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More than $31,000 awarded to third round of 2018 Opportunity Fund grantees


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Arts and Culture

The Opportunity Fund supports artists in activities that help them share their work, teach others, and hone their skills.

Mayor Martin J. Walsh and the Mayor’s Office of Arts and Culture, in collaboration with the Boston Cultural Council, today announced over $31,800 has been awarded to 33 grantees in the third round of Opportunity Fund grants for 2018. 

“The 33 individuals awarded grants in this round of the Opportunity Fund represent a diverse array of artistic fields and neighborhoods,” said Mayor Walsh. “It’s great to see the City of Boston investing in artists of all backgrounds and levels of experience, and I look forward to seeing the exceptional artwork that is produced as a result of this grant.”

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 223 artists. 

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

Community Arts Experience Grantees
  • Hilary Marcus will use the grant to support a partnership between YaleWomen Boston, the Yale Latino Alumni Association and Inquilinos Boricuas en Accion (IBA) to host Rebuild Puerto Rico, that will result in a benefit performance in Jamaica Plain to raise funds for the long-term recovery of the Puerto Rican victims of the 2017 hurricanes. 
  • Cornell Coley will use the grant to partner with the Mattapan Farmers Market and produce a series of 3-4 free music concerts with different groups at the Market in the summer of 2018. 
  • Neil Horsky will use the grant to support Ascending Neighbors Togetherness, a unique audience-immersive outdoor live art experience orchestrated by a crew of artists engaging in a multi-modal improvised creative dialogue in the Egleston Square Peace Garden in Roxbury. 
  • Roxanne Haecker will use the grant to host an outdoor neighborhood cultural celebration, "East Meets West - Music on the Plaza", in Mission Hill that features music and dance performances that celebrate the Pan Asian/ Western cultural intersection, bringing people and traditions together through music, dance, and art. 
  • Denise Washington will use the grant to support her “Pop up Poetry” series, which will serve as a safe and nonjudgmental atmosphere where the community can participate in poetry activities each month in public parks in Roxbury. 
Local Arts Events
  • Alex Charlambides will use the grant to support MassLEAP’s annual Squad Up! event where the community has an opportunity to see the collective work of the team of five teen poets that will participate in the annual Brave New Voices International Youth Festival. 
  • Kasey Appleman will use the grant to purchase marketing materials for the 14th annual Roslindale Open Studios.
  • Darlene Smart will use the grant to pay for marketing materials for the 19th annual Roxbury Open Studios.
  • Emily O’Neil will use the grant to support Fort Point Arts Community Inc.’s Fall 2018 Open Studios event. 
  • Melissa Drobnis will use the grant to support FIGMENT Boston's annual event on the Rose Kennedy Greenway, which features free, interactive, participatory art projects.
Artist Career Development
  • Joshua Wareham of Brighton will use the grant to support his participation in The Banff Centre’s “Ensemble Evolution” residency in Alberta, Canada for three weeks in the summer of 2018.
  • Latrell Boyd of Dorchester will use the grant to support the development of a full live hip hop show and East Coast tour.
  • Mitsuko Nakagawa of Fenway will use the grant to support an artist in residency program at MASS MoCA this summer.
  • Gordon Williams of Roxbury will use the grant to fund his Arts, Letters & Numbers Residency in Averill Park, New York, where he will be focusing on developing an original work with newly composed music and choreography.
  • Daniel Mahoney of South Boston will use the grant to participate in Rundfunkchor Berlin’s International Masterclass in Choral Conducting.

“This investment by the City of Boston in the work of local artists is a huge boost of support for each of us involved,” said Opportunity Fund grantee Gordon Williams. “I was able to experience my first artist residency, which entailed connecting with artists from around the globe, exploring new methods of processing recorded sounds and completing a 25-minute long composition. The music that I wrote for a collaboration with choreographer Kelley Donovan will be presented on July 14th at OnStage Dance Company studio in Malden.” 

“Artists are a key part of our arts ecosystem,” said Kara Elliott-Ortega, interim Chief of Arts and Culture for the City of Boston. “Through the Opportunity Fund we not only support the careers of individual artists, but also bring more arts opportunities to neighborhoods across Boston.” 

Applications for the Opportunity Fund are accepted on a rolling basis, and the review deadline for the next round of the Opportunity Fund is August 30, 2018. Artists and organizations can apply online