17th Annual Idea Swap

10.30.18 |
9:00 am to 4:00 pm

Mechanics Hall | 321 Main St., Worcester, MA | View directions


The Idea Swap is an annual event for New England-based nonprofit cultural organizations and touring artists to network and share tour project ideas, including those that may qualify for funding from NEFA’s Expeditions grant program.

Learn more about last year's event.


$40 if registered by October 9 | $60 after 
Online registration closes on October 26 at midnight | Walk-up registration is available at the event


In addition to networking, Idea Swap participants are encouraged to share ideas in all stages with their colleagues from around the region. Project ideas are selected in advance to make five-minute presentations at the Idea Swap. Please see below for more details about how to present.

  • Discover project ideas

Visit the Idea Swap Project Ideas page to find out what other New England presenting organizations and performing artists are working on.

  • Share your project idea online

Submit your project idea on the Project Ideas page. Project ideas will be listed on this page before and after the Idea Swap, and will be distributed in hard copy to all event participants.

  • Present your project idea at the Idea Swap

In advance of the Idea Swap, NEFA selects 15-20 projects from the Project Ideas page to make 5-minute presentations at the Idea Swap.

by 10.9.18



New to NEFA or Idea Swap?

Meet and mingle with NEFA staff and colleagues.
09:30-10:00 Registration, Light Breakfast &  Networking

NEFA Welcome & Overview of the Expeditions

An overview of the Expeditions program and application process.
10:45-12:00 Project Presentations - Part 1

1. Otto Frank*
Shannon Mayers | Redfern Arts Center at Keene State   
2. Conference of the Birds*
Wendy Jehlen | ANIKAYA Dance Theater
3. The Forgotten Kingdom — Sand Stories
Matt Cahoon and Guy Mendilow | Pinkerton Academy and Guy Mendilow Ensemble
4. Untitled*
Lori Jones | Quick Center for the Arts at Fairfield University
5. What will we be like when we get there
Alison Manning and David White  | The Yard
6. Fefa y su Bodega: a Newcomer’s Story
Marta V. Martinez, Marcel Mascaró, and Magnolia Perez 
Rhode Island Latino Arts
7. Canvas 5x5 & Other Works*
Tom Ayres and Sara Coffin | Chandler Center for the Arts and Mocean Dance 
8. Industrious Angels
Sabrina Hamilton | Ko Festival of Performance
9. Moving Histories*
Cynthia Woo | Boston Chinatown Neighborhood Center
10. Explanation: Black Squirrels, At the Party, & Other Tales
Morgan James Peters | Song Keepers, LTD
11. Glorious Visions in Animation
Aimée Petrin | Portland Ovations

*Expeditions Tour Planning grantees

12:00-01:00 Lunch

Mini Swaps 

Participants break out into small groups to informally share project ideas.

Project Presentations - Part 2

12. CRQ - Jazz Tango for the New Century
Dan Greenspan and Claudio Ragazzi | CR Music
13. Cast, Stage, Author*
Shoshona Currier | Bates Dance Festival
14. Requiem for an Electric Chair
Chad Herzog and Toto Kisaku | International Festival of Arts & Ideas
15. Memoirs of a... Unicorn
Michelle Daly | Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts
16. Activarte: Engaging the Community Through 
the Arts

Elsa Mosquera | Inquilinos Boricuas en Acción
17. Last Ward*
Zoe Rabinowitz & Lida Winfield | Yaa Samar! Dance Theatre and Middlebury College 
18. Gravitational Fool*
Brian King | What Time Is It, Mr. Fox? 
19. Burnt-Out Wife*
Kelsey Halliday Johnson and Sara Juli | SPACE
20. Detroit Red
David Dower | ArtsEmerson
21. Huang Yi & Kuka
Kathleen Pletcher | FirstWorks
22. Resilience
Samite Mulondo and Steven Raider Ginsburg | Autorino Center for the Arts, University of Saint Joseph

*Expeditions Tour Planning grantees

03:00-04:00 Dessert & Networking

PARKING & carpool

There is limited on-street parking available. The nearest parking lots are on Waldo Street, Exchange Street, East Central Street, Main Street, and the Elm Street Garage.

View parking lots in the surrounding area.

Need a ride/have a ride? Sign up to carpool.


Book with Holiday Inn Express Worcester Downtown for a discounted rate of $140/night excluding taxes. Call 855-914-9635 and ask for "NEFA's 17th Annual Idea Swap 2018." Reserve by September 30, 2018. Book today! 

Holiday Inn Express Worcester Downtown
110 Summer Street, Worcester

In order of proximity to downtown Worcester:

Hilton Garden Inn
35 Major Taylor Boulevard, Worcester

Courtyard by Marriott Worcester
72 Grove Street, Worcester

Beechwood Hotel
363 Plantation Street, Worcester

Residence Inn by Marriott
503 Plantation Street, Worcester

Quality Inn & Suites
50 Oriol Drive, Worcester

The Suburban Extended Stay Worcester
50 Oriol Drive, Worcester

Fairfield Inn & Suites Worcester Auburn
718 Southbridge Street, Auburn

Holiday Inn Express Auburn
10-12 Johnson Street, Auburn