The Artist Project, a Community Arts Initiative Program


The Artist Project is a collaboration between an experienced artist, the Museum of Fine Arts, and ten after-school community organizations in the Boston area. The program is designed to engage children in the art-making process under the guidance of an artist. Drawing inspiration from the MFA’s collection, the selected artist will plan and lead an art project with children between the ages of six and twelve. The final product will be a collaborative work of art, reflecting the voices and ideas of participating children, and will be exhibited in the Edward H. Linde Gallery (168) in the Linde Family Wing for Contemporary Art.

The MFA provides a stipend of $22,000 to the selected artist and a budget of $4,000 for materials. The lead artist will work with MFA staff and collections, as well as be recognized across all exhibition materials including postcards and the MFA website. The artist should be available for planning starting in August 2018, and art sessions with children will begin in September 2018. All sessions must conclude by March 2019 as the exhibition grand opening is planned for May 2019. The artist will schedule a minimum of four visits lasting 2.5 hours with each of the ten organizations. Visits will occur sometime between 3:00 to 8:00 pm at the MFA and community centers. The role of the lead artist is to guide the children and steer the work of art into its final exhibited shape.

The MFA currently partners with ten community organizations including five Boston Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston located in Blue Hill, Charlestown, Chelsea, Roxbury, and South Boston; Boys and Girls Club of Dorchester; West End House Boys & Girls Club of Allston-Brighton; United South End Settlement House (USES); Boston Chinatown Neighborhood Center (BCNC); and Vine Street Community Center. The artist will meet with approximately 10-15 children per session. The participating children, ages six to twelve, will meet with the artist during after school hours.

Along with support from the Community Arts Initiative staff in the education department, the MFA also employs a liaison for each of the community centers. MFA liaisons will assist the lead artist during each session. Community center art directors and MFA interns will also be available to assist during sessions. MFA staff from the curatorial, exhibition, and facilities departments will support the exhibition installation.

Artists must be experienced in exhibiting and working with groups of children. Artists who work in any medium are eligible to apply.

All components of the application must be completed and submitted by the Friday, January 19, 2018 deadline in order to be eligible for consideration. Judges will review applications for:
  • Engagement: the project inspires children and encourages parent, visitor, and community involvement.
  • Creativity: the project draws from the MFA’s collections and reflects the artist’s style.
  • Feasibility: the project must be completed within the time frame and materials budget provided.
  • Clarity: the artist conveys a clear vision of how the final work of art will be exhibited within the gallery space.
  • Flexibility: the project allows for multiple participants and considers after-school variables such as children leaving a session early, arriving late, or only participating in one session.

The Edward H. Linde Gallery (168) in the Linde Family Wing for Contemporary Art is located on the first floor near the Linde Family Wing group entrance. It is a highly trafficked and visible area filled with natural light. The wall dedicated for the exhibition space is 13’ high by 37’ – 5 3/8” wide. Artists are strongly encouraged to visit the space before submitting an application.

Every year, a different panel, typically composed of an MFA Curator, Art Educator, Artist, and a Community Art Director, will review applications and recommend three final candidates. The MFA Linde Family Head of Community and Studio Arts, the MFA Manager of Community Arts, and other MFA staff members following interviews of the final candidates will then select the lead artist. For additional information, please contact Robert Worstell, Linde Family Head of Community and Studio Arts at

The Artist Project and the Community Arts Initiative are funded by a generous grant from the Linde Family Foundation.

Deadline: Friday, January 19, 2018
Notification: No later than Friday, March 16, 2018

In an attempt to be more environmentally friendly, we request that applications are submitted using the Submittable platform no later than January 19, 2018. 

Incomplete applications will not be considered.

Please provide the following:
  • Applicant and reference contact information.
  • Letter of Support: Please provide a letter of recommendation from an organization that serves children.
  • Project Proposal: Please include a brief description of the project along with title, media, objective, connection to the MFA collection, community relevancy, and materials or equipment required.
  • Visual Rendering: This can be a sketch, mock-up, or other visual example of the completed project in the Edward H. Linde Gallery (168) in the Linde Family Wing for Contemporary Art on a wall measuring 13’ high by 37’ – 5 3/8” wide.
  • Project Timeline: This is a brief breakdown of the project/session schedule starting September 2018.
  • Artist’s Resume
  • Artist’s Work: Up to ten images of produced artwork. For New Media and Time-Based Media (Sound, Film/Video, etc), send up to ten minutes of video/sound. Images must be clearly labeled with artist’s full name, and accompanied by an image checklist with title, media, dimensions, date of work and corresponding file names.