Frequently Asked Questions
What is ArtWeek?
ArtWeek is Massachusetts’ ten-day award-winning creative festival, offering nearly 600 unique events in over 130+ communities. Presented by Highland Street Foundation and produced by the nonprofit Boch Center, the festival is designed to spotlight how accessible and affordable creativity is to everyone throughout the Commonwealth. Statewide champions and supporters of ArtWeek include the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism, and the Mass Cultural Council, who also serves as ArtWeek’s Creative Communities sponsor. Special programs involving restaurants, lodging, and outdoor illuminations also make ArtWeek a delight for all the senses.
When does ArtWeek take place?
ArtWeek takes place annually in the spring throughout Massachusetts. The next ArtWeek is scheduled for May 1 - May 10, 2020. Event applications open on December 4, 2019 with an Early Bird Deadline of Friday, January 10, and a Final Event Deadline of Friday, February 21 to be considered for the 2020 festival; please refer to the Special Programs section for their deadlines.
Where does ArtWeek take place?
ArtWeek happens all across Massachusetts over ten days each spring! ArtWeek happenings include hundreds of cool events as well as Special Programs involving restaurants, lodging specials, illuminations, and community partners. To find an ArtWeek happening near you, view our online calendar of events (typically launched early April) or our Destination ArtWeek pages which highlight regional offerings (typically launched in March).
Who makes ArtWeek possible?
Since 2013 ArtWeek has been produced by the Boch Center with founding and ongoing support from the Highland Street Foundation as our presenter. Statewide champions and supporters of ArtWeek include the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism, and the Mass Cultural Council, who also serves as ArtWeek’s Creative Communities sponsor. There is also generous support from media partners and an active network of hundreds of community collaborators who are essential to supporting this innovative festival.
Hosting an Event:
What qualifies as an ArtWeek event?
ArtWeek events should contain the "ArtWeek Twist" i.e. they should offer unique and unexpected experiences that are participatory, interactive, learning-based, or offer behind-the-scenes access to artists or the creative process. We define the arts broadly to include culinary, design, architecture, spoken word, film, fashion, and other non-traditional artistic forms of expression in addition to dance, theatre, music and visual arts – so we encourage creativity! We also have seen many successful collaborations with unusual partners, and in unexpected locations like train stops, bike paths, sidewalks, ice rinks, nature trails, and parks - so don’t be afraid to think outside the box!
To be considered for ArtWeek, your event must:
• Take place during the ten days of ArtWeek
• Charge no more than $50 per person (many are free!)
• Include a special “ArtWeek twist” that is participatory, interactive, or offer behind-the-scenes access to a creative experience
How do I apply to host an ArtWeek event?
Event applications open on December 4, 2019 with an Early Bird Deadline of Friday, January 10, and a Final Event Deadline of Friday, February 2. To start the free and quick application process, create an account and/or login to our Event Host Portal anytime after December 4, 2019. Links will be LIVE/provided on that date.
How much does it cost to host an ArtWeek event?
You might be surprised, but there is no cost! Thanks to our sponsors and partners, it is free to apply and participate in ArtWeek.
Can we charge an entry fee or ticket price for our event? We cannot offer a free event.
Yes, hosts can charge to help alleviate costs. However, you cannot charge more than $50 per person since ArtWeek is about affordability and accessibility. Last year 70% of all events were free and over 90% were free or under $25.
Can I host my event outdoors?
Absolutely - last year we had over 100 outdoor events! But we suggest having "rainy weather" back-up plans or a rain date, and to be diligent about getting prior approvals and/or permits that are required in your town/community.
Do I have to create a brand-new event just for ArtWeek?
As long as your event meets our criteria (doesn't regularly happen and has an "ArtWeek twist"), we encourage you to apply for ArtWeek. Sometimes it is as easy as adding a talkback, tour, or hands-on component to an existing event. If for some reason the ArtWeek team feels it does not qualify, a member of the ArtWeek team will be in touch. Note that for the 2020 season we are making it easier for community festivals, open studios, and other large scale events to be included, too!
Do you have past event examples to give me a better idea of what kind of event to host?
Absolutely - you can see some inspiration sheets of events from prior years, defined by category, on this Inspiration and Examples page. Also, watch for our information webinar dates and new case studies for further inspiration!
I am part of a larger event (open studios, festival, arts walk, etc) - can I be considered an ArtWeek event?
ArtWeek loves to encourage other festivals, art happenings and open studios to be involved, so in 2020 it is easier than ever to be included - as long as your event is considered "ArtWeek-friendly" (ie includes "ArtWeek twist" elements that are participatory, interactive, or offer behind-the-scenes access to artists or the creative process). We encourage the over-arching organizer to act as the point-person to apply on behalf of the festival/open studios/art walk/etc. If an individual associated with the festival/open studios/etc would like to be listed individually, they can apply separately. However, these are considered two separate applications and listings on our calendar. If you have questions, please reach out to the team directly at email@example.com.
I don't have a venue/place to host my event - can I still apply?
ArtWeek will not accept an application for review without a confirmed location. If you are having trouble, explore space resources (like SpaceFinder Mass), join our Facebook Group (launching Fall/Winter 2019) and post your needs, or try to connect with someone in your community who may have space and want to co-host! Libraries, town/public spaces, and even stores or small businesses are also good places to approach.
Our space is small/we wanted to host a more intimate event. Is that allowed?
ArtWeek events do not have to draw large crowds. Some very popular events have been those that are small - like private tours for six people, intimate art-themed dinners or hands-on workshops, etc.
What are more examples of the "ArtWeek twist"?
Plenty of events are outside-the-box, but you can also easily transform an existing event or performance that would normally be available to the general public (ex: a show, performance, and/or exhibit) by adding a simple “ArtWeek twist” like: inviting the public to what is typically a closed rehearsal, offering a private tour of a gallery exhibition or inviting the artist to say a few words, hosting a panel discussion, etc. For more examples, please see the Inspiration and Examples page on our website.
What is the best day/time to host my event?
As long as it occurs during the ten days of ArtWeek, hosts can hold their event at any time/date. While both weekends are popular, one third of the events typically happen Monday - Thursday. Keep your intended audience in mind when setting the day/time -- if you are hosting a family-friendly event, you might want to host it on a weekend morning or early afternoon. If you are hosting a 21+ event, an evening time slot might work better. Events designed for retirees have shown to have great attendance during weekday late-mornings.
Who can host an ArtWeek event?
Anyone can host an ArtWeek event - small businesses, arts organizations of all sizes, neighborhood groups, artists, chefs, designers, architects, public art mavens, students, nonprofits, historic sites, libraries, hotels and restaurants, schools … the possibilities are endless!
Why should I host an ArtWeek event?
ArtWeek has earned a reputation as an award-winning innovative festival of creative experiences from Forbes, Expedia, and USA Today to name just a few, but none of it is possible without your creative energy. In return your program will get a dedicated web page as part of the statewide event calendar supported by a more general ArtWeek marketing umbrella. New for 2020, ArtWeek is also launching an e-brochure to help draw attention to more localized efforts across the Commonwealth. Each approved event also receives a comprehensive marketing e-toolkit, a package of sample print materials (poster, postcards, and more - plus a collectible seasonal ArtWeek decal/sticker)– all of which are to help you amplify your own marketing efforts. By hosting an event, you are joining a growing statewide ArtWeek movement that is attracting local support as well as international visibility and even has the attention of our elected officials. Unique in the nation, ArtWeek is shining a spotlight on creative assets throughout the Commonwealth - including yours!
Will my event be featured in press?
While the ArtWeek Team and our PR partner are tireless in pitching ArtWeek and calendar events to the media, unfortunately we cannot guarantee coverage. We do include press templates and social media cards in the e-toolkit that you can easily customize for your own marketing and public relations efforts.
What is the difference between Art of Food and a culinary event?
A culinary event is just that - an event, with a culinary aspect (example, an interactive dinner with dishes inspired by Salvador Dali). For Art of Food, a restaurant/bar/café/food truck simply has to serve an art-inspired specialty food item or drink during the ten days of ArtWeek. While you do NOT need to create an account or submit an event application for Art of Food (or any of ArtWeek's special programs), there still is a simple application on each special programs page with a deadline of Feb xx and March xxx for Art of Food specials to be listed.
After logging into the Event Host Portal, the screen is blank/I do not see the applications.
Be sure to use the latest version of Google Chrome - sometimes other browsers do not load properly.
I am having trouble logging in to the Event Host Portal - what do I do?
First ensure that you or someone on your team has created an account on our Portal. If you have already created an account and cannot remember your password, click the "Forgot Your Password" button and wait for an email prompt (it may take a few minutes, especially during high-traffic times like the Final Application Deadline).
How likely are you to accept my event if I apply?
The ArtWeek Team likes to say "yes" - we encourage everyone to apply who wishes to be a part of ArtWeek as long as their event fits the criteria. If for some reason your application is missing information, or is unclear to the team how it fits within the ArtWeek model, someone will be in touch to coach the applicant. The ArtWeek Team asks that you are responsive during this coaching period, as we are in conversations with hundreds of interested applicants.
I submitted my event application, but have not heard back from the ArtWeek Team.
First check that you successfully submitted your event application (you should have received an email confirmation from the Event Host Portal Administrator). If you received that email and it is close to the Early Bird Deadline (Friday, January 10) or Final Event Deadline (Friday, February 21), the team might be busy reviewing applications. If you submitted your application over two weeks ago and have still not heard from an ArtWeek Team member, please email the team at firstname.lastname@example.org, listing your application/event title in the subject heading.
I've hit the Submit button on my application, but I don't think it submitted it/it showed an error.
Make sure that all of the questions have been answered correctly and completely - if not, there should be questions marked that need to be completed. You will receive a confirmation email after your application has been successfully submitted. If you submitted and did not receive the email contact email@example.com.
What are Community Partners, and how do I become one?
Community Partners are organizations (statewide, regional, or local level) who support ArtWeek by getting the word out either to their networks as potential event hosts OR to their networks to encourage people to attend ArtWeek events. Partners come in all shapes and sizes including chambers of commerce, membership organizations, social groups, cultural districts and arts councils, and town government groups ... last year we had over 130! To be considered a Partner and learn more, please contact the team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Do Community Partners have to host an ArtWeek event?
It is not a requirement for Community Partners to host an event. If you wish to host an event, please create an account on the Event Host Portal and submit an event application by our deadline. If you wish to be listed as a Community Partner on events within the ArtWeek calendar, please inform your community members to list you as one on their event application.
I'm a Community Partner, and I want to be listed as one on event listings that are in my community. How do I do that?
In order to be listed as a Community Partner on an event calendar listing, it is the responsibility of the event applicant to list you as a Partner. Please inform your community members to list you in their event application.
How do I find out who has applied to be an Event Host in my community?
A week prior to both of our Event Application deadlines (Early Bird and Final Deadline), the ArtWeek Team will post a list of all applicants (showing town, organization, and contact name) to the Community Partner E-Toolkit for Community Partners to review. For further assistance, please email the ArtWeek Team at email@example.com.
How can I become a Media Partner?
Last year, local and national media partners generously supported ArtWeek with over $450K of inkind visibility. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like more information on benefits and support levels.
What kinds of sponsorship levels are available?
In order to keep ArtWeek free to event hosts as well as promoting free and affordable creative access for all, expanding our sponsors at all levels is critical to sustaining and growing the festival. Please contact email@example.com and include the sponsorship range you are interested in exploring; someone will be back in touch with you promptly.
Can I be involved with ArtWeek without hosting an event?
Yes! There are different opportunities to be involved with ArtWeek. Special Programs are perfect for those in the restaurant business (Art of Food), hospitality sector (Lodging Offers) and for local attractions or outside landmarks (Light Up the Night). Your organization can also support ArtWeek by becoming a Community Partner or a financial Sponsor.
What is the difference between Art of Food and a culinary event?
A culinary event is just that - an event, with a culinary aspect (example, an interactive dinner with dishes inspired by Salvador Dali). For Art of Food, a restaurant/bar/café/food truck simply has to serve an art-inspired specialty food item or drink during the ten days of ArtWeek. While you do NOT need to create an account or submit an event application for Art of Food (or any of ArtWeek's special programs), there still is a simple application for each Special Program. More information will be available when applications open on December 4.
Do I have to participate in all ten days of ArtWeek for Light Up the Night?
No. Simply list which days you want to participate on your application.
Do I have to serve my Art of Food dish/drink EVERY day of ArtWeek?
No. Simply list which days you want to participate on your application.
Does our lighting need to be professionally installed/designed to participate in Light Up the Night?
No - some venues participated in Light Up the Night with supplies simply found at a party store (twinkling lights, disco lights, etc). Some recreated or re-imagined illuminations used for their First Night/January celebrations, while others worked with local partners and/or schools to create unique building illuminations. You can read and see more examples on the Inspiration and Examples page on our website.
What kinds of Lodging Offers do you accept?
Last year was the pilot program for special Lodging Offers, which ranged from a simple ArtWeek discount to a culture-inspired discounted package at a waterfront hotel complete with passes to a local museum, a cheese plate, and paints plus paper to get creative. They also hosted a special art show of local artists in their lobby during ArtWeek. You can see other examples on our Inspiration and Examples page. To be listed as a Lodging Offer, please submit your application - more information will be available when applications open on December 4.