2020 Season: May 1 - May 10

Get Involved FAQs

When is the next ArtWeek?

Dates for ArtWeek 2020 are May 1 – May 10. If you’d like to learn how you can be involved with ArtWeek for 2020, or to receive news about this upcoming ArtWeek season, be sure to sign up HERE for our newsletter stay on top of all the latest news.

What is ArtWeek?

Now celebrated annually each spring, ArtWeek is affordable fun for anyone with a creative sense of adventure. A ten-day award-winning festival featuring unique and unexpected experiences that are participatory, interactive, or offer behind-the-scenes access to artists or the creative process, each ArtWeek event is a one-of-a-kind celebration that people won’t want to miss (especially since many are FREE although some range in price up to $50). Since fall 2013, ArtWeek has featured over 2,000 unique events involving more than 900 partners and the number keeps growing!

Is ArtWeek statewide now?

After explosive growth throughout 70+ towns/neighborhoods in Eastern Massachusetts, it was announced in May 2017 that ArtWeek would become an annual spring festival but expand statewide. Click here to read about the simpler name (ArtWeek), new website address (ArtWeekMA.org), updated social media channels (@ArtWeekMA), and why the Mass Cultural Council and Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism have signed up to be our statewide Lead Champions.

Just a reminder, don’t forget to consider local permitting requirements and accessibility/ADA compliancy when considering a location.

Who hosts events?

We have had over 900 partners host 2,000 events over the past several years – and you can too! 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 list is endless!

What qualifies as an ArtWeek event?

[ArtWeek Event Applications for 2020 (May 1 – May 10) are not yet open – stay tuned.] ArtWeek events should be unique, memorable and inspired experiences as long as they are a taste of the arts, culture, and/or creativity unlike others that are regularly offered during other times of the year. The award-winning festival happens statewide, so we’re looking for event hosts from all corners of the Commonwealth including rural towns, suburban hubs, and urban centers! We define the arts broadly to include culinary, design, architecture, spoken word, film, fashion, and other less 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, so don’t be afraid to think outside the box.

To be considered for ArtWeek, your event must:

What are examples of an “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, hosting a panel discussion, etc. For more examples, please see these categorized inspiration sheets of past ideas/events.

What are examples of different kinds of ArtWeek events?

The multicolor lighting of iconic structures such as the Prudential Tower, a biking tour of Allston’s cultural landmarks, an opportunity to design political posters, unleash your inner rock star at an open mic night, become a Jedi Lego master, learn traditional Greek dances, go behind the scenes with the Urban Nutcracker, master the art of giving a TEDx Talk, or learn to paint like Monet…these are just some of the creative experiences that have made ArtWeek so unique! Looking for some different kinds of inspiration?  Check out our 14 “Event Inspiration Sheets” to ignite some create sparks (Theater, Libraries, Schools & Student, Open Studio & Existing Festival, Music, Outdoor Space, Regional Cluster (Cape & Islands), Public/Community Art, Small Business & Retail, Individuals & Small Group, Cultural/Heritage, Culinary/Hospitality, Dance, and Museum & Landmarks)!  Or to view past events, click here. Every ArtWeek features different experiences – which is why each one is so fun and unique!

Why should I host an event? (What’s in it for me?) 

ArtWeek has earned a reputation as an award-winning innovative festival of experiences including Forbes and USA Today, but none of it is possible without your creative brain power. In return, your program will be promoted on the ArtWeek website and supported through a comprehensive advertising, digital marketing, and public relations campaign – all of which should amplify your own marketing efforts. And by hosting an event, you are joining a growing statewide ArtWeek movement – unique in the nation – that will shine the spotlight amazing creative assets throughout the Commonwealth.

Let’s talk money … or not. 

Rest easy – there is no registration or listing fee to be part of ArtWeek (phew!), but we also cannot provide stipends.  Instead, we’ve left it so you can decide if you want to charge a fee for your event (up to $50) to cover costs.   Keep in mind that over 90% of ArtWeek events are under $25 and over 60% of those have been free – it is part of the appeal for many people to try something new! (But great events that charge more have also sold-out, so that works too.).

I am an individual artist. Can I host an event?

We have seen great growth in ArtWeek participation by individual artists in many different ways.  Recent examples include an artist hosting a color workshop which highlighted a current public art project, another artist who led a Russian nesting dolls painting workshop, and many open studios artists who held short workshops during their open studios weekends.  Look at past events here to see examples of how individual artists participated and be inspired!

I am part of a group hosting a multi-day event (such as open studios or a local festival). How can we get involved?

ArtWeek loves to support other festivals and art happenings. However, since ArtWeek is more than a listing service we ask groups to submit an application for one or more special ‘ArtWeek’ friendly events (with the special twist noted above) that fall during our designated dates. We can then spotlight the individual event(s) but also promote your entire festival or open studios through a link in the copy. For example, IFF Boston highlighted four events for ArtWeek Boston that qualified because they were workshops, interactive, or participatory. Click HERE for a link to their event page to see how they did it. Another recent example is Cape Ann Artisans Open Studio Tour where individual artists offered a talk, tour or brief demo of their work. We then promoted Cape Ann Artistans on each artists’ individual event pages; click HERE to see one example. One of our favorite things to do during ArtWeek is spread the word about the all of the great creative work people are doing and what better way than to co-promote ArtWeek inspired events!

What is the best day to host an event? What if there are too many events on one day?

It really is up to you as the event host on which day and time to host your event. Historically, the two-weekends combined (Friday through Sunday) have represented 60-75% of total events on average. Since events will happen throughout the state representing a wide variety of experiences and attracting different audiences, when you schedule your event may or may not impact your event’s success. Also, since events range in size and some are geared towards small and specific audiences, we encourage hosts not to worry about “competing” with other events, since there are plenty of perspective audiences to go around! In fact, visitors are often attracted to and will often travel to an area if there is a cluster of interesting events that they can experience!

I am an artist looking for a venue; can ArtWeek help?

While ArtWeek does not have specific venue spaces it can offer, we do encourage you to visit the Mass Cultural Council’s Space Finder website HERE or look at New England Foundation for the Arts’ Creative Ground site HERE. Another option is to review our list of past partners HERE and see if a local business or venue would fit your needs, and of course, feel free to write us at artweek@bochcenter.org if you want to brainstorm.

What is Art of Food, and how can I be involved?

In the fall of 2015, ArtWeek launched the “Art of Food” in celebration of the creative culinary community. Each season since then, we’ve tapped the innovative genius behind the hospitality and restaurant sectors. Partner restaurants feature a special ArtWeek menu item (drink, appetizer, dessert, sandwich, prix fixe meal, etc.) inspired by a piece of art, a favorite album or song, artist or arts group. With “Art of Food” nothing is off the table! We look forward to spotlighting the Culinary Arts with you during ArtWeek! Need some inspiration? Check out past Art of Food participants HERE.

What is Light Up the Night?

“Light Up the Night” is a colorful nighttime celebration of our arts, cultural and creative communities. We invite iconic buildings, public sculptures, walkways, trees/natural environments, bridges, and other outdoor structures to light up during the ten day celebration with special illuminations in honor of ArtWeek to help us celebrate our Creative Commonwealth. This is your chance to get creative, presenting the color scheme that represents ArtWeek or your organization. Use your imagination. It’s your time to shine! To view past locations and learn how to apply, please visit our gallery HERE.

Who makes ArtWeek possible?

Since 2013 ArtWeek has been produced by the Boch Center as part of a strategy to strengthen its community role beyond just its downtown historic theaters, while also championing the importance of the region’s creative economy.  Highland Street Foundation has also been an important presenting sponsor since 2013, as part of its enduring commitment to providing affordable and accessible creative opportunities to children and families across the Commonwealth.  And recently, Mass Cultural Council and Massachusetts Travel and Tourism (MOTT) have joined in as our statewide Lead Champions. And in the upcoming months, even more groups will be added as ArtWeek champions in the state’s six regions.  But of course, we couldn’t be this successful without our many generous media partners and the active network of community collaborators who are essential to getting the word out.  If you’d like to learn more or get involved, just email us at artweek@bochcenter.org!

Need an idea?

Just send us an email at artweek@bochcenter.org to set up a brainstorming session with us and watch the creative sparks fly – we love connecting ideas and people with potential partners and places.  Need more inspiration?  Click here to view past events, and you’ll see the sky is the limit!

Still have questions? 

Reach out at artweek@bochcenter.org or follow us on social media @ArtWeekMA  — we’d love to explore the creative possibilities with you!