Boston Art Commission

Art and Science (1911)
Bela Lyon Pratt
Bronze on granite base
Boston Public Library, at 700 Boylston St.

If you are interested in bringing public art to your community, please download the infographic on the Public Art and Design Proposal Process below to get started: 

Boston Art Commission's Public Art & Design Application

Click here for a closer look!

Public Art and Design Application Guide

The BAC collaborates with artists and communities, City departments, and others to commission and approve all proposed projects on City property to enrich the lives of Boston’s diverse residents and visitors. The BAC uses the Public Art and Design application ( to review proposals for both short and long-term public art and design interventions and installations on City of Boston property. If you have any questions about the application or the process email BAC staff at

Before You Get Started

You can propose a project as an individual or group. Check out our infographic to help you develop your application. When you are identifying your proposed site, remember that the BAC can only approve projects that will be installed on land owned by the City of Boston. You can research parcel ownership here (  Once you’ve considered the idea or space in which you are interested in siting your project, you can begin the process of talking to neighbors and community members that would be impacted.

As you develop your idea, consider reaching out to:

  • foundations,

  • local businesses,

  • nonprofits, and

  • anyone with a stake in the project.

When you are developing your project concept, look at the BAC's Curatorial Mission and Collection Policy.

Submit an Application

When describing your project we want to have a clear understanding of what you want to propose. All applications will be reviewed at our monthly BAC meeting. We ask that applications be submitted two weeks before a scheduled BAC meeting and six weeks before the proposed start date, to allow us time to process the request and work with other departments for permissions.

You'll need to include:

  • a project description with installation/maintenance details;

  • an address or google map link, if you have a specific site in mind;

  • photos or sketches of the proposed project, if relevant;

  • description of the artist selection process, and

  • resumes for all artists involved, if relevant.

When writing your project description, look at the BAC’s Curatorial Mission and Collection Policy.

After the BAC Reviews the Project
If the project is a permanent piece of public art that is being proposed, we will reach out and help you write a Request for Qualifications, and continue with the City's permanent art process outlined in the BAC's Collection policy. If this is a temporary project, we’ll follow up with you if we have any additional questions.

We will also let you know about any other City permissions that apply to your project, including but not limited to:

  • a special event permit,

  • a public safety permit, and

  • insurance requirements.


Public Art Funding Sources

Edward Ingersoll Browne Fund

In 1892, Edward Ingersoll Browne, a successful Boston trust attorney with a strong sense of civic pride and public spirit, wrote his will directing that one-third of his estate be set aside, in a special fund, for the improvement of Boston's public spaces.  Grants from Mr. Browne's bequest are often utilized for the design, fabrication and installation of permanent works of public art in Boston.  The Art Commission has representation on this board and assists in determining that all proposals submitted comply with the terms of Mr. Browne's will.  Please send applications to the City of Boston Trust Office, City Hall, Room M5, Boston, MA 02201.  The deadline  for all applications to the Browne Fund is March 15.  

Please read the Boston Art Commission's Guidelines for Permanent Public Art in Boston before submitting your application.  The Browne Fund application can be found here.  A helpful checklist of submission materials can be found here.   

For more information, please call the City of Boston Treasury Division at 617.635.3699.

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Fund for the Arts

Fund for the Arts (FFA) is a public art program at the New England Foundation for the Arts (NEFA). The Fund supports projects through which artists and non-profit community organizations are paired to create public artworks that engage audiences and encourage participation in the arts. Fund for the Arts seeks to advance and provide visibility for the arts in Greater Boston by placing artists and creative endeavors at the heart of community and civic life. 

Visit for more information.

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Creative City Grants

Creative City is a public art program at the New England Foundation for the Arts (NEFA). Creative City grants enable artists to create projects of all disciplines that take place in the public realm in the city of Boston and that integrate public participation into an artistic process and/or presentation.

Visit for more information.

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Henderson Fund

Grants are made by the George B. Henderson Foundation in accordance with the Indenture of Trust by Mr. Henderson dated 21 May 1964.  This instrument directs that Foundation funds shall be devoted solely to the enhancement of the physical appearance of the City of Boston, including projects concerning parks, city streets, buildings, monuments, and architectural and sculptural works.  Each project shall be visible by the public, preferably from a public way.  If funds are expended for work on building interiors, the building shall be open to the public a reasonable number of days in each year. Visit for more information.  

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Current opportunities for funding, commissioning, and/or exhibiting art in Boston.


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