ACTivate Residency

Applications are now being accepted. Application deadline: October 30, 2022 by 11pm

Boston Center for the Arts will offer five  five-day residencies to individuals and small groups of artists to create a site-responsive work in the historic Cyclorama. The residency includes video documentation of the process that will  be shared with audiences. The work can be performative and/or visual in nature and is meant to activate artists, audiences, and our spaces. Although residents can focus on the presentation of a completed piece, the intention of the ACTivate Residency is to open up space for deep exploration of an idea or concept over the course of the residency. ACTivate is open to all Boston based visual, performing, and interdisciplinary artists with priority given to BIPOC, Immigrant, and New American artists and their collaborators.



BCA provides:

  • $1,000 stipend per artist (up to 4 per residency) to be used at their discretion
  • $30/day travel stipend for up to four artists
  • Access to Cyclorama during agreed upon hours (for up to 8 of hours/day)?
  • BCA staff support during artists’ working hours up to 8 consecutive hours per day between 8am and 11pm
  • Video documentation 
  • Cleaning and sanitization of the space 
  • Access to BCA’s in-house lighting plot and a small basic PA system for amplification.
  • Access to other BCA items such as tables, chairs, stage, Marley flooring, etc.


Artists Agree to: 

  • Create or further develop a site responsive work over the course of 5 days
  • The proposed project should be performative and/or visual in nature and is meant to activate artists, audiences, and our spaces.
  • Submit a detailed schedule to BCA four weeks prior to the start of the Residency.
  • Attend pre-Residency meetings to discuss the proposed timeline as well as any technical, production and general Residency needs.
  • Be responsible for all technical aspects of the installation including any necessary permitting/ etc.
  • Present a floorplan of your use of space/ installation for BCA approval 2 weeks prior to your residency.
  • Adherence to the Cyclorama Rules and Regulations.
  • Work with BCA staff and film crew to document the installation and/or performance in an agreed upon manner (including interviews, b-roll, etc)
  • Agree to collaborate with  BCA to share the process and documentation with audiences
  • Limit the artists working to the same group for the duration on the residency (up to 4 artists)
  • Follow BCA’s Covid-19 Guidelines including mask requirements, contact tracing, sanitization, social distancing, etc.
  • Provide BCA with images, bio, and project concept descriptions that can be used to promote the artists and the work they are creating.  
  • Promote the ACTivate Residency in partnership with BCA marketing department
  • Strike the installation at the conclusion of the residency 
  • Participate in the ACTivate panel discussion in the fall of 2021


Our goal is to gather a diverse and inclusive community of artists for the purpose of supporting innovative work across disciplines, connecting artists with peers and resources, and providing a vibrant platform for new art in Boston. 

 Applications will be evaluated based on artist’s demonstration of:


Does the artist’s practice display innovation, openness to new ideas, perspectives and techniques?


Is the artist’s work relevant, topical, in dialogue with issues of contemporary interest?


Does the artist think holistically about the relationships between art and life?

Community engagement.

Does the artist demonstrate a willingness and aptitude for significant give and take exchange among colleagues and audiences? and

Potential impact.

How does the artist articulate the impact of this residency on their practice?


Black Lives Matter. It is incumbent upon us to act accordingly, and to identify those ways that we, as leaders of cultural organizations, can stop perpetuating pervasive and systemic white supremacist practices and lead through our actions. 

 Boston Center for the Arts is committed to doing the hard work of dismantling even the most subtle forms of white supremacy in our organization, in our practices, and in the work we do to help make Boston a place where Black artists can live and thrive.

 BCA Residents agree to working with Boston Center for the Arts to dismantle white supremacy. To that end, Residents will be expected to adhere to BCA’s anti-racism and sexual harassment policies as detailed in the residency handbook. Residents agree to participate in ongoing anti-racist work which may include workshops, readings, and other activities. BCA has a zero-tolerance policy for racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, transphobic, anti-Semitic, Islamophobic, and ableists actions and behavior. BCA will immediately revoke all rights and privileges of its Residents should a Resident or its artists act or behave in the aforementioned manner.


All BCA Residents agree to provide BCA with a copy of their COVID-19 plan prior to beginning any work on campus. Residents also agree to abide by the BCA’s COVID-19 policy which can be found in the residency handbook.


  • ACTivate is open to all Boston based visual, performing, and interdisciplinary artists with priority given to BIPOC, Immigrant, and New American artists and their collaborators.
  • The collective or lead artist(s) must live within the City of Boston with preference given to artists who live in Brighton-Allston, Dorchester, East Boston, Hyde Park, Mattapan, Roslindale, and Roxbury.
  • Collective or lead artist(s) must have a demonstrated commitment to equity, diversity, accessibility, and inclusion.


Through this Residency, artists are invited to embrace the “fierce urgency of now” as described by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. We encourage artists not to overlook the urgency of the moment but instead to use it to inform their work. 


The program will provide local artists the opportunity to create and share a new or reimagined work that challenges the status quo and invites artists and audiences to question, investigate and take risks. The goal is to provide a space of healing and joy to artists and audiences during a time of extended isolation.