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The Foundation was created by the Boston Society of Architects/AIA in 1971 to support public education programs in Massachusetts related to the built environment. Over the years, the Foundation has supported film and video productions, community-based programs, exhibitions and tours, in-school educational programs, research projects, conferences, lectures, symposiums, and other community activities.

The BSA Foundation is pleased to announce its 2018 grant awards. These grants help underwrite community-based K-12 and other educational programs that focus on elevating public awareness of the planning, design, and construction of our communities. This year’s recipients and the contact person for each are:

Charles River Watershed Association (Allston/Brighton)— The Herter Park GI Laboratory project presents an opportunity to engage local residents and middle school students with CRWA field science and stewardship efforts at Herter Park. (Pallavi Kalia Mande, (781) 788-0007 ext-232)

Fairmount Greenway Task Force (Dorchester)WOW Community Hubs will work to design and implement two new community spaces with residents and students along the Fairmont Greenway. (Michelle Moon, (320)282-7708)

Innovators for Purpose (iFp) (Cambridge)—  iFp teens are using the design process to explore creative ways to make open space more inviting to tenants and the public. The project will create a welcoming entrance through the celebration of history and community. (Michael K. Dawson, (508)561-5833)

Mystic River Watershed Association (Somerville)—  The Mystic River Watershed Association will host a series of three ecological design ‘Field Days’ at Blessing of the Bay Park in Somerville, MA for local community members. (Amber Christoffersen, (781)316-3438)

Maud Morgan Arts (Cambridge)— Provides accessible and hands-on workshops on architecture and design principles within the arts and in local context for youth and families. (Cory Shea, (617)349-6287 ext-15)

Powerful Pathways (Mattapan)— Mattapan Open Streets/Open Studios will celebrate and uplift the built and cultural environment of Mattapan through a week of free inclusive-based activities, artist exhibits, performances and small business promotions. (Allentza Michel, (617)819-4783)

Raw Art Works (RAW) (Lynn)— WAM X, a program where youth develop leadership and career workforce development skills as they advocate for women’s issues in their communities through public art-making. (Jennifer Pieroni, (791)593-5515)    

YouthBuild Boston (Roxbury)— The Designery, a hands-on architecture and design exploration program for high school teens ages 14-18, who are employed as Intern Designers. (Alex Ho, (617)445-8887 ext-406)

Grants Overview

Our annual grants support projects and programs that support the BSA Foundation’s vision that by 2030 Boston is a model of a resilient, equitable and architecturally vibrant city and region. Anyone interested in proposing a new idea or enhancing an existing program or project related to architecture, landscape, engineering, and/or community development and the built environment is invited to apply.

Who may apply for these grants?

Anyone with a good idea is encouraged to apply. We welcome applications from teachers, community groups, nonprofit organizations, arts centers, museums, and community service centers, as well as teams including individual artists and designers working with communities or educators in nontraditional settings.

When is the application deadline?

Applications must be received by the BSA Foundation by 5:00 pm on Friday, September 14, 2018.

Who is the target audience?

We fund proposals that serve Greater Boston audiences in all age groups. We are interested in programs that target underserved audiences that are culturally, economically, ethnically, racially, or otherwise diverse. Projects that can be replicated and maximize the number of people served are of special interest.

What is funded?

Grants awarded at the end of this year will support 2019 programs. We fund programs and projects that support the Foundation’s three strategic goals:

  1. Ensuring access to design education for every child in Greater Boston.
  2. Providing access to design resources for all of Greater Boston’s communities.
  3. Empowering the public to be advocates for positive change in their built environment.

We fund programs and projects that:

  • Elevate public awareness and understanding of architecture and the many facets of the built environment
  • Elevate public awareness and understanding of planning, design, and construction processes and the role of citizens in shaping our communities
  • Provide hands-on planning and design opportunities for people of all ages and from all walks of life
  • Underscore the importance of environmental sustainability and resiliency in design and community planning                                             
  • Have a ripple effect on other educators, policy makers, communities, or organizations                                        

Previously funded programs include innovative classroom curriculum, and community training programs that include hands-on design projects. Please review descriptions of past grants which can be found at We accept applications that build on past programs but that are looking for support of new ideas and ways of working. We are excited by projects that encourage collaborations with other individuals or entities including architects, architectural organizations, and allied art and design groups and practitioners.

View a sample budget template here.

What is not funded?

We do not fund design fees, capital expenditures, endowment-building programs, the purchase of public art, archival projects, research projects, website development, software purchases, fellowships for professional travel, or an organization’s operating costs. Administrative costs related to the specific program may be included in the proposal.

How large are the grants?

Grants typically range in size from $500 to $3,000, although proposals will be accepted for projects with funding needs from the Foundation of up to $5,000.