Creative City grants enable artists to create projects of all disciplines that take place in the public realm in the city of Boston and that integrate public participation into the artistic process and/or presentation.
Creative City contributes to Boston’s future by supporting artists to reimagine places for art throughout Boston. We believe that artists have a unique ability to engage public imagination and inspire community members to share in civic experience.
Creative City supports artists to make and share work of all artistic disciplines in spaces that are not conventionally associated with art, or to recast conventional arts spaces to be seen in new ways with different access and opportunity.
About Creative City
Creative City has a core value that broad access to creative activity is essential to a community, and that direct investment in artists will foster new ways to engage Boston's diverse communities.
Creative City supports individual artists, artist collectives, and artistic collaborations in all artistic disciplines and with roots in diverse cultures, forms and aesthetics. Artistic work may be grounded in multiple aesthetics from traditional cultural practices to experimental artistic practice. Creative City seeks to increase cultural equity by valuing the diversity of the city, with special attention to artists in communities that are historically under-served and under-resourced.
Creative City grants enable artists residing within Route 495 in Massachusetts to site work in the public realm in the city of Boston and that integrates public participation into the artistic process and/or presentation.
Creative City – from application through implementation – is designed to strengthen the capacity of artists to develop proposals and realize their ideas, work with non-arts partners, engage with networks of advocates and share their expertise as part of a learning cohort. Its design was informed by conversations with artists, curators, producers, and presenters in Greater Boston, as well as a national review of artist support programs and creative placemaking efforts.
For more details about Creative City eligibility requirements, funding criteria, and priorities, please visit Creative City grants.
Creative City is a three-year pilot funding initiative of the New England Foundation for the Arts (NEFA) with leadership support from the Barr Foundation and additional support from the Boston Foundation.
Creative City prioritizes projects that:
- Increase access to the arts and cultural equity by valuing the diversity of the city of Boston
- Support Boston area artists demonstrating deep connections in communities within the city of Boston.
- Demonstrate diverse and strong artistic expression
- Support art in areas of the city of Boston that are historically under-served and under-resourced
- Support art in sites, spaces and contexts that may not typically be viewed as places for artistic activity and/or recasts conventional arts spaces to be seen in new ways
- Engage public imagination and inspire community members to share in civic experience.
- Seize an opportunity to creatively engage important conversations taking place in Boston’s communities
For more details about Creative City eligibility requirements and funding criteria and priorities, please visit Creative City grants.
In this pilot phase, Creative City grants will support artist projects that meet the eligibility requirements and are aligned with the funding criteria and priorities of the program. For more details about Creative City eligibility requirements and funding criteria and priorities, please visit Creative City grants.
Artist project awards range from $2,500 – $10,000.
In addition to funding, each cohort of grantees will also have access to professional development opportunities and technical assistance along with connections to a growing network of artists and arts supporters in the city of Boston.
Awarded artists will also have an opportunity to nominate a Boston-based community partner for a modest Community Partner grant supporting the implementation, artistic process, and/or presentation of the artist’s project
Depending on the nature of the project, community partners may vary in their relationship to the artist and the site of the project. Examples of possible community partners include but are not limited to community development organizations, local non-profits or business owners, schools, among many other possibilities. For more information about Creative City Community Partner grants, please visit Community Partner grants.
panelists and Advisors
For each grant deadline, NEFA convenes a team of panelists who review all eligible applications and offer award recommendations based on Creative City’s funding criteria and priorities. NEFA staff facilitates the review process, but does not take part in the panel discussion or make grant recommendations. Panelists are not eligible to apply to Creative City during their term as a panelist.
During the grant year, Creative City grantees will have access to program advisors (some of whom may be panelists, while others may not) for advice, mentorship and access to networking and professional development opportunities.
Below is a list of past Creative City panelists.
* Indicates that s/he has also served as a Program Advisor. Italicized names have served as advisors but not as panelists.
Jenn Sien Erickson
Lina Maria Giraldo
Creative City is an initiative of the New England Foundation for the Arts with leadership support from the Barr Foundation and additional support from the Boston Foundation.
Program Director, Public Art