November 2, 2016, 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM

NEFA's 15th Annual Idea Swap

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 tour project ideas that may qualify for funding from NEFA’s Expeditions grant program.

Watch a highlight reel from a past Idea Swap!

$40 through October 4. $50 after October 4.

Read the 15th Annual Idea Swap program book.
Review the Mini Swap Projects.
View the 2016 Idea Swap Participant List (as of 11/9/16).


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 12, 2016. 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:
  • Light Breakfast & Networking (Washburn Hall)
  • New to NEFA or the Idea Swap? (Board Room)
    Receive an overview of NEFA and New England Presenting & Touring programs. Meet NEFA staff and learn how to make the most of the Idea Swap.
10:00AM-11:15AM Welcome / Overview of Expeditions & What Happens Beyond Idea Swap
An overview of the Expeditions program and application process. A panel of presenter membership organizations from New England Presenters (NEP) and Arts Presenters of Northern New England (APNNE) and artists talk about networking and what happens outside of Idea Swap. Learn about presenter consortia membership, resources, and events to network with presenting organizations and performing artists.
11:15AM-12:15PM Project Presentations, Part 1:
  1. The Evolution of Bruno Littlemore
    Working Group Theatre | Redfern Arts Center at Keene State College
  2. Vertical Influences
    Le Patin Libre | The Yard
  3. Zafir: Musical Winds From North Africa to Andalucía
    Simon Shaheen | Wellesley College Concert Series
  4. Demolishing Everything with Amazing Speed
    Dan Hurlin | Institute of Contemporary Art
  5. The End of Men: An Ode to Ocean
    Vanessa Anspaugh Dance
  6. The End of TV
    Manual Cinema | International Festival of Arts & Ideas
  7. The Missing Generation
    Sean Dorsey Dance | Flynn Center for the Performing Arts 
  8. El Gato con Botas (Puss in Boots)
  9. In Spite of Wishing and Wanting
    Ultima Vez | Quick Center for the Arts at Fairfield
  10. Served—a Dance for College Campus Employees
    Forklift Danceworks | Williams College
12:15PM-1:15PM Lunch & Networking
visit the CreativeGround table to find presenters and artists to connect within New England
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 break out into small groups to informally share project ideas in quick, two to three-minute succession. Groups are divided by the disciplines of music, dance, and theater. Sign up at the registration table to present at a mini swap.
2:15PM-3:00PM Project Presentations, Part 2:
  1. Tense Vagina: An Actual Diagnosis
    Sara Juli
  2. En Masse
    Daniel Bernard Roumain (DBR) | Portland Ovations
  3. From Vermont Westerns to Nantucket Noir: Imagining Place Through Jay Craven’s New England Indie Films 
    Jay Craven 
  4. QYRQ QYZ (40 girls)
    Qyrq Qyz | Hopkins Center, Dartmouth College
  5. Running in Stillness
    Marsha Parilla/Danza Orgánica 
  6. Virago Man Dem
    Cynthia Oliver/COCo Dance | Vermont Performance Lab
  7. Rite of Spring and Folding
    Shen Wei Dance Arts | Ranjanaa Devi
3:00PM- 4:00PM Dessert & Networking Reception

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.


Book with Holiday Inn Express Worcester Downtown for a discounted rate of $109/night on the nights of November 1 and 2. 

Holiday Inn Express Worcester Downtown
110 Summer Street, Worcester


Participants can also call 855-914-9635, reference November 1 and 2, and the block name – “NEFA Idea Swap” to receive the discounted rate. Book your room by October 3 to receive this discount.

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

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