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Call for artists will expand the City's alternative space pilot program

BOSTON - Thursday, April 6, 2017 - Mayor Martin J. Walsh today announced a call for artistsfor the Alternative Space Pilot Program, a partnership between the City of Boston and local businesses and institutions, allowing artists and organizations to apply for non-traditional space to create and rehearse. The call for artists is for two spaces within the Starr Center at Massachusetts Eye and Ear. Today's announcement builds on the success of the first Alternative Space Pilot located at the AT&T Flagship Store, where Mayor Walsh recently joined two classical music groups, Equilibrium Ensemble and Castle for Our Skins, to celebrate their selection as the first performers for the program.

First announced as part of the implementation strategy for the Boston Creates Cultural Plan, the Alternative Space Pilot Project is designed to respond to a need for affordable rehearsal and work space.  The program creates partnerships with private organizations, allowing artists to use underutilized private space as rehearsal space.

"I am excited to be able to build on the success of the Alternative Space Pilot Program to include a new location that allows artists and arts organizations the unique opportunity to rehearse in non-traditional venues," said Mayor Walsh. "I am grateful for our partnership with Massachusetts Eye and Ear, who have stepped up to help provide rehearsal space. It's this type of collaboration that helps us move the Boston Creates plan and our city's cultural scene forward."  

The call for artists is now open and information is available here. The two available spaces are the auditorium and a break-out room located on the second floor of the Starr Center. The spaces will be available free of charge Monday - Friday from 9 a.m. - 9 p.m. and are ideal for performing arts groups in the disciplines of music, dance, and theater. The call for artists is open to individual artists, non-profit organizations, and artist groups. 

"We are excited that Massachusetts Eye and Ear has two spaces available for artists and arts organizations for the Alternative Space Pilot Program," said Julie Burros, Chief of Arts and Culture for the City of Boston. "This opportunity continues to address the challenge of rehearsal space and will help artists continue to create in Boston."

Before applying, interested applicants are encouraged to see the space first hand. Massachusetts Eye and Ear and the Mayor's Office of Arts and Culture will host a walk through of the spaces on Thursday, April 20 at 1:00 p.m. This walk through is open to the public.

"At Mass. Eye and Ear, we believe in the power of the arts," said John Fernandez, President and CEO of Massachusetts Eye and Ear. "We are thrilled to have the opportunity to dedicate some space to local artists and be part of this ground-breaking pilot program. We look forward to working with the Mayor's Office of Arts and Culture to select a group who will transform our theatre and break-out room into vibrant rehearsal space."

The deadline to apply is on May 5, 2017 at 5:00 p.m. Applications will be reviewed by a selection committee and one artist or organization will be selected for each available space based on fit for the space, a demonstrated need for space and a demonstrated history of sharing artistic work with the public and contributing to the arts and culture sector in Boston. The successful artist or organization will be announced in late May 2017. 

More information and applications are available online

Mayor's Office of Arts and Culture (MOAC)
The Mayor's Office of Arts and Culture's mission is to support artists, the cultural sector, and to promote access to the arts for all. The office houses the Boston Cultural Council, the Boston Art Commission, and the Poet Laureate program. Responsibilities include leading up the City's Cultural Plan, Boston Creates; managing the Boston Artist-in-Residence program (BostonAIR); curating exhibitions in City Hall; and operating the historic Strand Theater in Dorchester.  For more information, please visit here.

About the Boston Creates Cultural Plan
The cultural plan was created out of a year-long community engagement effort designed to help local government identify cultural needs, opportunities, and resources and to prioritize, coordinate, and align public and private resources to strengthen Boston's cultural vitality over the long term. The full cultural plan can be found online at


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