New Work New England provides grants to New England artists for the creation and production of new work that demonstrates the potential to engage New England audiences in the disciplines of dance, film, interdisciplinary work, music, musical theater, opera, poetry, storytelling and theater.

Due to the COVID-19 crisis, we are postponing the first deadline for New Work New England until early August 2020 and will finalize the application materials in June 2020. We have determined that more time would be helpful for artists who are interested in applying to New Work New England; NEFA staff look forward to more time to working with artist applicants and to allow time for artists’ changing plans to solidify before submitting applications. Thank you for bearing with us as we figure out how to address lots of needs in these challenging times.

About New Work New England

New Work New England provides grants of $7,500-$15,000 to New England artists in dance, film, interdisciplinary work, music, musical theater, opera, poetry, storytelling and theater to support the creation and production of new work that has the potential to engage multiple New England communities. The focus of this pilot program is on artists and the creative process and projects that further equity, diversity, inclusion, and accessibility.

New Work New England is a three-year pilot program initiated in 2020 and guided by NEFA’s strategic plan. NEFA’s goals for the pilot are:

  • Support New England artists to grow their practice and further develop new work that realizes their artistic vision
  • Advance cultural equity throughout our region
  • Provide an entry point for New England artists who have not previously been able to take advantage of NEFA grant opportunities
  • Create career opportunities by increasing New England artists’ visibility and connectivity to others working in New England's creative economy 
  • Increase artist participation at Idea Swap  and applications to NEFA’s touring grant programs over the next three years.

In addition to grant dollars, NEFA will provide networking and visibility opportunities for artists through the annual Idea Swap, and other opportunities to develop relationships with New England organizations to further support the development, presentation and touring of new work in New England communities. Support for these presenting organizations, and for subsequent presentation and touring will be available through the New England States Touring Program (NEST). 


  • Applicant(s) must be practicing artist(s) in dance, film, interdisciplinary work, media, music, musical theater, opera, poetry, storytelling and/or theater. There is no minimum for years of experience. 
  • Individual artists and artistic collaborations or ensembles are welcome to apply. Works may be interdisciplinary and can include creators in other artistic forms. 
  • Applicant artists must reside in one of the six New England states and maintain an active profile as a touring artist on CreativeGround.
  • Eligible new work may be in an early stage of development at the time of application as well as in mid- or later stages of development. If the proposed work has had a previous public performance, artist(s) must demonstrate that this grant will fund additional development. 

At least one public presentation of the new work must occur during the grant period. This may include performances, works-in-progress showings, and/or community engagement activities in at least one New England community.

Funding Criteria

  • Strength of artistic vision and demonstrated excellence in artistic practice related to the new work 
  • Clear articulation of artistic process and strategies to advance the work during the grant period
  • New work will contribute to the cultural and aesthetic diversities available to New England audiences and communities through content, relevance, artists and others involved in the development of the proposed new work
  • Artist(s) has meaningful plans to engage with New England communities in the development and/or presentation of the work through works-in-progress showings and/or performances (at least one public performance and/or work-in-progress showing is required during the grant period).

Priority will be given to artists who have not received funding for the creation and production of new work through NEFA programs including the National Dance Project, National Theater Project, and Creative City, and through The Boston Foundation’s Live Arts Boston.

Process & Deadlines

The application deadline will be in Summer 2020.

Funding decisions will be made after a peer-panel review and recommendations in early in August. And the first round of awards will be announced in Fall 2020. The grant period will be one year beginning September 1, 2020 and, and public engagements must take place before the end of August 2021.




Support for New Work New England comes from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Seedlings Foundation, and from individual donations.

NEA logo has stripes across the bottom leading to

Seedlings Foundation

Individual Donors