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Cultural Investment Grant

Transformative growth opportunities for an equitable arts sector in Boston.

The Cultural Investment Grant aims to grow and sustain arts and cultural organizations that have a clear vision of a creative, equitable, and more just city.

Background and Overview

The Mayor's Office of Arts and Culture (MOAC) established the Cultural Investment Grant (CIG) in January 2023 to make new and unprecedented investments in cultural solutions. This is a $10 million multi-year investment through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). It aims to grow and sustain arts and cultural organizations that have a clear vision of a creative, equitable, and more just city. CIG will build capacity for organizations working with communities in Boston who have been most harmed by the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly communities of color.

Grants will range from $400,000 - $1 million and will be distributed over four years. The grant will provide investments in the cultural sector that will:

  • give organizations a path to thrive in Boston

  • create long term opportunities for all Boston communities to have access to the arts, and

  • strengthen our local arts ecosystem.

What is Transformative?

ARPA funding is a unique opportunity. To establish this grant, we had to define what is “transformative” for organizations. This funding will create a transformative opportunity for cultural organizations to:

  • stabilize, build roots, and anchor in their community or communities

  • make space to explore methods that catalyze innovation and elevate their work

  • build holistic sustainability beyond the scope of the grant

  • scale their work and impact, and

  • shape solutions in partnership with community stakeholders.

MOAC will work with grantees to assess what they need to maximize this opportunity. We will determine what resources and opportunities we can leverage for grantees to thrive over the long term. We'll also engage with funders and City partners to support policies, spending, and social beliefs that align with grantees' missions.


Arts and cultural organizations that meet the following criteria were eligible for consideration:


Its mission statement commits to fostering and sustaining the arts or creative expression.


It is located in Boston, or the funding allows an organization working with Boston communities to be located in Boston. Priority will be given to organizations located within communities disproportionately harmed by COVID-19.


It shows a commitment to equity, leadership development of those historically excluded from decision-making power. There are liberatory practices across its mission, histories, and core programming.


Its vision, mission, and programming is reflective of and shaped by the communities with which it works. Its leadership, staff, board and decision-makers are also reflective of those communities.

Active partnerships

It is building or intending to build collaborative partnerships with community stakeholders toward a shared vision of a more creative, equitable, and more just city. 

Fiscal Budget

It has a fiscal budget under $3 million. We encourage smaller grassroots organizations to apply.

Tax exempt status

It is a 501(c)3 with federal tax exempt status or has a fiscal sponsor.

We are committed to helping address the ongoing financial inequities that have harmed organizations founded by and for communities in Boston that have been excluded from access to resources. We also recognize that people experience inequities in many intersecting ways. To that end, we focused on organizations that strive to address the overlapping ways their constituents experience social, economic and power inequities.

Application Process

Letter of Inquiry and Application Process

All organizations that meet the criteria and eligibility requirements of the grant were invited to submit a Letter of Inquiry (LOI) by February 1, 2023, at 11:59 p.m.

Cultural Advisory Team

We piloted a Cultural Advisory Team. Their scope of work included supporting organizations in completing applications and providing MOAC with funding recommendations. 

Learn more about the Cultural Advisory Team


Anyone seeking technical support or accommodations can reach out to or call us at (617) 635-4445. This includes, but is not limited to, people who are deaf, hard of hearing, deaf-blind, or have difficulty speaking or reading. Large print and translated materials are available upon request.


All ARPA money must be encumbered by the end of the calendar year 2024 and be spent by the end of calendar year 2026. We will disburse funds over four years on a timeline that meets the fiscal spending of grantees. For the first year, we will disburse funds in early April 2023. A condensed timeline is below:

Dates Actions
January 9, 2023 Official announcement and Letter of Inquiry launch for the Cultural Investment Grant.
February 1, 2023 LOI submission deadline.
February - Early March up to 12 organizations from LOI submissions are selected to complete applications the Cultural Advisory Team conducts interviews of application submissions.
March 13, 2023 Deadline for application submissions.
Mid-March Final decision process with support of the Cultural Advisory Team.
Late March Organizations informed of grantee decisions, grant agreements and paperwork submitted. 
Mid - April First round of funding disbursed. 


Grantee Partners

  • Beat The Odds, a multidisciplinary arts organization based in Grove Hall that is dedicated to serving under-resourced youth in Boston’s low-income communities through its Creative Youth Development Program, and aims to provide a safe space where young people have access to the creative tools necessary to inspire self-awareness, mental health, and healing.
  • Dorchester Art Project and Boston Little Saigon Cultural District, a collaboration between two organizations that are working to develop a mixed-use community, cultural, and arts services hub that is trauma-informed, BIPOC-centered, and dedicated to conserving and promoting the arts, cultures, and identities within the Dorchester community.
  • BAMS Fest, a Boston based, non-profit cultural organization whose mission is to break down racial and social barriers to arts, music, and culture across Greater Boston through education and entertainment, including its annual Boston Art & Music Soul Festival.
  • Design Studio for Social Intervention (ds4si), a creativity lab situated at the intersections of design thinking and practice, social justice and activism, public art and social practice, and civic/popular engagement that designs and tests social interventions with and on behalf of marginalized populations, controversies, and ways of life.
  • The Theater Offensive, an organization that works to present liberating art by, for, and about queer and trans people of color that transcends artistic boundaries, celebrates cultural abundance, and dismantles oppression.
  • Veronica Robles Cultural Center, a community-based organization in East Boston that aims to to promote Latino arts and culture as an engine for stronger communities and economic growth. 
  • Boston Chinatown Neighborhood Center (Pao Arts Center), an organization utilizes creative place-based work and community engagement to increase community cohesion and well-being, using arts, culture, and education to bring together families throughout the community and across generations. 
  • Cultural Equity Incubator, a creative home for Boston’s small and mid-sized organizations and collectives led by, and for, Queer, Trans, 2-Spirit, Disabled, Black, Indigenous, and people of color (QT2SDBIPOC) arts communities that works to equitably share space, governance, networks, and resources to support one another in actualizing their creative efforts.
  • That Child Got Talent, Secret Society of Black Creatives, and Next Leadership Development Corporation, a collaboration that aims to transform material conditions for young Black creatives–those pursuing opportunities in the film industry and those who may never consider themselves ‌as such, but given the pathways to opportunities, explore careers and realize their potential and passions. 
  • Jean Appolon Expressions, a contemporary dance company deeply rooted in Haitian-folkloric culture that celebrates, nurtures, and empowers a global community through professional performances, teaching, and fostering healing and the joy of movement in people of all ages, abilities, and backgrounds to contribute to a socially just world.

Hyde Square Task Force, an organization that amplifies the power, creativity, and voices of youth, connecting them to Afro-Latin culture and heritage so they can create a diverse, vibrant Latin Quarter and build a just, equitable Boston.

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