Let’s Go!

BOSTON- Monday, May 6, 2024 – Today, Mayor Michelle Wu and the Community Engagement Cabinet’s Office of Civic Organizing announced applications are now open for the second year of block party grants. This funding effort is to encourage residents to connect with their neighbors and experience the joy of building a stronger community. Residents and community groups who apply for the mini-grants can receive up to $750 to purchase food, party supplies, lawn games, and other items for summer block parties to make it easier and more affordable for neighborhoods to hold community gatherings.

“Boston is made up of a diverse set of residents and communities, and block parties allow for more opportunities to celebrate together and build connections between them,” said Mayor Michelle Wu. “Our hope is for these grants to highlight the beauty of our communities, bringing residents together to build safe, welcoming, and fun neighborhoods.”

New this year, the City of Boston has streamlined the summer block party permit application process to improve constituents’ experience and speed up approvals. The City has also expanded what activities are allowed at block parties without additional permits, including tables and chairs, 10 by 10 tents, and more. A Block Party Planning Guide is available to help explain the planning process of hosting block parties in neighborhoods.

The block party grant builds on the Mayor’s commitment to fostering a fun, safe, and healthy summer in Boston. Last year, the Office of Civic Organizing (OCO) provided 52 grants to residents and community groups totalling $30,000 across 14 neighborhoods in Boston.

“Through the vibrant pulse of Block Party Grants, our neighborhoods reclaim their essence,” said Director of the Office of Civic Organizing Nathalia Benitez-Perez. “With each gathering, we weave tighter the fabric of community, proving that neighbor-to-neighbor connections are the soul of our city’s thriving communities.”

What do residents need to know before applying to the grant?

  • Anyone hosting a block party on a public street or sidewalk needs to apply for a Play Street Closing Permit. Applying for this permit can be done online at boston.gov/blockparty. It’s recommended to apply for permits at least 30 days before a block party.
  • Residents must apply for grant funding at least four weeks prior to their proposed event.
  • To be eligible, all block parties must be free and open to the public.
  • Grant applications will be approved on a rolling basis through July 31, 2024 to support block parties all summer.

“Nothing says summertime in Boston like a fun block party bringing communities together on each block throughout our city,” said Community Engagement Cabinet Chief Brianna Millor. “This mini grant is an investment into our neighborhoods to ensure that our youth, families, seniors, and every community member can experience a safe and joyous summer.”

“Block parties are an important part of violence prevention efforts in Boston,” said Senior Advisor for Community Safety Isaac Yablo. “In communities that have experienced violence in the past, these social gatherings promote the destigmatization of certain communities and give people who support non-violence a space to come together.”

The Office of Civic Organizing will host an information session for community members interested in applying on Wednesday, May 15, from 6:00 – 7:00 p.m. Register here to attend. Applications will be reviewed and grants will be awarded on a rolling basis. The deadline to apply for the grant is Wednesday, July 31 at 11:59 p.m. ET. The application can be found here (along with the necessary application for a Play Street Closing Permit), and residents and community groups can visit boston.gov/blockparty grant to learn more.

“Community is at the heart of everything— the block party grant allowed my neighbors to connect over food, drinks, and games which has resulted in a stronger, more engaging community in Brighton,” said Brighton resident Elizabeth Amiotte. “The sidewalk chalk stayed on the street for days after which served as a gentle reminder of our connectedness.”

“I believe the block party grant is a wonderful way to spur outdoor summer activities – particularly in my neighborhood– Mattapan,” said Mattapan resident Sadiq Ervin. “This grant program has not only enabled me to bring games, music and food to youth on my block, but has supported me to reignite traditions my neighborhood hasn’t seen in several years.”

Leave A Comment