Cambridge Arts Council

Cambridge Arts Council

Photo by Chris Devers

By Mara Littman, Cambridge Arts Council

Enter Cambridge and you cross a threshold into another world that is unique and defies definition. Cambridge is a place where you can find both style and substance. It embraces the new. Creativity blends with both innovation and history. Diversity reigns.  Art imbues every walk of life.

Cambridge Arts Council

Sir Kenelm Digby

The Arts are seen and heard everywhere you go in Cambridge both day and night. City murals mirror the urban rhythms. Street performers send musical notes through the air. Theater-goers wrap around street corners and Jazz, rock, hip-hop, and classical music reverberate through the walls and in the streets.

Each city square, Harvard, Central, Porter, Inman, Kendall, and every neighborhood in between conjures up its own soundtrack, colors, and flavors.

Many of Cambridge’s world-class universities also open their doors to the public for participation – no application necessary!

Art is your key to entry to top-quality exhibitions, performances, films, poetry, installations, literary readings and more! So fire up the synapses of your brain and take advantage of the art offerings occurring in and around the finest schools in the country – based right here in Cambridge.

Try your hand at art-making with an abundance of visual and performing arts classes and opportunities for all ages offered through the City’s many neighborhood and regional arts organizations and centers.

Even if you think you know Cambridge, each arts encounter will paint a new picture of this one-of-a-kind city.  So, get involved, enjoy the arts and take a walk in the Cambridge side of life!

Primary Programs Include:

Summer in the City – July & August

Enjoy a wide array of FREE, multicultural, interactive arts programs, performances, and activities both day and night for children, families, and the entire community in parks and open spaces throughout Cambridge.

CAC Grant Program

Artists and arts organizations can apply receive funding for projects that benefit the citizens of Cambridge. Applications are available beginning in August, and are due in October.

Cambridge Arts Council

Cambridge Public Art! Photo by Simpliciter

Public Art

With 200 permanent artworks throughout the city, Cambridge has the largest contemporary public art collection in the Commonwealth.  Cambridge is the only city in the Commonwealth with a Percent-for-Art ordinance that designates a portion of construction costs for capital improvements to support integrated, site-responsive public art.

CAC Gallery

Step inside the gallery, located in the City Hall Annex, to experience exhibitions that explore art in the public realm and encourage community engagement and dialogue.

Cambridge Arts Council

Photo by Jessica Quinn

Poet Populist Program

Elected by residents, the Cambridge Poet Populist works with the Cambridge Public Library, schools, artists, and local cultural organizations to promote and encourage a dynamic relationship with poetry.

Street Performer Program

Live performances give character to parks and enliven the city’s public spaces. If you are interested in performing, visit our office to apply for a permit. No audition is required, and permits are good for the calendar year.

Cambridge Arts Council

Photo by Cambridge Open Studios

Cambridge Open Studios

Each spring, discover an array of art that emerges from artists’ studios and other unique spaces throughout the City. Much of the work is available for purchase, which is a great way to support local artists and bring art into your home or workspace.

Cambridge River Festival

A signature city celebration, taking place in early June, the festival features a wide array of music, dance, and visual arts performers and attracts close to 200,000 visitors annually.

Cambridge Arts Council Location

Connect with the Cambridge Arts Council and CAC Gallery in the City Hall Annex located at 344 Broadway, 2nd Floor, Cambridge.