Arts & Culture

Enhance civic and cultural vitality in Greater Boston

Arts Zumix The Arts & Culture impact area is currently undergoing strategic and thematic restructuring. With the goal of directly addressing existing community needs and ecosystem gaps in the Boston and Greater Boston creative community, this effort is informed by local and national research, more than 200 conversations with leaders, stakeholders and practitioners in the arts and culture sector, as well as information gathered through the City of Boston’s “Boston Creates” cultural planning process.  The Arts & Culture impact area is also benefitting from information relayed in the Understanding Boston report, How Boston and 10 Other American Cities Support and Sustain the Arts, a scan of the arts and culture ecosystem in Greater Boston conducted by TDC and published by the Boston Foundation in February of 2016. The areas under consideration in this impact area include advocacy, policy, research, convening and grant-making work that will aim to reach artists, arts and culture programs and organizations across Greater Boston.  We anticipate communicating the new goals and strategies for this impact area in the summer of 2016.
Grantee Highlight

MASSCreative, a three-year old arts advocacy organization seeded by The Boston Foundation, thrives on bringing arts into the center of the conversation culturally and politically.  In its short tenure, MASSCreative has:  worked successfully with a broad-based action network to advocate for increased federal, state and local investment in arts and cultural activities, raised public awareness about the creative sector and increased the support for the arts community as a vital part of our communities.  In 2015, MASSCreative convened stakeholders across Massachusetts to get arts on the agenda for the Mayoral campaign.  Its ongoing goal is to highlight the crucial role the creative economy plays in the health and strength of the Commonwealth, and to engender opportunities for the arts to help build equitable and vibrant communities.

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Latest News

The Boston Foundation Announces Round of Grants to Protect the Legal Rights of Immigrants & Vulnerable Communities in Greater Boston
Date: March 28, 2017
In keeping with its commitment to a fostering a diverse, just and equitable community, the Boston Foundation announced 11 grants of close to $170,000 to organizations that provide legal services and community outreach to Boston area residents.
The Boston Foundation announces $750,000 in critically needed funding to individual performing artists
Date: March 07, 2017
The Boston Foundation, with support and partnership from the Barr Foundation, has awarded 60 project-specific grants to small nonprofit performing arts organizations, collaboratives and individual artists in Greater Boston totaling some $750,000. Grants for the special program, called Live Arts Boston (LAB), were decided through an open application process and community review process that engaged 18 panelists including local artists, presenters and producers.


Free For All Fund at the Boston Foundation Charles Ansbacher conducting sm The Free For All Fund was established to ensure the permanent legacy of Charles Ansbacher’s vision to enhance the lives of all Bostonians through the common language of music.  The mission of the fund is “to ensure that everyone from the Boston region—children, adults, families—will have regular and permanent access to the rich world of classical, orchestral music and related cultural events.”
The Brother Thomas Fund Brother Thomas photo

The Brother Thomas Fund was established at the Boston Foundation in 2007 to honor the legacy of Brother Thomas Bezanson, a Benedictine monk and world-renowned ceramic artist, who wanted the sale of his work to support “struggling artists.”