Frequently Asked Questions

What are the expectations for successful applicants?

Successful applicants will be asked to do the following:

  • Pick up a set window boxes, plants, flower pots, and birdhouses from City Natives, the Trustees' native plant nursery at 30 Edgewater Drive in Mattapan.
  • Create a visual design that reflects the history and culture of one of three neighborhoods (Roxbury, Dorchester, or the South End). Applicants will be expected to work remotely with community members/organizations for design feedback.
  • Implement a visual design on your set of window boxes, plants, flower pots, and birdhouses. In the past, our partners have used paint or vinyl, but we are open to other artistic materials.
  • Transport the set of customized materials back to City Natives by the first week of June 2020.
  • Work with The Trustees, New Urban Mechanics, and community partners on a plan to 1) garner interest in your project and 2) distribute the customized pieces to 15 separate people during the first two weeks of June 2020. Successful applicants will be expected to document their work and connect with community members (including those who install the pieces at their homes) via letters or other printed materials, social media, or video.

Can I submit a proposal for additional artwork or activities to activate various spaces around the City?

While previous competitions required artists to hold events in green spaces around Boston, we’ve had to pivot due to the public health crisis. If you have additional ideas on how to activate green spaces around the city in light of the physical distancing guidelines, we’d love to hear them!

What should we include in our budget proposal?

Your budget should include costs for:

  • visual design
  • community engagement
  • materials
  • design implementation
  • transportation
Selected teams will have a budget for up to $5,000.

Do I need to work at a specific site? It looks like in previous competitions, artists have had to work and display their pieces at a specific location.

No, you are free to work on your project from wherever you'd like. Just keep in mind that you will need to pick up a set window boxes, plants, flower pots, and birdhouses from City Natives, the Trustees' native plant nursery at 30 Edgewater Drive in Mattapan. Once you are done customizing your materials, you will need to return the materials back to City Natives.

What will happen to the pieces once I finish customizing them?

Once you have delivered your completed pieces to The Trustees at City Natives, they will plant a mix of tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, and basil in the window boxes, planters, and pots. They will then physically distribute your pieces at one of three neighborhood gardens: Nightingale Community Garden in Dorchester, El Jardín de la Amistad in Roxbury, or Titus Sparrow Park in the South End.

Keep in mind that you will need to continue to work with The Trustees, New Urban Mechanics, and community partners on a plan to 1) garner interest in your project and 2) distribute the customized pieces to 15 separate people during the first two weeks of June 2020. Successful applicants will be expected to document their work and connect with community members (including those who install the pieces at their homes) via letters or other printed materials, social media, or video.

Do you have any dimensions of the set of window boxes, planters, pots, and birdhouses that will be distributed? What materials are they made out of?

The approximate sizes are listed below. Please note that this is subject to change depending on availability.

All dimensions are expressed as Length x Width x Height and are in inches.

  1. Window box (terracotta): 11.8" x 6.3" x 5.7"
  2. Birdhouse (wood): 6" x 8" x 9.5"
  3. Large pot (terracotta): 17" x 17" x 14.25"
  4. Medium pot (terracotta): 14" x 14" x 12"
  5. Small pot (terracotta): 12.5" x 12.5" x 11"

I have more questions! What should I do?

Email us at invitational@newurbanmechanics.org.