Vacant Storefront Creative Design Contest - Call for Submissions


Vacant Storefront Creative Design Contest

The City of Cambridge invites local artists to submit their work to the second annual Vacant Storefront Creative Design Contest. The program, designed by the Community Development Department and Cambridge Arts, aims to energize neighborhoods by filling empty storefront windows with reproductions of locally-made art.

Five winners, chosen through a jury process and subsequent public voting process, will each be awarded a one-time honorarium of $1,000. These winning designs will be available for Cambridge property owners to print and display in vacant ground-floor storefronts throughout the city.

Artwork must be uploaded to an online submissions form by Friday, Feb.7, 2020 at noon. Original artwork—from paintings and prints to photographs and graphic designs—must be formatted into a digital, high-resolution PDF file that can be printed to paper or vinyl and is adaptable to a variety of window sizes. Designs must be original and not infringe on any copyrighted material.

12-13 finalists, chosen by a jury, will be announced in February 2020, followed by a public vote to help determine finalists. The five winners will be announced in March 2019, with installations expected later in the spring.

“We were thrilled with the success of last year’s contest and the beautiful artwork that has activated ground-floor retail space throughout Cambridge for the past year,” said Iram Farooq, Assistant City Manager for Community Development. “Activating vacant storefronts, supporting arts and entrepreneurship, and supporting vibrant commercial districts remain central goals for the Community Development Department as we continue to implement the City’s long-term Retail Strategy Plan.” 

“In Cambridge, we’re constantly looking for creative ways to connect local artists and businesses through partnership for mutual benefit. From Central Murals to the Central Square Cultural District and the Creative Marketplace Exhibitions program, there are myriad opportunities where we connect and celebrate our local creatives and ensure that their work is recognized as part of the City’s innovation economy,” says Jason Weeks, Executive Director of Cambridge Arts. “The Vacant Storefront Contest has proven itself as a terrific addition to these efforts and is yet another way to support, highlight and celebrate our talented local artists and their work.” 

For more information about the contest’s submission and selection process, visit