Fund for the Arts Grant

Fund for the Arts-supported Pat Falco/Boston Harbor Island Alliance | Photo: Pat Falco

Fund for the Arts, an endowed fund at NEFA, is currently in a period of assessment and planning to reflect NEFA’s upcoming strategic plan, and will not have a grant round during this time. 

Fund for the Arts supports community-based organizations within Route 495 in Massachusetts to select and commission artists to create new, site-specific, contemporary public art.

More about fund for the arts

Planning and Development for Permanent Public Art
Fund for the Arts supports comprehensive planning and development that will lead to successful partnerships between the applicant organization, artist and community and to implementation of permanent public art projects. Grant supported activities include but are not limited to: artist selection process, artist fees, community engagement activities, site-specific planning, and acquisition of permits and approvals. Awards for the planning and development phase of public art projects generally range from $5,000 to $20,000 and should be completed within 18 months of the grant award announcements.

Implementation for Permanent Public Art
Fund for the Arts also awards implementation funding provided that the applicant has completed a planning and development process and reflects the process in the application. Prior to seeking implementation funds, a project should complete the following: artist selection, conceptual design development, community engagement activities, site-specific planning, acquisition of permits and approvals, and a draft maintenance plan agreement. Implementation grants awards are generally up to $30,000 and should be completed within 18 months of the grant award announcements.

Temporary Public Art
Temporary public art projects that strongly align with Fund for the Arts criteria  (move to funding criteria)will also be considered. Grants for temporary public art projects generally range from $5,000-$10,000and should be completed within 12 months.

Launched in 1981, under the leadership of Boston attorney Phil David Fine, Fund for the Arts began with an extensive publicity and fundraising campaign out of WBZ-TV (now CBS4). The campaign drew support from local businesses, arts organizations, and individuals and resulted in the formation of an endowment fund, which today has assets of nearly $3 million. In 1992, Fund for the Arts became a permanent program of the New England Foundation for the Arts.


To be eligible for Fund for the Arts funding, applicants must:

  • Propose new, contemporary and site specific public art
  • Be a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization within Route 495 in Massachusetts.
  • Artists may partner with nonprofit organizations to develop applications for Fund for the Arts, but the application must be submitted by the nonprofit.
  • Select project artist(s) who reside within Route 495.
  • Due to federal requirements, NEFA now requires organizational applicants to have a DUNS number, which the applicant will be asked to enter into the application. If the Fund for the Arts applicant organization does not have a DUNS number, please apply for one on the Dun & Bradstreet website.

Funding Criteria

  • Applicant organization has an accomplished track record working within the community of the proposed project location
  • Project increases public access to art and provides opportunities for strong engagement and collaboration with the community and proposed work is relevant to the proposed site.
  • Project has a lasting impact on diverse communities and addresses an environmental, social or civic need.
  • Project site is selected and initial project ideas are in development (note: implementation projects must demonstrate developed project plans). Applicant organization should have a letter of support or permission from the owners of the proposed site.
  • Project includes plans for a formal artist selection process and budget includes competitive artist compensation.
  • If artist/artist team has been selected, artist/artist team has a track record of creating and presenting work of the highest quality to the public
  • Artist/artist team has capacity/ability to complete work on time and within budget
  • Proposal includes planning for maintenance and project removal (a proposal for permanent public art should include planning for long term maintenance. Temporary public art projects should include a plan for maintenance during events and removal of all materials after the project has been completed)

Fund for the Arts will not fund:

  • Fundraisers
  • General operating support
  • Organizations and projects outside of Route 495 in Massachusetts
  • Projects featuring artists outside of Route 495 in Massachusetts
  • Artists or artist teams as sole applicants

Process & Deadline

No upcoming deadlines at this time.

online application & Instructions


Preview the application narrative questions here.

Click below to LOG IN and RETURN to your grant application.



Geoff Hargadon
Senior Vice President – Investments, UBS Financial Services, Boston
Advisory Committee, MIT List Visual Arts Center, Cambridge
Board Director, Friends of Harvard Soccer

Tyra Sidberry
Trustee, Bessie Tartt Wilson Initiative for Children

Contact | 617.951.0010 x520


Grant Deadline

No upcoming deadlines at this time