and in communities with less access to cultural events or art-making. Including the latest round of funding, the Opportunity Fund has helped support 252 artists.

Below is a sampling of the grantees selected for the fourth round of the 2018 Opportunity Fund:

Community Arts Experience Grantees
  • Ngoc-Tran Vu used the grant to facilitate ten weekly outdoor arts activities on the bench of Hero Square in Fields Corner from August to October.
  • Beau Kenyon used the grant to support installations of the multidisciplinary citywide project, the SOUND, featuring the voices and stories of newly immigrated high school seniors at the Boston International Newcomers Academy, at Boston Public Library branches throughout the city.
  • Eradicate Childhood Obesity Foundation, Inc. (EChO) used the grant to fund marketing materials for "A Sweet Fairy Tale,” a free concert at the Codman Square Health Center that taught children and families the dangers of added sugar and promoted healthier eating habits.
  • Linda Chin used the grant to support the inaugural Mid-Autumn/Harvest Moon Play Festival at the Pao Arts Center in Chinatown featuring eight works of local AAPI playwrights.
Local Arts Events
  • Stephanie Houten used the grant to support the Green Arts Festival in Mission Hill, an annual event held at Massachusetts College of Art and Design that connects artists and communities within the environmental movement in Boston.
  • Willie Pleasants used the grant to hold a meet and greet with local artists participating in Dorchester Open Studios at the Uphams Corner Branch of the Boston Public Library.
  • Cape Verdean Association of Boston used the grant to help fund the Cape Verdean Independence Celebration at City Hall Plaza this past summer, which featured performances by local musicians, Cape Verdean food, and local vendors.
Artist Career Development
  • Paloma Valenzuela of Jamaica Plain used the grant to support the writing and completion of the third season of "The Pineapple Diaries," a comedic web series that tells the story of four unique women living Jamaica Plain.
  • Ana Candida Carneiro of Roslindale used the grant to attend the Women Playwrights International Conference in Santiago, Chile, and teach a workshop on "Experimental Playwriting Strategies from a Global Perspective".  
  • Chanel Thervil of Roxbury will use the grant to purchase equipment for “Stuck in the Role: Perspectives on Gender,” a series of 3-5 large scale mixed-media portraits of people of color in Boston embedded with audio recordings of their lived experiences about their assimilation and disassociation with gender roles.
  • Maureen White of East Boston used the grant to carry out a photo documentary project that highlights female firefighters in Boston.

“Art is not one size fits, all and neither is the spectrum of skills and resources artists need to create it.,” said Opportunity Fund grantee Chanel Thervil. “It's exciting to know that the City is making efforts to support artists no matter where they are in their practice. I'm looking forward to using the funds to experiment with tech I can integrate into my mixed media portraits.”

“The Opportunity Fund has allowed us to support artists in every medium and every neighborhood,” said Kara Elliott-Ortega, Chief of Arts and Culture. “Grants like this help us keep artists in Boston by acknowledging and supporting their immense contributions to creating and maintaining a thriving city.”

The final review deadline for 2018 Opportunity Fund grants is October 31, 2018. For this round, Harvard University has contributed an additional $10,000 for artists living in Allston-Brighton and community arts experiences or local arts events located in Allston-Brighton. Artists and organizations can apply online.