New Work New England provides grants of $7,500-$15,000 directly to New England artists in dance, film, interdisciplinary work, music, musical theater, opera, poetry, storytelling, and theater to support creating and producing new work that the artist intends to share with multiple New England communities. The focus of this pilot program is on artists and the creative process and projects that further equity, diversity, inclusion, and accessibility.  

About New Work New England

New Work New England is a three-year pilot program initiated in 2020 and guided by NEFA’s strategic plan. NEFA’s goals for the pilot are:

  • Directly support New England artists to grow their practices and develop new work that realizes their artistic vision
  • Advance equity, diversity, inclusion and accessibility through support for artists across all six New England states.
  • Provide support and develop relationships with New England artists who have not previously been able to access NEFA grant opportunities
  • Create career opportunities by increasing regional artists’ visibility and connectivity to others working in New England's creative economy 
  • Increase artist participation in the Idea Swap and applications to NEFA’s touring grant programs supporting New England artists over the next several years.

In addition to grant funds, NEFA will provide networking and visibility opportunities for artists through the annual Idea Swap, and other opportunities to develop relationships with New England organizations to further support the development, production, presentation and future touring of new work in New England communities. Support for organizations, and for subsequent presentation and touring will be available through the  New England States Touring Program (NEST). 

Eligibility 

Eligible

To be eligible for New Work New England, applicants must: 

  • Be a practicing artist(s) in dance, film, interdisciplinary work, music, musical theater, opera, poetry, storytelling and/or theater. There is no minimum for years of experience. Applicants may be individual artist(s), collectives, or artists with their own 501(c)(3) organization. 
    • Applicants must be 18+ years old. 
    • Artistic collaborations applying may consist of individual artists working together, or more formal collectives/collaborations that have 501(c)(3) status.  
    • New Work New England grants are taxable income to individual recipients and reportable to the IRS. Payment cannot be issued through fiscal agents.  
  • Reside in any of the six New England states (Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont) and maintain an active profile as an artist on CreativeGround. View the instructions and minimum requirements for a CreativeGround profile. The majority of artistic collaborators should also reside in New England. All New England artists named in the application should have a CreativeGround profile. 
  • Propose a new work to be developed and eventually shared in New England communities. The work may be interdisciplinary and can include creators in multiple artistic forms, but the primary artist(s) must be creating the new work in performing arts, literary arts, or film. Eligible new works may be in early stages of development at the time of application as well as in later stages of development. If the proposed work has had a previous public performance, applicants must demonstrate that this grant will fund a continued artistic development process that substantially advances the work. 
  • Submit or appear in only one application as the primary artist or key collaborator.  
  • Include at least one public presentation of the new work during the grant period. This may include performances, works-in-progress showings, and/or community engagement activities in at least one New England community. During the time of COVID-19 restrictions on in-person public performances, strategies to connect with community members and audiences through digital platforms are included in this requirement. 

Not Eligible

  • Applicants based outside of the six New England states (Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont).

  • Presenting organizations commissioning new work from artists. The artist(s) creating the proposed new work should be the applicant. Artistic ensembles may commission another artist if there is a joint co-creation process that is iterative, values the participation of all ensemble members, and includes all participating artists in the community engagement activities.

  • Applications that focus solely on documentation of an existing artistic work. Recording or documentation can be part of a larger artistic development process.

  • Projects in which the performers will primarily be students.

  • Projects that previously received New Work New England grant support.

  • Projects which remount a past work without a continued artistic development process that substantially advances the work. 

  • Projects focused on traditional restaging of classic productions.

  • Projects that engage communities solely through an educational setting. There must be at least one opportunity for the general public to engage with the artist(s).  

Funding Criteria

New Work New England grants will range from $7,500-$15,000 and will be awarded through a competitive selection process. Approximately 10-15 grants will be awarded annually during the initial 3-year pilot. A panel of reviewers from the arts field will base evaluation of the applications on the following criteria: 

  • Strength of the primary artists’ artistic vision and demonstrated experience in artistic practice related to the new work.
  • Clear articulation of artistic process and strategies to advance the work during the grant period.
  • Clear contribution to the cultural and aesthetic diversities available to New England audiences and communities through content, relevance, artists and others involved in the development of the proposed new work. 
  • Meaningful plans to engage with New England communities during the development of the work. At least one public presentation of the new work must occur during the grant period. This may include performances, works-in-progress showings, and/or community engagement activities in at least one New England community. During the time of COVID-19 restrictions on in-person public performances, strategies to connect with community members and audiences through digital platforms are included in this requirement. 
  • Demonstration of a feasible plan for sharing the work with multiple New England communities.

Priority will be given to artists who have not previously received direct funding through NEFA programs including the National Dance Project, National Theater ProjectCreative City, New Work New England, and through The Boston Foundation’s Live Arts Boston.

Final grant decisions will take geographic diversity into account, including all New England states, rural and urban communities.

Process & Deadlines

The application deadline is December 6, 2021. Online applications must be submitted before midnight on the deadline date. NEFA staff is available for assistance Monday-Friday, 9:00 AM-5:00 PM ET.

Applicants will be notified by March 2022. The grant period will begin April 1, 2022 and go no later than September 30, 2023.

The first payment will be issued once a contract has been signed following the award notification. The final payment will be issued upon receipt and approval of the final report.

Funding decisions will be made through a peer review process.

 

Funders

Support for New Work New England comes from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Seedlings Foundation, the Fund for the Arts at NEFA, the American Rescue Plan, Anonymous Foundation, and from individual donors. 

 

NEA logo has stripes across the bottom leading to arts.gov
Seedlings Foundation

American Rescue Plan

Anonymous Foundation

Individual Donors