Marty believes the arts and artists are at the heart of what great cities should be. Shortly after taking office in 2014, he made good on his campaign promise to elevate the position of Chief of Arts and Culture to the cabinet level, moving the arts into major policy conversations. As mayor, he commissioned the city’s first cultural plan in over a generation, engaging thousands of Bostonians to talk about how to make Boston a municipal arts leader. In 2016, he launched the plan, Boston Creates. Since then Marty has backed his commitment to arts and culture in Boston with new investments and policy changes.

Marty’s Record

  • Increased the budget of the Boston Cultural Council, which provides grants to community-based arts and culture programming.
  • Launched the city’s first Percent for Art program, which funds permanent public art in municipal construction projects.
  • Supported local artists through new award programs and fellowships, the first municipal grants for individual artists in Boston. He also hired an Artist Resource Manager, to help artists and producers navigate the City and its resources.
  • Worked with developers and the Huntington Theatre and Emerson’s Colonial Theatre to ensure their continued use as major performing arts venues for generations to come.
  • Commissioned a Performing Arts Facilities Assessment to be used by the Boston Planning and Development Agency as they work with developers to activate new buildings. The BPDA now includes arts and culture concerns in the development review process. The Seaport Square development, the first large project under review since the release, will house multiple performing arts spaces.
  • Created Boston AIR, an artist-in-residence program that embeds artists in city agencies, bringing imagination and inspiration to the ways in which they work.
  • Included Arts Innovation Districts in Imagine Boston 2030, the city’s first comprehensive plan in 50 years, beginning with Uphams Corner in Dorchester, seeded by the reimagining of the Strand Theatre and an $18 million investment in a new branch library.
  • Received recognition from Americans for the Arts, a national advocacy organization for municipal arts leadership in 2016.
  • Partnered with EdVestors in the BPS Arts Expansion initiative, expanding the number of students receiving arts instruction.
  • Launched the Alternative Space Pilot, which matches artists and groups with underutilized private spaces that they can use to rehearse free of charge.

Marty’s Plan

  • Continue to implement the ambitious Boston Creates plan, investing in all of the programs listed above.
  • Support the development of artist housing and affordable live/work space, to advance the Boston Creates goal of keeping artists in Boston.
  • Guided by a feasibility study now underway, work with MassArt and Emerson College on a Workforce Development program for the Creative Industries.
  • Realize a youth summer jobs track in arts and culture aimed at diversifying the sector.
  • Support The Boston Foundation’s cultural equity study, launching in 2018, to make sure that we are giving equal weight to all cultural expressions.
  • Support out-of-school youth arts programming by developing a competitive grant program to support established organizations serving teenagers and young adults.
  • Continue to push developers to see arts and culture as a means to enliven and activate their buildings, and encourage discussions at the beginning of the planning process.
  • Continue to explore ways to embed artists in municipal processes.