Boch Center

Funding Received: 2013
Boston, MA
Funding Period: 1 year and 5 months
July 29, 2013


A few weeks ago was the first ArtWeek information session for creative partners. The response was enthusiastic, the audience diverse, and the ideas creative. Since then, inquiries have emanated from a surprising number of different sectors about how to get involved including some from fashion, retail, photography, culinary, interior design, interactive, technology, visual and performing - just to name a few. And they reflect a wide range of neighborhoods and communities. Fall applications are already being submitted and the level of creativity and partnership is inspiring. But timing is everything and while the initiative is on a fast track, the reality is that the beginning of summer is tough for many potential partners who need more time to plan. Based on the number of people, places, and partners who are already planning for the Spring ArtWeek in 2014, it is exciting to see how the momentum is already growing!

Recent Wins

The ArtPlace grant provided a critical foundation for us to approach even more ‘investors’ about making a two-year investment in support of the ArtWeek initiative. While formal announcements will be forthcoming, in just one short month we have more than doubled ArtPlace’s investment with cash commitments alone, plus confirmed additional in-kind support, from a diverse range of new partners including restaurants, hotels, government agencies, media groups, and foundations! Already, conversations with several area hotels have quickly expanded from just ArtWeek programming discussions to year-long partnerships. Our new foundation sponsor is particularly interested in developing ArtWeek programs that focus on economic diversity and access for children and families. It is exciting to see many of the different principles of creative placemaking come to life – indeed, “all places have Creative Potential just waiting to bubble up.”


The power of the ArtPlace America grant to rapidly generate new investments for ArtWeek (cash, in-kind, partnership activity, neighborhood awareness, etc.) raises some interesting questions about how venture capital models apply to the Arts.

Did you know that the term "angel" investor originally comes from Broadway where it was used to describe wealthy individuals who provided money for theatrical productions? Today, according to Stanford’s Graduate Business School/Center for Entrepreneurial Studies, angel investors (high net-worth individuals) represent an essential source of funding for early stage, high-risk business ventures by providing 90% of all seed and start-up capital. But while ‘angel’ investors remain important to philanthropic support for the arts, ArtPlace America represents an important new model as the paradigm is shifting. More like venture capital, this collaborative group of investors is challenging the more traditional model, investing in bold new ideas that prompt change and innovation. ArtWeek is just one example of how this new model is helping to leverage more resources, drive unique partnerships, and inspire growth. Creative communities will always need angel investors; but creative venture capital can also play a transformational role in shaping our futures, don’t you think?

Want to follow ArtWeek’s progress? See below: