Fund for the Arts is a restricted fund at NEFA that supports Massachusetts artists.

Program History

The Fund for the Arts was launched in 1981, under the leadership of Boston attorney Phil David Fine and other advisors, to support artists doing public programs in Massachusetts. In 1992, Fund for the Arts became a restricted fund administered by the New England Foundation for the Arts with an Advisory Committee that guided program priorities, including funding organizations in the greater Boston area to commission Massachusetts based artists to plan and implement public art. In 2019, the Fund for the Arts advisors designated the Fund as a restricted fund to be permanently administered by the New England Foundation for the Arts, overseen by the NEFA Board of Directors.

Learn About Past Fund for the Arts Grants

Fund for the Arts also supported the Public Art Discussion Series (2009-2016), providing opportunities to discuss critical topics in public art and network with artists and field experts.  

Learn About Our Current Field Building Resources on our Public Art Program Page 

In 2018, the Fund for the Arts at NEFA supported a cohort of organizations that were investing in artists to develop new public art in the greater Boston area, make lasting impacts in their communities and strengthen the public art sector in diverse ways. These multi-year awards were extended due to the Covid-19 pandemic and NEFA’s interest in sustaining organizations and artists at a time of duress.  

In 2020, also during the COVID-19 pandemic, NEFA launched the Newell Flather Award for Leadership in Public Art. In 2021 and 2022, the Fund for the Arts has continued to fund the Newell Flather Award for Leadership in Public Art, public art programs at NEFA, and has supported direct grants to Massachusetts artists to create new work through the New Work New England program.  

VISIT THE PUBLIC ART PROGRAM PAGE