Boston AIR
Call To Artist: Boston Artist in Residence
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For Immediate Release
September 14, 2015
Released By:
Mayor's Office
For More Information Contact:
Mayor's Press Office

The Mayor’s Office of Arts and Culture, in coordination with the Massachusetts College of Art and Design, invites Boston artists to apply to Boston AIR to become an artist in residence within a City of Boston department or agency.

"The city is working to support our community of artist in an effort to maintain and support our cultural contributions to society. With this initiative we develop the backing for our most artistic Bostonians to develop their talents and construct a relationship between creativity and public service" said Mayor Walsh. 

Boston AIR Stage One: Request for Qualifications

A cohort of ten artists will be invited to study and expand their own civic and social practice, alongside a parallel cohort of City employees who will be exposed to examples of artistic practices which incorporate art and artists into government work. Artists will receive $1,000 stipends for capacity development and support as they create proposals to work with a City department or agency. Both the artist and City cohorts will attend master workshops and lectures by guest artists and have opportunities to exchange ideas and co-design proposals.

Boston AIR Stage Two: Request for Proposals

Three artists will be awarded $20,000 stipends each for six-month-long residencies within a City of Boston department or agency to develop and test ways that creative approaches can meaningfully impact the work of the public sector.

The City of Boston cohort includes representatives from the following departments (not a final list) the Office of Women’s Advancement, Veterans Services, Elderly Affairs, Mayor's Commission for Persons with Disabilities, Boston Transportation Department, Department of Public Works, Parks and Recreation Department, the Education Cabinet, the Office of Arts and Culture, and the Mayor’s Office.

Release:  Friday September 11, 2015
Deadline:  Sunday September 25, 2015


All Boston area residents are eligible to apply; however, seasoned artists with firsthand knowledge of cultures and communities in the City of Boston are preferred. Selected artists should be prepared to attend four (total) weekday, lunch-time workshops, scheduled during the months of October, November, and December. At the first meeting in October, artists are expected to give a short (six minute) presentation on their practice. Selected artists will also be invited to attend lectures by thought leaders.


Mayor Walsh envisions this project, concurrent with the creation of a cultural plan, as an opportunity to integrate artists into the development and implementation of government practices and policies. Interested artists are encouraged to participate in Boston Creates by visiting the website, filling out the survey, and attending community meetings.


In total, artists’ awards are allotted as follows, with more detail below.

$1,000 – fee awarded to ten artists for participation in trainings and proposal development

$20,000 – fee awarded to three selected artists for project design, implementation, and oversight to be paid in scheduled installments

$5,000 – project budget available for materials and services for each of the three selected projects

Upon award of the contract, the three chosen artists will be required to submit an itemized fee proposal including but not limited to the following scope of work:

  • Community meetings (up to 4) to communicate and document proposed project
  • Coordination meetings as required with project team
  • Periodic submittals of progress and budget estimates

The artist fee and project budget includes all expenses associated with labor, materials, contracted services, meetings, and travel required to complete the project through implementation. Any sub-consultants required by the artist must be compensated out of the project budget, unless negotiated otherwise. Any expense that exceeds this amount would be the artist’s responsibility, unless negotiated otherwise.


Stage One

An Artist Selection Committee, which will review all RFQ responses, will be comprised of representatives from the City of Boston, MassArt, and local arts professionals. Following the RFQ review, ten artists will be selected to form the artist cohort. The artist cohort will include a mix of artistic disciplines and experience.

Stage Two

A date will be established soon after the proposal deadline for artist presentations and interviews with the Artist Selection Committee. Proposals will be made publicly accessible and available for public comment. Proposals will be selected with consideration of the goals and mission of the partnering department or agency, as well as the mission of the Mayor's Office of Arts and Culture.

ANTICIPATED TIMELINE, subject to change at discretion of City of Boston

Release call

September 11, 2015

RFQ responses due

September 25, 2015

Artist cohort selected

October 2, 2015

Artist/City Liaison Workshops (total 4)

October - Dececember 2015

Boston AIR Proposals due

January 13, 2016

Artist presentations and public feedback

January 20, 2016

Artists in Residence announced

February 1, 2016

Contract signed with selected artists

February 15, 2016


  • Please apply here.

Please Note:

  • Electronic submissions only
  • Do not send proposals at this stage
  • Submissions may be made publicly available for viewing


By submitting an application, the applicant assures that all copyright holders have consented to the submission and use of all media files by the City of Boston.  This includes the use of the images in the following forms: multimedia, print or digital publications, presentations, or an online archive.

The Committee reserves the right to alter any aspect of the selection process or overall project in any way for its own convenience at any time. This Request for Qualifications does not constitute either an expressed or implied contract and these provisions are subject to change. 


Questions? Please contact:  Karin Goodfellow,


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