August 3, 2023

Salem Public Art Commission announces Public Art Opportunity & Performance Mini Grants

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Two big opportunities for artisans, makers, and creators.  Applications are being accepted for two great programs, including Mini Grants for Salem Artists, and the 2024 Salem Public Artist in Residence (PAiR).

The City of Salem Public Art Commission (PAC) is thrilled to announce Public Art & Performance Mini Grants for Salem Artists!

A colorful painting of butterflies and plants on a wooden pallet.

2024 Artists′ Row Public Artist In Residence Program Call For Creatives & Public Artists

The PAC welcomes requests for funding for public art projects and performances taking place on public property from individual artists and performers based in Salem, MA.

Application Deadline is Monday, September 4, 2023 at 4pm, for September Review Cycle.

Program Overview:

Proposals will be reviewed twice yearly in our regular March and September meetings on the 3rd Tuesday of each month.

Proposal will only be reviewed during these meetings; however, proposals may be submitted any time using our online submissions form here:

Funding will be allocated at the discretion of the PAC towards qualifying proposals reviewed in each session until all funds are exhausted.

The amount of available funds fluctuates from year to year. Funding is renewed annually on July 1st.
This is a ‘Mini-Grant’ funding opportunity for Salem-based artists. Grants will range from $500-$2,500.

The total available funding for the September review cycle is $12,500. The PAC will award grants to eligible high-quality projects at their discretion until all funds are exhausted.

Funding can be used for projects involving a group performance or artist team; however, the applicant/lead artist must be an individual based in Salem, MA.

Eligible Projects:

· Applicants must be individual artists/performers based in Salem, MA. (We define being based in Salem as the lead applicant is an individual with a residential address in Salem, MA.)

  • Eligible projects must be completed by June 30, 2024.
  • All funded projects must take place in Salem, MA on Public Property.
  • Projects must be free and open to the public to attend/engage with.
  • Types of eligible projects include but are not limited to: musical performances, theatrical performances, poetry/spoken word, performance art, art happenings and/or interventions, temporary and/or permanent public art installations, workshops, etc.
  • Projects that encourage interactivity and community engagement are strongly desirable.

Evaluation Criteria:

  • Does the project meet all of the basic eligibility requirements?
  • Does the project speak to and serve the Salem community?
  • Does the artist have demonstrated success with a similar project and/or at least one year of experience working in the proposed media?
  • Is the vision for the project clearly articulated?
  • Does the project demonstrate high artistic quality and merit?

Submission Instructions:

Full Prospectus:

All proposals must be submitted via the online submission portal here:

The application Deadline for September Review Cycle is Monday, September 4, 2023 at 4pm.

Applications received after that time will be considered in our March 2024 meeting if funds are available.

Applications will be reviewed and selected in the September Public Art Commission Meeting held on Thursday, September 14, 2023 via Zoom.

A woman and a child looking at a piece of art.











2024 Artists′ Row Public Artist In Residence Program Call For Creatives & Public Artists

Mayor Dominick Pangallo and the Salem Public Art Commission seek Creatives to participate in the City of Salem’s 5th Annual Artists’ Row Public Artist in Residence (PAiR) initiative.

Artists’ Row consists of four artists ‘stalls’, a restaurant, and a public restroom and is centrally located in the heart of historic downtown Salem, 24 New Derby St., across from Old Town Hall and Derby Square. This area was originally built as an open-air marketplace and continues to serve the community as a thriving artist center, public plaza, and pedestrian way.

The Artists’ Row initiative is a seasonal program that provides space for artists and artisans looking to build their audience and/or arts practice through daily engagement with residents and visitors to Salem. The City of Salem respects, values, and celebrates the diverse life experiences and unique heritages, attributes, characteristics and perspectives that make each person who they are. We believe that bringing diverse individuals together through the Arts allows us to collectively and more effectively address the issues that face our communities.

Participation in the Artists’ Row program is envisioned as a springboard opportunity for creatives wherever they are in their career that can help take them to the next stage/level in their unique professional development journey. It is very much a shared space for artists and visitors alike, where creativity happens, and unique arts-related goods and activities can be experienced in an animated public setting.

The Public Artist in Residence or “PAiR” program was established in 2020 to help elevate and activate Artists’ Row. 

The role of Public Artist in Residence is one of Community Engagement and Arts- Centered Programming. The program imbeds artists in this unique downtown public way with the goal of contributing to and enhancing the cultural vitality of Artists’ Row and the greater Salem community.

The City is currently looking to fill one (1) PAID position for a Public Artist in Residence, lasting for a term of 8 months. The City is interested in uses that will contribute to the vibrancy of the Artists’ Row community and this important gateway to Salem’s bustling downtown. The variety of activities/uses will be considered for the PAiR studio and include, but are not limited to, programming such as original uniquely produced or large scale handcrafted temporary public artworks, performances, art ‘happenings’, art ‘interventions’, art making, and art installations and immersive experiences.

Submission Instructions: 

Submission Deadline is Thursday, August 31, 2023 by 4pm

Full Prospectus:

All applications and required support materials must be submitted using our online application form by 4pm Thursday, August 31, 2023.

To Apply, please visit