More than $3 million in funding available for arts organizations
Mayor Kim Janey and the Mayor’s Office of Arts and Culture, in collaboration with the Boston Cultural Council, today announced the opening of applications for two grant opportunities for local arts organizations. Boston Cultural Council grants are available for organizations that benefit the public by offering arts programming in Boston's neighborhoods, and this year an additional grant is available through Reopen Creative Boston, which is funding available through the American Rescue Plan Act for arts and culture organizations that need financial support to recover from the economic impact of COVID-19 and reopen their offerings to the public.
“The arts are necessary for both our city’s financial recovery and healing those impacted by the pandemic through creative self-expression,” said Mayor Janey. “I am committed to investing in the local organizations that make up our diverse arts community. These organizations have gone above and beyond to address the needs of Boston residents throughout the pandemic. The City will continue to support arts investments, as we get through this together.”
The Boston Cultural Council (BCC) works under the umbrella of the Mayor's Office of Arts and Culture to annually distribute funds allocated by the City of Boston and the Mass Cultural Council for local arts and cultural programming. Through this program, organizations with annual budgets under $2 million can apply for BCC grants of $2,000, $3,500, or $5,000 depending on budget size.
The BCC focuses on small to mid-sized organizations that uniquely serve the City's arts ecosystem and prioritize cultural diversity, economic diversity, inclusion, and equity, through both their staffing and audiences served. Nonprofit cultural organizations whose missions or programming are focused on music, film and video, traditional and folk art, visual art, theater, dance, humanities, literary arts, performing arts, social/civic practice, and multidisciplinary arts are eligible to apply as long as they are based in the City of Boston, or offer programming in Boston.
BCC members represent the city’s districts and are appointed by the Mayor. Council members are selected on the basis of their demonstrated commitment to Boston's cultural community and their knowledge of various arts disciplines.
Earlier this year, Mayor Janey announced that 152 arts and cultural organizations received grants totaling $487,000 through the Boston Cultural Council in fiscal year 2021.
Reopen Creative Boston is a $3 million grant program to cover expenses related to reopening the arts and culture sector and resuming cultural programming and services. Arts and cultural organizations of any budget size that can demonstrate they have been negatively economically impacted by COVID-19 are eligible to apply.
Through Reopen Creative Boston, the City is awarding grants of up to $50,000 to cover costs for reopening and restarting programs, including payroll, new technology, and consulting services. Organizations that operate and own cultural facilities will be eligible for an additional grant up to $50,000.
Organizations with budgets under $2 million are eligible to apply for both the Boston Cultural Council grants and the Reopen Creative Boston grants, while organizations with budgets over $2 million may only apply for Reopen Creative Boston.
This $3 million initiative is the latest in the City’s investment in arts and culture during the COVID-19 pandemic. At the beginning of this year, the City partnered with The Boston Foundation and the Barr Foundation to award 17 local BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) arts and culture organizations with $25,000 unrestricted grants for COVID-19 relief. To better support arts organizations facing financial losses, canceled programming, and closures caused by COVID-19, the City of Boston also awarded $815,000 in grants to 146 local arts and cultural organizations as part of the Arts and Culture COVID-19 Fund last year. Additionally, throughout the COVID-19 public health emergency, the City of Boston in partnership with Boston Center for the Arts (BCA) awarded grants totaling over $330,000 to over 600 artists as part of the Boston Artist Relief Fund, which was established to support artists whose creative practices and incomes were adversely impacted by the pandemic.
“We’ve continued to hear from the arts community about the significant negative economic impact COVID-19 has had on artists, arts organizations, performance venues, and cultural spaces, and it’s clear that we need to keep investing in these groups in order to have an equitable recovery for the entire city,” said Kara Elliott-Ortega, Chief of Arts and Culture for the City of Boston.
The deadline to apply for BCC grants and the Reopen Creative Boston Fund is October 15, 2021 at 5 p.m. ET. There will be a virtual webinar on September 8 at noon for organizations interested in learning more about the application process. More information can be found at boston.gov/arts-grants.
About the Mayor’s Office of Arts and Culture
The Mayor’s Office of Arts and Culture is a City agency that enhances 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 through 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, support of cultural facilities and artist workspace, as well as the commissioning, review, and care of art in public places.