LAB Guidelines

Below are detailed guidelines for prospective applicants in the 2019 cycle of LAB. Please read this packet carefully before beginning your application. You may find the answers to your questions below.

2019 LAB Requirements and Guidelines

All proposals must be for a single, distinct artistic event or a clearly connected series of events.

  • New work: All projects must center on the creation, presentation or production of new work (i.e., original or interpretive work that has not previously been presented to a general audience);
  • Public performance: Applicants must make their projects available to Greater Boston audiences through some form of public performance or presentation between January 1 and December 31, 2019;
  • Paying artists: All artists contributing to the project must be paid, including the applicant where applicable;
  • Recipients of other Boston Foundation grants: If your organization has received a grant from the Boston Foundation’s Arts & Culture impact area, or through the Open Door Grants program within the last year, your organization may is NOT eligible to apply for LAB 2019. However, you may apply for LAB 2019 if you or your organization have received funding through the Free For All Fund, Brother Thomas Fund and Fellowship Program , or the Next Steps for Boston Dance program (provided that your organizational budget is below $250,000 for the most recently completed fiscal year). All prior LAB grantees are eligible to reapply in 2019;
  • Multiple LAB applications: You or your organization may be the primary applicant on one 2019 LAB application. However, you or your organization may collaborate or participate on other 2019 LAB applicants' projects;
  • Grant funds: Grant funds may be used to support any aspect of the project except fundraising. Please see the guidelines and FAQ for further details about project expenses;
  • Touring/Travel: Applicants may apply for support to tour their work. However, the project must be also be shared with Greater Boston audiences in 2019;
  • Documentation: TBF will provide grantees with videography for one showing of grant-funded work in 2019. Applicants may choose to include budget for additional documentation in their applications.

Live Arts Boston does not support:

  • Youth-focused programs;
  • Re-mountings of works that have already premiered in the Greater Boston area.

In addition to funding, all 2019 grantees will receive:

  • Additional support for videography/documentation of the project;
  • Mentorship for each grantee with a performing arts luminary;
  • Opportunities to network, socialize, and participate in peer learning with other LAB grantees;
  • Professional development opportunities for grantees around topics such as business development, marketing, fundraising, taxes, and more.

Number of Grants:

In our first year of LAB (2017), we received 174 applications and funded 60. In our second year of LAB (2018), we received 361 applications and funded 65. We anticipate funding 60-80 projects in this third year.

Eligibility Requirements


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 reside full-time and make work within the Boston Foundation’s catchment area, defined here;
  • Must be at least 18 years old;
  • Can be emerging, 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 currently be enrolled full-time in college or university as an undergraduate or graduate student.


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. A collaborator is NOT someone who provides services on a “work for hire” or independent contractor basis.

Groups and collaborators should apply jointly and submit a single application. Note: Unless funds are directed to a fiscal sponsor (see below), 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. The primary applicant will be required to pay federal taxes on the grant funds received.

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.


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

  • Have a primary mission focused on arts and culture;
  • Be a nonprofit, 501(c)(3) organization incorporated in the State of Massachusetts;
  • Have a business address within The Boston Foundation’s catchment area defined here ;
  • 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.

A Note about Fiscal Sponsorship:

The Boston Foundation does not require that LAB grantees have fiscal sponsorship to receive their awards. However, all grant recipients who are not 501(c)(3) non-profits will be taxed on the amount awarded. For more information about fiscal sponsorship, please contact the following organizations:

Please Note: The Boston Foundation and its staff do not provide legal, tax or financial advice.

Review Process:

We take care to ensure that all submitted applications have met the LAB eligibility requirements. Then, all eligible applications are reviewed by a panel of grant reviewers made up of artists, arts administrators, and those with expertise in the philanthropic or performing arts fields. Consideration is given to ensuring the panel reflects the diversity of Greater Boston and its artists.

Due to the volume of requests for information and limited staff capacity, we are only able to respond to email requests for support at eXEL5c9ex0FbvpJ4du2zx07OA4MViyHoGKwQNA7xLBkHLJ+VG0unbpGr4u0P689tEuLkbM62ti4wb+dONAp3sWJjR/F3gsr0fPAdNW7JS9fwpLlYpLgBvJn1M/405cOc. We are happy to address your questions about program guidelines, eligibility, and the application form. However, we are unable to provide specific guidance about the content of individual applications.