Announcing a new residency program—Studio 551

Boston Center for the Arts is excited to announce that the Artist Studios Building at 551 Tremont Street will be renamed Studio 551 and serve as the nexus for a rotating cohort of resident artists working across all disciplines launching July 1, 2020. Studio 551 will house an expanded residency program in the visual arts, dance, theatre and music and will transform the way we utilize our campus and physical assets to create equitable access and valuable new resources for a larger and more diverse group of artists at all stages of their careers.

As we approach our 50th anniversary in 2020, we recognize this as a critical moment to launch bold new enterprises that directly respond to the needs of artists in our city. Studio 551 will be a creative laboratory that provides artists of all disciplines with the freedom and resources to experiment with their art, take artistic risks, and produce exciting new work that challenges, provokes and moves audiences. This is the next step in our commitment to making Boston a place where artists can thrive.

The new residency program will convert all spaces in the building at 551 Tremont Street from open-ended leases to timed residencies that range from a few months to several years with benefits and expectations unique to each discipline. Studio 551 is the result of a year-long evaluation of our artistic programs and a direct response to the growing need for affordable and equitable access to studio, rehearsal, and performance space for visual and performing artists in Boston.

Details about the residency programs and application process will be announced later this fall on our website. Information sessions about the program will be held throughout the fall (dates TBD).

Questions? E-mail This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Studio 551 FAQ

What is the Artist Studios Building (ASB)?
The Artist Studios Building (ASB) includes 52 work-only studios for artists and arts organizations (studios are not live-in spaces). Studio sizes range from 72 square feet, to 1,100 square feet.

The Artist Studios at BCA are dedicated to providing affordable workspace and a supportive environment to artists in all disciplines, and at all stages of artistic development. Artists working in studios at BCA have included visual and performing artists, and small performing and visual arts organizations.

What is Studio 551?
Formerly called the Artist Studios Building (ASB) at BCA, Studio 551 is a vibrant arts space located at 551 Tremont Street. Studio 551 embodies new artist residency programs for Boston’s visual and performing artists at all stages of their careers.

The program will provide artists with:

  • 24/7 access to private and/or shared studio, rehearsal, exhibition and community space;
  • A vibrant intergenerational community of contemporary visual and performing artists;
  • Creative practice development opportunities and marketing support offered by BCA staff and a wide variety of arts practitioners;
  • Program of public and private events and activities to encourage artistic growth, community building and artistic collaboration.

Why change the Artist Studios Building (ASB) to a residency program?
The Residencies of Studio 551 were developed over the last year in response to recent studies that have indicated that affordable workspace is a significant barrier to artists producing new work, and that such spaces continue to disappear within the city limits at an alarming rate. BCA recognizes that artists need time, space, and resources to develop new works, take risks and push their practice. This new multidisciplinary residency program is designed to provide equitable access to these critical resources for a larger, diverse cohort of artists.

Are you kicking out the current artists in the Artist Studios Building (ASB)?
No, we are not. Current studio artists have been informed about this programmatic launch and are welcomed and encouraged to apply to one of the residency programs in Studio 551.

What are the criteria to get into a Studio 551 residency program?
Artists working in a broad range of practice areas and at all stages of their careers will be considered for a residency. Each residency has different criteria and expectations but all will be underpinned by our unwavering commitment to creating a diverse, equitable, multigenerational cohort of resident artists. The details of the programs will be released later this fall, when the applications go live.

How long is each residency?
We aim to create a vibrant and dynamic community of artists within Studio 551. The duration of the individual residencies are anywhere from six months to six years.

How much do the residencies cost?
We recognize the needs of artists in the various artistic disciplines are different. The common thread through all areas is the need for time, space and resources. BCA helps to meet these needs in the way most appropriate for each discipline. The cost of the residency is dependent upon the support provided and as the BCA has always done, all are highly subsidized.

How are artists picked for the residency program?
The announcement of open applications will include all criteria for each program.

How will artists be notified if they have been accepted into the residency program?
Artists will be notified following the application review, which will be listed in each program’s application criteria.

When will the Studio 551 programs be implemented?
Studio 551 will officially launch on July 1, 2020. This is when selected resident artists can move into their spaces.

When will applications go live?
Applications for each residency will open late fall/early winter 2019. Check back soon for more information.

For more information visit or email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


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