Past Programs

When projects, programs, and initiatives have run their full cycle, they still serve NEFA's work and the arts field in many ways. NEFA's archive of past efforts informs the development of new projects and programs, and provides documented best practices to the field.

American Masterpieces: Dance (AMD)

AMD was the dance component of a major initiative of the NEA to acquaint Americans with the best of their cultural and artistic legacy. AMD celebrates the extraordinary and rich evolution of dance and choreography in the United States.

Art & Community Landscapes

Art & Community Landscapes was a national initiative developed in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Park Service, which supported site-based public art projects as a catalyst for increased environmental awareness and stewardship.

Arts Jobs Recovery Funding

Arts Jobs Recovery Funding was part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). Through stimulus funding awarded to the National Endowment for the Arts, provided NEFA approximately $330,000 to distribute in support of preserving arts jobs.

Building Communities through Culture

Building Communities through Culture identified, linked, and strengthened arts-based community development projects throughout New England that were characterized by arts/non-arts partnerships.

Cambodian Artists Project

Cambodian Artists Project was a multi-phased presentation and documentation effort to recover and restore Cambodia's cultural legacy.

Clearing the Path

Clearing the Path was a groundbreaking regional conference on arts and accessibility hosted by NEFA in March of 2000.

Favorite Poem Project

The Favorite Poem Project celebrated, documented and promoted poetry's role in Americans' lives. NEFA served as lead administrator of the Project through October, 1999.

International Commissioning and Touring Study

The International Commissioning and Touring Study was developed by the Rockefeller Foundation and NEFA to research and document current systems for commissioning and touring contemporary international arts projects in the United States.

International Collaboration in the Arts Project

The International Collaboration in the Arts Project was an ethnographic documentation project conducted by NEFA and the Ford Foundation to research and document programs engaged in supporting international artistic collaboration.

Lewis & Clark Bicentennial Arts Plan

Lewis & Clark Bicentennial Arts Plan was a national bicentennial commemoration of Lewis and Clark's historic, cross-country expedition. Through the arts, this initiative celebrated the human spirit and our commonalities as a people and a nation.

Mexico Exchange Initiative

The Mexico Exchange Initiative's goal was to create long-term relationships for artistic and cultural exchange by supporting, assisting, and connecting artists, presenters, producers, and other cultural representatives from the New England region and Mexico.

National Dance Lab

National Dance Lab was a pilot project that enabled choreographers to conduct creative research and develop projects without the normal pressures brought on by commissions and performances with revenue expectations.

National Dance Project - international

The FUSED program (French-US Exchange in Dance) operated as a partnership between NEFA and the French American Cultural Exchange (FACE) from 2004-2017, fostering lasting partnerships between artists and arts professionals through meaningful exchanges in the partner countries. NDP has also had international partnerships with The Netherlands and Australia.

Contemporary Art Centers
The Contemporary Art Centers (CAC) network supports and promotes projects that model innovative interdisciplinary collaborations. 


Native Arts Program

In 2005, the Ford Foundation invited NEFA to design a support system for New England’s Native artists. NEFA, in association with the Maine Indian Basketmakers Alliance (MIBA), conducted gatherings with Native American artists and leaders throughout the region in 2005-2006. The recommendations heard at those meetings informed NEFA’s design of a program with staff leadership by a member of the Native community, created to serve a marginalized, underserved, and often invisible community of Native artists and organizations.

From 2007 to 2014, the achievements of NEFA’s Native Arts program include:

  • Provided over $350,000 through 131 grants to 74 artists and nine organizations representing over 35 tribes through regional, national, and master-apprentice grantmaking areas
  • Brought visibility to the region’s artists and their art through advocacy, press, and social media
  • Re-connected diverse Native communities around the region via numerous workshops, gatherings, professional development opportunities, technical assistance, and conferences
  • Produced the groundbreaking exhibit Native New England Now and companion publication of grantee work in partnership with MPMRC
  • Created a New England Native American arts directory of both artists and organizations, recently converted to an online searchable format via NEFA’s CreativeGround website
  • Connected many Native artists to other NEFA grantmaking programs and services

As part of transitioning the program, NEFA awarded planning grants to five Native-led organizations who have begun to explore the formation of an independent regional consortium. The Northeast Indigenous Arts Alliance is positioned to leverage the work of member organizations to bring resources and visibility to New England’s Native artists with support from private philanthropy.

This planning process was led by Dawn Spears, former Native Arts program manager at NEFA, and participants include:

  • Aquinnah Cultural Center (MA)
  • Gedakina (VT, MA, ME)
  • Maine Indian Basketmakers Alliance (ME)
  • Mashantucket Pequot Museum & Research Center (CT)
  • Tomaquag Indian Museum (RI)


NEFA continues to support Native American artists through other NEFA grants and dedicated resources

New England Arts Resilience Fund

The New England Arts Resilience Fund, part of the nationwide United States Regional Arts Resilience Fund, an initiative of the U.S. Regional Arts Organizations and the Mellon Foundation, was created in response to the impact of COVID-19 on our region’s arts infrastructure. 

With the addition of American Rescue Plan funding from the National Endowment for the Arts, NEFA deepened investment in organizations that received New England Arts Resilience Fund grants in 2020. 

New Work New England

New Work New England was a three-year pilot program initiated in 2020 and guided by NEFA’s strategic plan. New Work New England supported 34 projects in the first two years of the pilot. The final year of the pilot deepened investment in professional development and visibility for the previous recipients.

Triangle Arts Project

Triangle Arts Project encouraged cultural communication and exchange between the United States, Indonesia, and Japan; three parts of the world that are each home to distinctly different and equally vital dance and performing arts communities.

Visible Republic

Visible Republic was a pilot program that supported artist-driven, visual and new media public art work in Greater Boston from 1998-2002.

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