History & Mission
Founded in 1976, NEFA is one of six regional arts organizations established with funding from the National Endowment for the Arts to strengthen the national arts infrastructure by cultivating the arts on a regional level. Today, NEFA’s programs are regional, national, and international in scope, and support artists and communities through grants and other opportunities in dance, music, theater, public art, and the work of Native American artists. All aim to provide access to high quality arts experiences for the underserved, including projects that feature artistic expressions from diverse cultures and geographies.
Each program and project that is brought to life at NEFA is created with the underlying goal of building a stronger and more dynamic infrastructure for the arts. Convenings, network building, online tools, and a 30+ year history of data-driven research on the economic impact of the arts are essential complements to NEFA’s grantmaking.
NEFA is a grantmaker, program initiator, aggregator of resources, and builder of creative partnerships among artists, arts organizations and funders. Our work is generously supported by the National Endowment for the Arts, the New England state arts agencies, foundations, corporations, and individual donors.
NEFA’s mission is to creatively support the movement of people, ideas, and resources in the arts within New England and beyond, make vital connections between artists and communities, and build the strength, knowledge, and leadership of the region's creative sector.