NEFA's 14th Annual Idea Swap
Where: Mechanics Hall | 321 Main St., Worcester, MA | View directions

The Idea Swap is an annual event for New England-based nonprofit cultural organizations to network and share project ideas that may qualify for funding from NEFA’s Expeditions grant program. Read more about the Idea Swap and watch a highlight reel from a past Idea Swap.


Check out the 2015 Idea Swap Program Book.
Review the Mini Swap Projects.
View the 2015 Idea Swap Participant List (as of 11/16/15).

Get Involved: Discover, Share, & Present Project Ideas

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 by October 16, 2015. 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.


9:00AM-10:00AM Registration Opens & choice of:
A) Light breakfast and networking (Main Hall)
B) New to NEFA or new to the Idea Swap? Receive an overview of NEFA, Expeditions, and New England States Touring (NEST) programs from NEFA staff and learn about presenter member organizations from representatives of New England Presenters (NEP) and Arts Presenters of Northern New England (APNNE). Hear from grantees about their NEFA funded projects and experience. (Board Room)
10:00AM-11:15AM Welcome/Overview & Expeditions Panel
An overview of the Expeditions program and application process. A panel of Expeditions panelists and grantees will share their experiences and lessons learned.
11:15AM-12:15PM Project Presentations, Part 1:

Selections from Current Repertoire
BANDALOOP | Arts Transcending Borders at the College of the Holy Cross

Fake It ‘Til You Make It
Bryony Kimmings | University of Massachusetts, Fine Arts Center

Improvisations: Light and Sound
Debo Band with the Joshua Light Show | Debo Music Productions

The Team | Wesleyan University, Center for the Arts

In My Shoes
Judy Dworin Performance Project

Art of the Duo: Complex Stories, Simple Sounds
Kinan Azmeh and DinukWijeratne | West Claremont Center for Music and the Arts

Where the Wild Things Are
Presentation House Theatre | Boston Book Festival

Jenny Scheinman | University of Vermont, Lane Series

Three Sisters
Dmitry Krymov Laboratory | International Festival of Arts & Ideas 
12:15PM-1:15PM Lunch & Networking
1:15PM-1:30PM Open Mic Presentations: Sign up throughout the day to share your idea with all participants in three minutes or less!
1:30PM-2:15PM Mini Swaps: Participants will break out into small groups to informally discuss project ideas based on the disciplines of music, dance, and theater. These small forums will allow a larger number of attendees to share project ideas in quick, two to three-minute succession.
2:15PM-3:00PM Project Presentations, Part 2:

Made in China
Wakka Wakka | Hopkins Center, Dartmouth College

Hanna Satterlee

SITI Company | Pinkerton Academy

A Gun Show
So Percussion | Vermont Performance Lab

Star of the Sea
Moonfish Theatre | Redfern Arts Center at Keene State College

Seeker of Truth
Yuval Ron Ensemble | Portland Ovations

Nufonia Must Fall
DJ Kid Koala | FirstWorks

Young@Heart in Black and White
Young@Heart Chorus
Dessert & Networking: An opportunity to mix and mingle with all attendees.
4:00PM End 

PARKING & carpool sign-up

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.

Carpool Sign-Up
If you are interested in carpool options or can offer a ride for Idea Swap attendees, please provide your information here.



If you need accommodations, we highly recommend booking a hotel room as early as possible. Please note there are a few large events taking place in Worcester on November 10th, and downtown hotels may have limited availability.

There are several hotels within a 3-15 minute drive to Mechanics Hall. Please see the list below for hotel options.

In order of proximity to downtown Worcester:

Hilton Garden Inn
35 Major Taylor Boulevard, Worcester

Holiday Inn Express Worcester Downtown
110 Summer Street, 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