Boston, which was once known as the “Athens of America,” is home to a vibrant art scene and many support systems for aspiring Boston artists. The city has a strong, cultural infrastructure in place that consists of museums, artists, gallery owners, and scholars that attracts aspiring artists and art majors from local institutions and across the country. However, as in most big cities across the U.S., the rising cost of living and available working space make it difficult for many to pursue their creative passions. Luckily, many programs exist in Boston that benefit local artists. These programs include affordable housing, workspace assistance, and reduced or free legal services. Here’s what you should know:
1. ArtistSpace Program
Since its inception in 2002, ArtistSpace has created new spaces, as well as retained existing spaces, for city artists in collaboration with the Mayor’s Office of Arts and Culture and the Department of Neighborhood Development. The program offers artists workspaces that they can rent or purchase at a variety of prices. The Boston Redevelopment Authority has initiated a certification process for artists interested in the program, which ensures that only artists occupy the spaces.
2. Corporate Art Lending Program
The Arts and Business Council is engaged in an ongoing commitment to the development and support of local artists. The Council’s Corporate Art Lending program connects area businesses with original artwork from local artists in order to introduce the work into Boston workplaces. The loan lasts for a period of 12 months at a cost of $700 per piece. The money is used to support the program, provide a stipend to the artist, and cover fees for curation and professional installation. In addition, Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts provides legal service advice and educational programming to local artists, cultural organizations and musical groups in Massachusetts.
3. Boston Makers
Boston Makers is a nonprofit corporation that focuses on creating safe, affordable and collaborative workspaces for area artists while also cultivating a community of makers interested in sharing their work and expertise in art, technology and culture. Many opportunities exist that allow individuals to pursue their creative impulses in electronics, fashion art, furniture, sculpture, jewelry and woodworking, among others. Boston Makers members have access to digital production tools, such as 3-D printers, CNC routers, laser cutters, vinyl cutters, milling machines, computers and workstations. The idea behind the program is to get people together who can share their knowledge, tools and visions to promote new innovations and enterprises within the city.
Boston artists elevate the city’s living experience by transforming areas into dynamic communities with a vibrant street life. The many art festivals, galleries and retail spaces may provide an economic boost to these areas by generating jobs and offering unique services to Boston area residents. If you’re an artist, go to Owners.com to learn more about the city of Boston and to discover a wealth of valuable real estate information.