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Live Arts Boston 2021:
ProgramĀ  Guidelines and Eligibility

Below are detailed guidelines for prospective applicants in the 2021 cycle of LAB. Please read this information carefully before beginning your application.

  • All proposals must be for a single, distinct artistic event or a clearly connected series of events.
  • All projects must center upon the creation, presentation or production of new work (i.e., original or interpretive work that has not previously been presented to a general audience).
  • Applicants must make their projects available to Greater Boston audiences through some form of public performance or presentation (in-person, digital or livestreamed) between July 1, 2021 and June 30, 2022. The work need not be finished: public performances can include staged readings, open rehearsals, works-in-progress showings, etc.
  • All artists contributing to the project must be paid, including the applicant where applicable.
  • Each person or Organization may only serve as the primary applicant on one 2021 LAB application. However, you or your organization may collaborate or participate on other 2021 LAB applicants' projects.
  • Grant funds may be used to support any aspect of the project except fundraising. Please see the FAQ for further details about project expenses.
  • Applicants may apply for support to tour their new work. However, the project must also be shared with Greater Boston audiences during the grant year.

Live Arts Boston does not support:

  • Work primarily focused on teaching arts, educational projects, or projects featuring youth participants.
  • Work that is primarily focused on community creation. Projects where community engagement is part of the artist’s/artists’ practice for developing new work ARE eligible.
  • Re-mountings of works that have already premiered in the Greater Boston area.
  • Standalone media, visual or film projects.

Eligibility Requirements

  • Prior LAB grantees are eligible to re-apply in 2021, with the exception of those who have received funding for two consecutive years. Grantees who receive LAB funding for two years in a row will be required to take a year off before re-applying. For example, a grantee who received funding in 2019 and 2020 would not be eligible to apply in 2021, but could reapply in 2022.

For Individuals:

To be eligible to apply for LAB, you:

  • Must be an artist or arts professional, i.e., someone who has devoted significant time and training to build a career creating, interpreting, presenting or producing works of art.
  • Must be at least 18 years old.
  • Can be early, mid-career, or established, but must have had at least a one-year history of creating and/or presenting professional-level work outside of an academic context.
  • Must not be enrolled full-time in college or university as an undergraduate or graduate student in the 2021-2022 academic year.
  • Must live, or have lived before March 2020, in one of the towns and cities listed within the Boston Foundation's geographic catchment area. Please see our Program Eligibility FAQs for more information.

For Groups of Artists:

The Boston Foundation welcomes LAB applications from groups of artists and collaborators. A “collaborator” is a co-owner of a project and provides creative input.

Groups and collaborators should apply jointly and submit a single application. It is NOT required that all collaborators or group members meet the eligibility requirements listed above for artists; however, the primary applicant must meet ALL eligibility requirements for Individuals.

Note: Unless funds are directed to a fiscal sponsor, one collaborator or group member will ultimately need to serve as the “primary applicant” and, if the project is funded, will be the person who directly receives payment and is responsible for any applicable taxes.

For Organizations:

To be eligible to apply for LAB, organizational applicants must:

  • Have a primary mission focused on arts and culture.
  • Be a non-profit, 501(c)(3) organization incorporated in the State of Massachusetts.
  • Have had an annual operating budget of $250,000 or less during the organization’s most recently completed fiscal year.
  • NOT have received funding through another TBF grant program within the last calendar year.

Groups or collaborations that do not meet one or more of these criteria are welcome to apply but should apply as groups of artists (per above), and not as organizations.

The LAB team has prepared a quiz to help potential applicants determine whether their project is eligible for a Live Arts Boston grant. Click here to take the eligibility quiz.

Application and Review Process

Number of Grants:

As in prior years, we expect a highly competitive pool of applicants. In 2019, we received 269 applications and awarded 61 grants; in 2020, we received 343 applications and awarded 60 grants.

Review Process:

All applications are reviewed by national and regional artists and arts administrators with expertise in a variety of performing arts fields. After the first review, all applicants are notified of their status and those invited to continue to round two prepare their expanded materials and submit them for consideration to a second group of reviewers. This second group is comprised primarily of representatives of the local performing arts community, including prior LAB grantees and other artists. Boston Foundation staff work to ensure that both groups of reviewers reflect the diversity of Greater Boston, particularly the racial and ethnic diversity, and include people with familiarity in a wide range of performing arts disciplines.

We are happy to address any questions about program guidelines, eligibility, and the application form that are not addressed above or in one of our informational videos. However, we are unable to provide specific guidance about the content of individual Round One applications. You can reach the LAB team by email at ISL4jzfMg6ipvY3pzJzeZJWP/gw9eLbZVXrvrM2tX9GTT5Gti0X6bqeP39ZemQQridjk30QJKSBsV5ThCnAqYG7iO8/7JMU1y6XXIkWwL3i/tA/iger0AmSZ7BRiVH6A. Please allow up to 2 business days for a response.