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More than $450,000 in grants awarded to 173 Boston arts groups

February 10, 2017

Arts and Culture

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Arts and Culture

The funding was provided by the City of Boston and Mass. Cultural Council to support local organizations.

Mayor Martin J. Walsh announced the selection of 173 Boston organizations and projects that will receive 2017 Boston Cultural Council organizational grants, totaling $462,250. Organizations applied for the funding through a competitive process, and projects were selected based on their potential to enhance the quality of life, the economy and the design of the City of Boston, in addition to advancing the goals of the Boston Creates Cultural Plan.

"The Boston Cultural Council organizational grants continue to support innovative arts and culture programming, and help keep the arts flourishing in Boston," said Mayor Walsh. "These grants allow for a diverse group of organizations and projects to pursue their creative ideas, and I congratulate each recipient on their achievement. Any time we are able to support hardworking local artists and innovative institutions, we are building a stronger and more dynamic arts ecosystem in Boston."

The funding is provided by both the City of Boston, which contributed $300,000 and the Massachusetts Cultural Council, which allocated $179,000 to the Boston Cultural Council. The selected projects represent an array of disciplines, including visual arts, theater, film, music, dance, and the humanities.

Two hundred and eight applications were received for this year's grant program.   Applicants were required to show how they plan to help grow access to the arts in areas not already well served by cultural opportunities, foster access to the arts for populations who don't typically have access to the arts, elevate the work of Boston's creatives, inspire the creation of new works, and support the achievement and provision of excellent, high quality arts and culture in the City of Boston. Grants this year were made in two categories based on budget size: general operating support for those under $1 million annual budget, and project specific grants for organizations with budgets over $1 million annually.

"Boston is home to many organizations that are essential for our cultural ecosystem to thrive," said Julie Burros, Chief of Arts and Culture for the City of Boston. "The Boston Cultural Council organizational grants support organizations and projects of varying sizes, making arts more equitable and accessible for all."

The Boston Cultural Council is housed within the Mayor's Office of Arts and Culture and receives annual funding from the state-run MCC to support the arts, humanities and innovative science programs that enhance the quality of life in the City of Boston.

Last month, Mayor Walsh received the 2017 Public Leadership in the Arts Award, presented by Americans for the Arts (AFTA), the nation's leading nonprofit organization for advancing the arts and arts education, and the United States Conference of Mayors, for his work in ensuring the arts are a top priority for the city.  These efforts include increasing the budget of the Boston Cultural Council, creating a Cabinet-level position for arts and culture and launching Boston AIR, an artist-in-residence program within City government.  In 2015, Mayor Walsh launched Boston Creates. The resulting cultural plan is the product 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.

Mayor's Office of Arts and Culture (MOAC)

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; curating exhibitions in City Hall; and operating the historic Strand Theater in Dorchester.  For more information, click here.

Boston Cultural Council (BCC)

The Boston Cultural Council, under the umbrella of the Mayor's Office of Arts and Culture, annually distributes funds allocated by 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. The BCC is comprised of 15 Boston residents appointed by Mayor Martin J. Walsh to serve for up to six years each. The BCC annually reviews applications during a series of fall meetings conducted to evaluate the overall quality of proposed programming and its potential benefit to diverse audience in neighborhoods throughout Boston.