Making it Public

Equipping artists to develop their public art practice and create more vibrant and equitable public spaces through public artmaking in Massachusetts. In partnership with the Metropolitan Area Planning Council’s (MAPC) Arts and Culture.

Graphic designed by Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC)

Making it Public (MIP) for Massachusetts Artists is a free five-week virtual workshop series designed by Forecast Public Art (FPA) to support artists of all disciplines in exploring and expanding their public art making practice. At the conclusion of the workshop series, participating artists will be better equipped to respond to a Call for Temporary Public Art and foster more vibrant and equitable public spaces through artmaking.

The 2024 Artist Track training that will take place virtually on Tuesdays from 5:00-6:30 PM ET, March 12- April 9, 2024. More details below.

Making It Public (MIP) for Massachusetts Municipalities is a public art training program inspired by Forecast Public Art (FPA) and co-designed by the Metropolitan Area Planning Council’s (MAPC) Arts and Culture Department and New England Foundation for the Arts’ (NEFA) Public Art Team. The curriculum incorporates the use of grant agreements as defined in Section 2 of MGL Chapter 30B and trains municipalities in practices to commission public art that are in alignment with the principles of fairness, transparency, and accountability in public procurement. At the end of the Municipal Track training, each municipality will apply the skills they’ve learned to release a Call for Temporary Public Art. Each participating municipality receives a $15,000 grant from NEFA to fund artists through their Call.

The application for the Municipal Track for the 2024 cohort is now closed. The 2024 trainings will take place virtually on Tuesdays from 10:30 AM-12:00 noon ET, January 23-April 2, 2024. More details below.

Through Making it Public trainings, and by funding artists through participating municipalities, NEFA aims to foster a community of practice that is inspiring more vibrant and just public spaces and culture through public artmaking across Massachusetts.

For information about next year’s cohort, check back in Summer 2024.

MIP for MA Artists 2024

Making it Public for Artists is designed by Forecast Public Art (FPA) and facilitated by Candida Gonzalez

Making it Public: for Massachusetts Artists will cover practical and tactical subjects including site analysis, stakeholder considerations, community engagement, funding opportunities, contracting, insurance, and more! Sessions will include guest public art professionals, both local and national, adding a depth of knowledge about the field of public art, the profession, and its contemporary issues.

Eligibility

Participants must be…

  • A practicing artist - Artists may be self/community-taught, institutionally trained, or a combination of both.
  • Based in Massachusetts - residing full-time and making work in Massachusetts.
  • Interested in public artmaking that fosters and/or contributes to more racially and spatially just versions of what is possible in our public spaces. 

NEFA values diverse cultural and artistic expressions as essential to more equitable and vibrant public spaces and recognizes that some artists may experience barriers to accessing professional development opportunities due to race, gender, disability, sexual orientation, class, age, and geography. 

NEFA strongly encourages artists who identify as Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC), who are rooted in rural communities, and/or who may have experienced other barriers to accessing professional development opportunities, to consider participating in Making it Public for Artists.

Participants will be accepted on a rolling basis.

A confirmation email will be sent to registrants by the week of March 4, 2024, to confirm participation. If registration reaches capacity, artists may be waitlisted. Confirmation email will also include: materials for Week 1 (first workshop is March 12, 2024).

Workshop Series Details

Each week participants will receive a link to a prerecorded video (ranging from 20-60 mins each week) to watch in advance. 

Virtual meetings are 90-minute live zoom sessions on Tuesdays from 5:00-6:30 PM ET:

  • March 12, 2024  
  • March 19, 2024 
  • March 26, 2024 
  • April 2, 2024 
  • April 9, 2024 

Participation in all five sessions is requested of participants.

Overview of Curriculum

WEEK 1: DEFINING PUBLIC ART

Introduction to the many forms of public art. What is public art? And what are the different ways that public art is funded today?

WEEK 2: COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT

What is the difference between community outreach, community input, and community engagement? This week focuses on how to create mutually beneficial interactions, lean into relationships vs. transactions, and foster trust and accountability in and with community. 

WEEK 3: RFQ/RFP

Introduction to the difference between an RFQ and an RFP, how to identify critical information, and respond to RFQs. We will also touch upon project timelines and budgets, and other considerations in responding to calls for public art. 

WEEK 4: PROCESS IN ACTION

You’ve been selected; what happens next?! This week we’ll discuss what to look for in a contract, budgeting, insurance, and other considerations for artists. 

WEEK 5: THINK TANK

An encouraging open forum for questions and answers on any public art topic; peer breakout groups; peer feedback; networking and information sharing.

 

MIP for MA Municipalities 2024 Cohort

In partnership with the Metropolitan Area Planning Council’s (MAPC) Arts and Culture Department, NEFA is pleased to invite municipalities in Massachusetts to participate in the Making it Public for MA Municipalities 2024 cohort.

Through Making it Public and funding artists through municipalities, NEFA aims to foster a community of practice that is inspiring more vibrant and just public spaces and culture through public artmaking across MA. To learn more about NEFA’s vision and values for public art, visit NEFA’s public art program page.

Municipalities selected for the 2024 Cohort will:  

  • Participate in Making it Public, a free biweekly workshop series with 6 training sessions over 11 weeks (January-April 2024) facilitated by MAPC designed to support Massachusetts municipal staff in facilitating more inclusive and equitable processes for administering a Call for Temporary Public Art. 
  • Apply the learnings from the workshop series to release a Call for Temporary Public Art by the end of August 2024. Each participating municipality will receive a $15,000 grant from NEFA to fund artists selected through the Call for Temporary Public Art in 2024. Additional technical assistance from NEFA and MAPC will also be available (April 2024-January 2025).
  • Support the selected artist(s) throughout the process, implementation, and celebration of the public art project in 2025 (e.g. permits, accessing an approved vendor, connecting with other municipal departments, etc.).  

Eligibility Requirements

  • Must be a municipality (city/town) in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
  • Must have approval from duly authorized municipal officers:
    • For 2-3 municipal staff to participate in the Making it Public 2024 workshop series from January-April 2024
    • To conduct a Call for Temporary Public Art between April 2024-January 2025 and re-grant at least 80% of the NEFA grant ($12,000 of the $15,000 grant) as payment directly to the select artist(s) through the Call for Temporary Public Art*
    • To support the selected artist(s) throughout the process, implementation, and celebration of the public art project (e.g. permits, accessing an approved vendor, connecting with other municipal departments, etc.).
  • Past participants are not eligible to re-apply.

*Note about funding from NEFA: The remaining 20% ($3,000) may go towards the artist(s) selected, or be used towards participating in this opportunity and administering these funds (e.g. provide a stipend to community-based partners to participate in Making it Public 2024, support equitable and inclusive outreach strategies and/or honoraria to reviewers in the artist selection process, etc.). OPTIONAL: Municipalities may choose to match the NEFA grant up to $15,000 (making total grant available for this Call for Temporary Public Art up to $30,000).

Selection Criteria

NEFA will select a cohort of municipalities based on:

  • Municipal Commitment and Readiness. Approval from the necessary municipal authority is required. The municipality’s readiness (including staff bandwidth) to both participate in this learning opportunity and apply the learnings to conducting a Call for Temporary Public Art in 2024 is a priority.
  • Geographic/Demographic Diversity. We aim for the 2024 cohort to represent a range of municipalities from across the commonwealth.
  • Interest and readiness to learn and implement more equitable practices for supporting just and vibrant public artmaking. Learn more about NEFA’s public art values.

Application and Additional Information

Applications must be submitted online by October 13, 2023, 11:59 PM ET.

NEFA will aim to notify applicants in late November 2023.

Review additional info about Municipal Participation Requirements and Timeline

Sample Grant Agreement between NEFA and municipality

FAQ - Questions and Answers from Information Session 9/12/23

 

Background

From 2022 to 2023, NEFA partnered with Forecast Public Art (FPA) and the Metropolitan Area Planning Council’s (MAPC) Arts and Culture Department to co-host Making it Public, a free virtual dual-track workshop series, designed to equip both administrators in strengthening local capacity to support, create, and promote public art, and artists in effectively respond to calls for public art

Starting in 2024, NEFA will continue to co-host both Making it Public tracks - partnering with FPA on the artist track and with MAPC to tailor the curriculum for the municipal track. 

To learn more about Public Art at NEFA visit the Public Art Program Page.

Making it Public for Massachusetts Artists and Municipalities is a collaboration between NEFA, the Metropolitan Area Planning Council’s (MAPC) Arts and Culture Department and Forecast Public Art (FPA).

 

Forecast Logo
MAPC logo features a green map of Massachusetts with a blue area that is greater Boston.

 

Funders

Making it Public for MA Artists and Municipalities is made possible by funding from the Barr Foundation.

Barr Foundation logo

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