Public Art Learning Fund

The Public Art Learning Fund aims to strengthen the field of public art in New England by providing professional development support directly to artists.

Public Art for Spatial Justice supported RootsUprising "Who We Say We Are" | photo by Glen Egli

The Public Art Learning Fund provides grants of $500 to $2,000 to support professional development opportunities for New England artists to strengthen their public art practices. Through the Public Art Learning Fund, NEFA intends to foster the continued development of more equitable, inclusive, and vibrant public spaces and public life throughout New England.

About NEFA's Public Art Programs

Public Art Learning Fund is one of NEFA’s grant programs supporting artists in the field of public art. 

For more information about other elements of NEFA’s Public Art programs: 


Program Values & Goals

NEFA’s Public Art programs acknowledge the necessity of addressing the intersectionality of spatial justice and racial justice in cultivating a more vibrant and equitable public art ecosystem.  

To learn more about NEFA’s public art vision and values, visit the Public Art program page

The Public Art Learning Fund aims to strengthen the public art field in the region by supporting artists in further developing the skills, resources, and connections they need to build a more vibrant and equitable community of practice in the region. Learning in partnership with grantees, NEFA strives to learn how we may be able to better support a more equitable and sustainable public art ecosystem throughout the region. 


The Public Art Learning Fund focuses on professional development opportunities that build necessary skills, resources, connections and strengthen artists’ public art practices and the public art field at large. 

Artists may utilize the Public Art Learning Fund to: pursue a specific professional development opportunity to strengthen their own public art practice in New England and beyond. Examples may include but are not limited to attending a conference, workshop, training, or discussion related to building creative or administrative skills related to their public art practice; registration fees and travel expenses are eligible expenses.

Eligibility Criteria

  • Applicant must be an artist who resides full-time and makes work in one of the six New England States (Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont) 
  • Applicant must be an artist whose artistic practice engages the public realm or who can demonstrate that they are in the process of expanding their artistic practice towards public artmaking 
  • Applicant must have a Creative Ground profile.  
  • Proposed professional development opportunity must: 
    • specifically relate to strengthening the applicant artist’s own public art practice 
    • take place during the grant period (see Application Process & Deadlines below) 

Note: There are no geographic limitations for the professional development opportunity requested (e.g., an artist may apply to the Public Art Learning Fund to attend a conference outside of New England). 

Applicants who are NOT eligible to apply are: 

  • Artists seeking funding to develop or implement a specific public art project. 
  • Artists applying for learning opportunities that take place outside of the grant year. The current PALF application is for learning opportunities that take place January 1, 2025 – December 31, 2025.
  • Current Public Art Learning Fund grantees and grantees with an outstanding PALF grantee report. 

Past PALF grantees are not eligible to apply to PALF again for a full calendar year from completing their grantee report (e.g., If you submit a PASJ grantee report on June 1, 2024 that is approved, you are not eligible to submit a new application for PASJ until June 1, 2025 or after).

Funding Priorities

Public Art Learning Fund equips artists with skills, resources, and connections to strengthen public art practices that contribute to more equitable, inclusive, and vibrant public spaces and public life throughout New England. 

The Public Art Learning Fund gives priority to timely opportunities that are: 

  • Specifically expanding an artist’s public art practice. NEFA will look for clarity on desired learnings and application to artist’s public art practice. 
  • Equitably contributing to more just and inclusive public artmaking in the region. Artists at various stages in their public artmaking practice from urban, suburban, and rural communities across all six states in New England are welcome to apply.

    NEFA values diverse cultural and artistic expressions as essential to more equitable and vibrant public spaces and recognizes that some artists may experience barriers to accessing professional development opportunities due to race, gender, disability, sexual orientation, class, age, and geography. The Public Art Learning Fund intends to prioritize equity in funding opportunities. This may include but is not limited to prioritizing artists who self-identify as Black Indigenous People of Color (BIPOC) and/or are rooted in rural communities. 

Application Process & Deadlines

Monday September 16, 2024, 11:59p ET
For opportunities that take place January 1, 2025 - December 31, 2025.

Grant Application Opens July 2024.

Public Art Learning Fund grants are taxable income to individual recipients and reportable to the IRS. All grantees will receive a 1099 from NEFA. 

Grantee Requirements & Reports

Grant funds will be provided in full at the beginning of the grant year.

A complete grantee report is due 40 days after the professional development opportunity is completed. If unanticipated delays occur in your learning timeline, please contact the public art program staff to request an extension and discuss next steps.

Grantees who do not submit a complete grantee report will not be eligible to apply for another Public Art Learning Fund grant until the grantee report is submitted and approved.

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

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Learn about previous recipients of the Public Art Learning Fund

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