In light of COVID-19 and events that have unfolded in the first few months of the pandemic, NEFA’s 2020 public art programming is refocusing on two new grant opportunities: Public Art for Spatial Justice and Collective Imagination for Spatial Justice.

Massachusetts artists:

  • Do you have a project that creatively engages important and timely conversations, brings healing to space and place, and/or fosters public imagination for a more just version of what is possible?
  • While we are still on this collective journey towards realizing more just futures for our public spaces, do you have a great idea for a public art project that offers creative ways to see, feel, and experience spatial justice through your artistic/creative practice in public spaces?

Public Art for Spatial Justice may be for you!

How It Works

Public Art for Spatial Justice grants support Massachusetts artists and artistic collaborations to create public art in Massachusetts that fosters public imagination and contributes to more just futures for our public spaces and public culture.

These grants may or may not support the outcomes of a Collective Imagination for Spatial Justice grant. 

Public Art for Spatial Justice grants range from $5,000-$10,000.

About NEFA's Public Art Program

Public Art for Spatial Justice is one of NEFA’s grants supporting artists in the field of public art. For more information about other elements of NEFA’s Public Art programs, visit the Public Art program page.

VISIT THE public art PROGRAM PAGE

Eligibility Criteria

Eligible

  • Lead Applicant must be a Massachusetts-based artist or artistic collaboration
    • Lead applicant may be an individual(s), fiscally sponsored collective, and/or 501c3 organization

      • Individual artist applicants and payees must be 18+ years old

      • Artistic collaborations applying may consist of 2-3 individual artists working together, or more formal collectives/collaborations that have fiscal sponsorship or 501c3 status.

    • Recognizing the intersectionality of artists’ identities, we acknowledge that artists may also identify as cultural practitioners, activists and community-rooted collaborators, and may be self/community-taught, institutionally trained, or a combination of both. All are welcome to apply.

    • Note: Public Art for Spatial Justice Grants are taxable income to individual recipients and reportable to the IRS. Grantees will receive a 1099 from NEFA if total payments exceed the minimum requirements set by the IRS within a calendar year. (Currently, the minimum requirement is $600. Go to www.irs.gov for details.) 

  • Proposed public art project must: 
    • Be located in the state of Massachusetts
    • Engage the public realm and be available to the general public
    • Projects may include public-facing elements that are engaging both physical and/or virtual spaces. Ideally projects will engage physical places/spaces, but we recognize public health standards continue to evolve during this pandemic. We will work with grantees to determine safe protocols to meet current public health standards.
    • Creatively cultivate expressions of and/or embodiment of spatial justice through public artmaking. Projects of all artistic disciplines – visual, performative, rooted in ritual, etc.- are eligible.

Not eligible

  • Applicants based outside of Massachusetts
  • Proposed projects based outside of Massachusetts
  • Current Public Art for Spatial Justice grantees are not eligible to apply for another Public Art for Spatial Justice Grant at this time. As we pilot this timely opportunity, we want to make sure others have a chance to apply, too!

Funding Criteria & Priorities

Public Art for Spatial Justice aims to fund a range of projects across Massachusetts that foster public imagination and contribute to more just futures for our public spaces and public culture.

Eligible projects will be reviewed according to the following funding criteria:

  • Artists/Artistic Collaborations share in NEFA’s values and commitment to the work of dismantling the legacies of racism, anti-Blackness, and white supremacy culture. Priority will be given to projects that:
    • Are led or co-led by artists who identify as Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC). The path to dismantling the legacies of racism and white supremacy culture includes centering BIPOC (Black Indigenous People of Color)-led creative exploration and expression in public spaces.
    • Disrupt harmful historic narratives that uphold structural inequities, decolonize and/or indigenize spaces, and/or centers BIPOC creativity, imagination and expression in public spaces
  • Relevance: Projects creatively engage important public conversation(s) that are or need to be happening in this particular moment, in this particular place. Context is important in public artmaking.  Public spaces are not neutral. And public art made in public spaces is not neutral.
  • Integrity: Projects honor the integrity of the people, places, stories, and ideas – past, present, and future- engaged in the artmaking.  Public art practices that reduce people, places and stories to tools for artmaking are harmful. Also, artists are collaborators and co-conspirators on this journey towards justice, not saviors.

We recognize that feasibility may vary depending on how public health guidelines evolve during the pandemic.  We ask that artists are realistic about feasibility, while acknowledging that this may change as public health guidelines change.

Process & Deadlines

Public Art for Spatial Justice applications will be accepted from late July through October 19, 2020.  Submitted applications will be reviewed on a monthly basis, after each of the following grant deadlines: 

  • Monday, August 24, 2020, 11:59 PM EDT
    For opportunities that begin late September/early October 2020
  • Monday, September 21, 2020, 11:59 PM EDT
    For opportunities that begin late October/early November 2020
  • Monday, October 19, 2020, 11:59 PM EDT
    For opportunities that begin late November/early December 2020

Grantees will have 12 months from the beginning of the grant year to implement projects.

Reminder: Public Art for Spatial Justice grants are taxable income to individual recipients and reportable to the IRS. Grantees will receive a 1099 from NEFA if total payments exceed the minimum requirements set by the IRS within a calendar year. (Currently, the minimum requirement is $600.)

Requirements & Reports for Grant Recipients

A complete grantee report is due 40 days after the project is completed. Grantees who do not submit a complete grantee report on time will not be eligible for Collective Imagination for Spatial Justice or Public Art for Spatial Justice grants.

Click below to log in and begin your grantee report. You may save and return at any time.

START YOUR GRANT REPORT