Get Involved FAQs
- What is ArtWeek?
Celebrated twice a year (fall and spring), ArtWeek Boston 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 nearly 800 unique events involving more than 750 partners and the number keeps growing!
- Where is ArtWeek? (Can I host an event outside of Boston?)
ArtWeek is redefining how people experience art while celebrating the vibrant creative communities in greater Boston and beyond – in fact, events have happened in over 50 neighborhoods and towns from Cape Cod and the Islands to the North Shore, and from Lowell to Concord and Framingham and even as far west as Worcester. As long as event hosts believe that they can benefit from being part of ArtWeek, we are happy to consider them! ArtWeek invites the public to experience art and creativity in fun, different, and unique ways and can happen anywhere including nontraditional spaces and places. Street performances, pop-up events, and behind-the-scenes workshops are all encouraged! While many events happen in greater Boston, we’ve included cool experiences north, west and south of the city too. 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 750 partners host events over the past several years – and you can too! Small businesses, neighborhood groups, artists, chefs, designers, architects, public art mavens, students, nonprofits, historic sites, libraries, hotels and restaurants, schools … the list is endless! And a big change in 2015 was that a formal partner is no longer required (although we certainly encourage partnerships!) which makes it even easier to be part of ArtWeek.
- What qualifies as an ArtWeek event?
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 you can traditionally experience throughout the rest of the year. For example, you can easily transform an event or performance that would normally be available to the general public (ex: a show, performance, and/or exhibit) into an ArtWeek event simply by:
- Inviting the public to what is typically a closed rehearsal or offering a free pre or post-show talk-back discussion (without requiring tickets to the performance)
- Hosting a hands-on workshop or demonstration (and it’s extra cool to host them in an unexpected place)
- Adding a twist to open studios by including a 30-minute mini-workshop or how-to session with an artist
- Highlighting a special event(s) within a multi-day festival or annual celebration like an Open Studio event that is a unique interactive experience offered just because of ArtWeek
- Offering a tour, hosting a lecture or creating a panel to discuss a relevant topic in arts, culture orcreativity
Really, it’s simple – it just has to be a unique or unusual experience that is interactive, participatory, or provides an insider peek that most people can’t usually take advantage of. The goal is to have people experience creativity like they’ve never experienced it before!
- 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, but none of it is possible without the creative brain power of partners/artists. In return, your program will be promoted on our website, through an advertising and digital marketing campaign supported by well-known media partners, and through public relations efforts. By hosting an event, you join the large ArtWeek community which offers access to our panels and workshops, the ArtWeek email newsletter with insight into the creative community, networking opportunities, and more!
- What’s in it for the community and for the public?
You can sit at home and do the same old thing, or venture out to experience the unexpected. ArtWeek Boston is designed to expose people to something they couldn’t ordinarily do – to provide an insider glimpse or allow someone to explore the creative process with a unique twist. Most programs are free, so why not try a program or two (or more!) It is a great opportunity to take art into your own hands, explore a new neighborhood, meet new people, and support creative communities!
- 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. Many creative partners in the past have exchanged advertising space, traded for email marketing power, leveraged social media resources, and other services to create a win-win for everyone. 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. How can I get involved?
We have seen great growth in participation by individual artists in ArtWeek in many different ways. In a recent season we had an artist host a color workshop which highlighted his current public art project, another artist led a Russian nesting dolls painting workshop, and many open studios artists held short workshops during their open studios weekends. In several instances we have made introductions and connections between individual artists, partners, and/or locations. Look at past events here to see examples of how individual artists participated.
- 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 in Greater Boston and beyond. However, since ArtWeek is more than a listing service we ask groups to submit an application for one or more special ‘artweek’ friendly events that fall during our designated dates. We can then spotlight the individual event(s) but also promote your entire festival or open studios. 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 as a whole within 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 which day and time to host your event. Historically, two-weekends combined (Friday through Sunday) have represented 60-75% of total events on average. Since events happen throughout Eastern Massachusetts, 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, but to collaborate in cross-promoting and attracting new audiences! The ArtWeek team is happy to discuss options with you if you want help deciding when to host your event within the 10 days of the festival.
- I am an artist looking for a venue; can ArtWeek help?
While ArtWeek does not have specific venue space it can offer we do encourage you to visit the Massachusetts 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 or write us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to brainstorm.
- I am a restaurant owner (bartender and/or chef) – what is Art of Food, and how can I be involved?
Art of Food celebrates the diversity and beauty of art through conceiving, creating and constructing meaningful food items to bring the community together. During ArtWeek, restaurants are invited to create a specialty dish or cocktail that is inspired by art in any form. We also ask that a portion of the proceeds be donated back to ArtWeek so funds can be delivered to arts programs for Boston Public Schools. If you’d like to learn more, please visit past Art of Food pages HERE or contact the ArtWeek team at email@example.com.
- What are Light Up the Night and ArtWeek on the Road?
Light Up the Night is a visual display of the creative landscape of Boston – landmark buildings and locations “light up” in different colors throughout ArtWeek to illustrate the spectrum of creativity that our region offers. Participating landmarks have included the Prudential Tower, South Station, Government Center T Station, and Zakim Bridge. To view all locations, please visit our gallery HERE.
ArtWeek on the Road was launched in Spring 2016 in partnership with Clear Channel Outdoor and continued in Fall 2016. To view featured artwork, please visit our gallery HERE.
- Who organizes ArtWeek?
ArtWeek is presented by The Highland Street Foundation and produced by the Boch Center, a nonprofit innovator and steward of iconic venues (Wang and Shubert Theatres). Designed to drive neighborhood economic impact and build awareness of the area’s creative economy, ArtWeek works with hundreds of community partners throughout Eastern Massachusetts and is supported by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Massachusetts Cultural Council. ArtWeek also has a network of generous media partners each year that have contributed almost $2 million in advertising and promotional support since its launch including from WCVB, Greater Media, Intersection, Overdrive, and CMT Group for the 2016/17 season. It also has a great network of Community Collaborators, including City Awake, Harvard Business School Art Society, Hubway, HUBweek, Kendall Square Association, New England Foundation for the Arts, New England Museum Association, and Women’s iLAB. ArtWeek has received recognitions from the Boston Globe, BostInno, the Massachusetts Nonprofit Network, and Americans for the Arts. Everyone works hard to get the word out about ArtWeek events because we are all passionately committed to the amazing resources within our creative communities.
- Need an idea?
Just send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.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 email@example.com or follow us on social media — we’d love to explore the creative possibilities with you!