Four Nonprofits Receive Grant Money to Increase Public Art in the City
Parts of Boston will soon get an artistic boost.
The New England Foundation for the Arts awarded more than $50,000 in grants to five area nonprofit organizations, four of which are headquartered in the city, the organization announced on Tuesday.
Boston Center for the Arts, the Fort Point Arts Community, the Grove Hall Neighborhood Development Corporation, and the Rose Kennedy Greenway Conservancy will all receive between $5,000 to $20,000 for individual projects in their neighborhoods, adding additional outdoor, public artwork with the help of NEFA’s Fund for the Arts program.
According to NEFA officials, the Fund for the Arts supports nonprofit organizations so they can find artists to create site-specific projects, including new work that actively engages the public and delivers a “lasting impact” on communities. The grant money goes toward selecting projects that will stir conversation and address issues like environmental, social, and civic needs. “Public art creates a specific sense of place that enhances community identity and supports economic vitality,” said NEFA board member and Fund for the Arts advisor Ted Landsmark. “As citizens, we want to be in spaces that are active, culturally interesting, safe for diverse people of all ages, and distinctly identifiable. These projects accomplish these goals and involve respected community groups and engaging public artists.”
Each project varies for this round of grant funding. At the Boston Center for the Arts plaza, three regulation-size ping-pong tables will be out in the open to create a massive “community” ping-pong court. The Grove Hall Neighborhood Development Corporation, which serves the Dorchester and Roxbury neighborhoods, will use the money to launch a phone app tour guide for the Cultural History Trail, which artists and photographers can use to find interesting sites and work on their craft.
On the Greenway, their burgeoning outdoor art scene will be supplemented by additional works, while the Fort Point Arts Community (FPAC) plans to use the funding to put out a call for artists to submit proposals to enhance the harbor space.
Emily O’Neil, executive director of FPAC, said the group is thrilled about the news of the grants. “We deeply appreciate NEFA’s support. We had applied for a larger amount than we have in the past, and we were funded, so we will do additional programs than we have in the past,” she said. “For NEFA, we generally use the money for public art installations that get installed in and around Fort Point. In general, it’s been more in conjunction with open studios, but we are going to change it up this time and do some exhibits in late August and September.”
She said FPAC would have a panel of judges sift through individual project proposals and pick up to three outdoor installations to go up around the neighborhood.