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Arts Initiatives Solicited for The Port, Cambridge, MA

Posted by Cambridge Arts ; Posted on 
Arts Initiatives Solicited for The Port, Cambridge, MA




Cambridge Arts is calling all individuals, collaborative groups, organizations, artists, businesses, youth, or schools who have an idea for a community-building public project that places the arts in a central role.  This is a one-time grant opportunity to serve The Port, a dense neighborhood situated between Kendall and Central Squares. With a rich history important in the 19th century growth of manufacturing and immigration in Cambridge, The Port currently stands at a critical point in its evolution.

FLOW: A Grant Program for The Port is tied to a major infrastructure project that the City of Cambridge has begun in order to mitigate flooding in the neighborhood. The grant program is designed to build strength in the community through arts-centered cross-sector projects in the public realm and to provide training in the grant application process.

Cambridge Arts is seeking applications representing all types of art practice and encourages collaborative initiatives that pair businesses or organizations with artists. Proposals may be for indoor or outdoor public spaces, and for programmatic or physical installations. Multiple projects, both temporary and long-term, will be selected.

We welcome proposals employing all forms of artistic practice including, but not limited to: theatre, music, dance, sound art, spoken and written word, sculpture, mural arts, light, video, multi-disciplinary media, multi-media installations, and social practice art. Both temporary and ephemeral projects and durable long-term projects are welcome. Co-creation with community members and public participation are encouraged. Proposals must be designed to take place in the public realm but may be indoors or outdoors or exist in the social space of media (e.g. a printed newspaper or smartphone application). Whether submitted by an individual or a group, concept proposals must demonstrate benefit to the community as a whole and not only to the individual or group applicant.

Public information sessions will be held at the Community Art Center, 119 Windsor Street, in Cambridge, MA, on:

  • Saturday, January 14, at 9:00am
  • Wednesday, January 18, at 9:00am
  • Monday, January 23, at 6:00pm


Budget Description
Cambridge will grant a total of $300,000 which will be distributed over multiple projects. Proposals will be accepted in the following funding categories:  $1–20,000; $20,000–50,000; $50,000–150,000

FLOW is open to any individual artist or artistic team, or any organization, business, partnership, individual, youth, or collaborative group. While all proposed projects must significantly engage the arts, we welcome applicants who work in any of the wide variety of other areas that contribute to a strong community including food, life-long education, transportation, economic development, sustainability, employment, health, safety, housing, etc. In other words, you do not need to be an arts-based organization or business to apply, as long as all projects engage the arts in a central role, and have artists as key personnel.  We are particularly interested in applicants based in the neighborhood and the greater Boston area, but applicants from anywhere in the U.S. are welcome to apply. All applications will be reviewed with equal attention.


  • Dec 2016: Grant program launch
  • Dec 2016-Jan 2017:  Public grant information sessions held in The Port; distribution of application materials in print and digital format; outreach
  • Dec 2016-April 2017: Proposal development; individual training provided
  • May 1, 2017: Grant application deadline
  • May-June 2017: Selection Committee reviews submissions
  • Late June 2017: Grant awards announced
  • Summer 2017: Implementation begins
  • Fall 2021: Implementation concludes
  • December 2021: Final Reports and Evaluations


How to Apply

Apply only through  Additional information and downloadable forms are available as well.

QUESTIONS?  Contact Hilary Zelson, or 617-349-4388