Building on the Mayor’s continued record-breaking funding for local arts organizations and individual artists in Boston, the Mayor’s Office of Arts and Culture today announced six arts and cultural projects have been selected to receive grants totaling $30,000 as part of the City of Boston’s Project Partnership Grant Pilot Program. The Project Partnership Grant Program is intended to support recurring events and programs that create opportunities for artists in Boston.
“The six projects chosen represent a wide array of art forms and cultural traditions, and are an excellent representation of the extremely talented and diverse communities in the City of Boston,” said Mayor Walsh. “I look forward to partnering with the artists and organizations involved in these projects, and I encourage residents and visitors to Boston to take part in these great events.”
The City of Boston received 158 submissions, and selected six recipients, including:
- Boston Art and Music Soul Fest, Inc. received $8,000 for its BAMS Festival that took place last weekend at Franklin Park’s Playstead Field. The Soul Fest focuses on representing the contributions of black music and the arts to the City of Boston, amplifying local emerging artists, reactivating public space to provide equal access and participation in the arts, and building upon the legacy of Elma Lewis through the return of rich and dynamic artistic cultural programming inside Franklin Park.
- Boston in 100 Words received $8,000 to bring a global urban writing project to the City, in which all Bostonians will be invited to write stories of 100 words or fewer that depict everyday life in their communities. A team of renowned authors will select winning stories, which will then be made available to the public for free in the form of large, illustrated posters installed throughout the City. The submission period will run from September 1 – October 31, 2019, and a public awards ceremony will be held in the City on April 18, 2020.
- Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association of New England (CCBA) received $5,000 for its August Moon Festival, a free outdoor event that has been happening every August in Chinatown for over 40 years, and brings the Greater Boston Chinese community together to celebrate civic and cultural pride through live art performances such as traditional musical instruments, Chinese opera, folklore dance, martial arts and other cultural activities.
- Kelli Bos Sewing for Success received $5,000 to support a visual wearable art program that connects communities, cultures and families through a common thread of sewing and art. Artist Kelli Bos hosts free sewing lessons throughout the City including at schools, libraries, and local community centers, to individuals of all ages and socioeconomic backgrounds. Each sewing session ends with a “Big Sale Day”, where participants use sales and marketing concepts taught during class to sell their items to customers.
- Radical Black Girl received $2,000 for RESIST(D)ANCE, a three-part immersive art experience including an open creative forum for local artists and community leaders to engage in conversation and art-making, a live performance featuring poetry, dance and live music, and a dance party highlighting the importance of social dance in black communities. The purpose of the event is to unite community thinkers, leaders and doers throughout Boston to move toward social change, uplift local artists of color, and create cultural production.
- Sociedad Latina received $2,000 for its Viva! Summer Nights concert series, which brings together over 1,500 people every summer to celebrate the diverse Latino cultures in Boston through public art displays, musical performances, and cultural showcases at One Brigham Circle in Mission Hill. The art series is meant to highlight Latino culture by featuring the region’s best Latino artists.
“Boston in 100 Words is thrilled to receive this grant and partner with the City on this exciting project,” said Jane De Leon Griffin, Director of Boston in 100 Words. “This partnership will greatly increase our visibility in the City, and further enhance Boston’s international prominence. More importantly, our project is all about the people of Boston and their everyday experiences, and we believe that by sharing our stories with each other in the public sphere, we strengthen our communities and make Boston a more inclusive place to live and visit.”
The Mayor’s Office of Arts and Culture announced the pilot program in April, with the goal of elevating recurring events and programs that create opportunities for artists in Boston. Eligible projects included arts or cultural programs, activations, annual cultural traditions, and community arts events. The City of Boston prioritized projects that amplified the work of artists from historically underrepresented communities, and highlighted art forms that currently lack visibility in Boston.
A selection committee comprised of City of Boston employees from various departments, local artists and representatives from local arts organizations evaluated applications on criteria including the applicant’s demonstrated ability to implement the project, the project’s track record, the artistic vision and programming of the project, the opportunities for under-represented artists provided by the project, and the benefits a City of Boston partnership would bring to the project.
In addition to financial support, the selected grantees may also receive assistance with event or program production, navigating permitting and licensing processes, and press and marketing efforts.
“This is an opportunity to support cultural events and projects around the city that provide opportunities for artists and increase access and participation in the arts,” said Kara Elliott-Ortega, Chief of Arts and Culture for the City of Boston. “This will be a great learning opportunity for us, as we collaborate with each of these grantees and discover ways that we can leverage their work even more.”
In addition to these grants, the City of Boston awarded Boston Cultural Council grants totaling $487,000 to 221 arts organizations earlier this year, making it the largest ever amount of funding distributed through this program. The City is also committed to supporting individual artists, with more than 200 artists receiving grants totaling over $240,000 through the Opportunity Fund and the Artist Fellowship Award in 2018. The second round of Artist Fellowship Award winners will be announced soon.
To learn more about grant opportunities through the Mayor’s Office of Arts and Culture, visit here.