Artists are central to NEFA’s work. Their concepts and creations drive our program development, and inspire audience and community members throughout New England and beyond to view the world from new perspectives.
One of the most important ways we support artists is through grant programs. In addition to providing artists and arts presenters with financial resources, our grant programs serve as holistic systems of support. Depending on the needs of artists and presenters, NEFA provides assistance during planning and presentation phases of a project, coordinates professional development opportunities for artists such as workshops on grant proposal writing, and designs convenings to facilitate creative exchange and collaboration.
Creating the best programs means responding to the constantly evolving arts landscape. Our nimble approach to program development and close connections with artists and other organizations have established NEFA as a laboratory for pilot projects, as well as a leader in the development of production and touring models.
Celebrating diverse forms of expression
The best creative exchange is fueled by diverse forms of expression. To that end, NEFA champions emerging artists and under-represented and under-funded art forms. The National Dance Project (NDP), for example, was developed in response to changes in government funding for contemporary dance programs. As a result of the grants awarded through this program since 1996, nearly 2.3 million audience members throughout the U.S. have experienced contemporary dance performances. In a field that has been historically under-funded, NDP is the only national program supporting individual dance artists and companies, whether established, emerging, culturally-specific, or experimental.
The Native Arts program is another example of our commitment to building infrastructure for diverse art forms. Launched in 2005, the program provides Native American artists in New England and throughout the country with resources for creating and presenting their work to wider audiences. The program also aims to strengthen the national network of Native American artists through cross-regional exchange, professional development workshops, and gatherings.