Mayor Michelle Wu and the Mayor’s Office of Arts and Culture, in collaboration with the Boston Cultural Council, announced applications are open for the 2022-2023 Boston Cultural Council grant program. Boston Cultural Council grants are available for organizations that benefit the public by offering arts programming in Boston’s neighborhoods.
“We’re proud to support Boston’s arts and culture organizations in bringing joy and connection across our neighborhoods,” said Mayor Michelle Wu. “These investments will directly empower cultural expression to build a more inclusive and vibrant city.”
“Every year through this program, we’re able to award grants to a mix of arts organizations that have been bringing meaningful arts opportunities to residents for decades, new organizations that are applying for the first time, and everything in between,” said Kara Elliott-Ortega, Chief of Arts and Culture for the City of Boston. “We are dedicated to supporting a wide range of organizations in Boston’s arts landscape, while focusing on the smaller organizations that are doing incredible equity work throughout the city.”
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. The BCC helps to ensure that the City’s grantmaking responds to the needs of the cultural community.
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.
To better promote cultural equity in the Boston arts ecosystem, the BCC made a shift in its grant making strategy in 2019 that more intentionally supports small to mid-sized arts organizations in the Boston arts ecosystem. Beginning in 2021, the BCC further supported small organizations by committing the majority of grant funds to those with the smallest budgets. Through this grant 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.
Last year, the City awarded a record-breaking $3.4 million to local arts and cultural organizations through Boston Cultural Council grants and Reopen Creative Boston, one-time funding allocated through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) that aimed to support the recovery of arts and culture organizations from the economic impact of COVID-19 and reopen their programming to the public.
The deadline to apply for BCC grants is October 17, 2022 at 11:59 p.m. ET. There will be drop-in virtual office hours every Wednesday from 11 a.m. – noon through October 12 for organizations interested in learning more about the application process. More information can be found at boston.gov/arts-grants.