Soft keyboard music.
Per Janson (Opera House Arts, Stonington, Maine): We are definitely a rural organization. Our island has about 3,000 residents. It's Deer Isle in Maine. And New England Foundation for the Arts has allowed us to bring artists, that we otherwise wouldn't be able to bring, to Stonington. [The Idea Swap] opens doors for us in a thrilling way.
Cathy Edwards (former Executive Director, New England Foundation for the Arts): The Idea Swap is in some sense a place where it all begins because it's about the human connection. Meeting artists. Meeting colleagues from around the region and making sure that our constituents all across New England have direct person-to-person access with the NEFA staff.
Melissa Richmond (West Claremont Center for Music and the Arts, West Claremont, New Hampshire): I love coming to these events. It's a wonderful opportunity to talk about the projects that I'm working on, but also to hear about the projects of my colleagues, and to connect with and network with people that I may not get to see locally very frequently.
Thea Hopkins (Aquinnah Wampanoag) (performing songwriter, Somerville, MA): It's a relaxed environment. It's a very welcoming environment, so I highly recommend any artist or performer to attend.
Adrienne Petrillo (Sr. Program Director, New England Presenting & Touring, New England Foundation for the Arts): It's become, really, a networking event. That is its sole focus, at this point, is to just bring people together. We don't have enough opportunities to do that in this region and so Ideas Swap does that in a way that hopefully builds a sense of community.
Michael Sakamoto (Asian Arts & Culture Program, UMass Amherst, Amherst, Massachusetts): NEFA really speaks to all of those needs. They're able to facilitate and support networking and funding and really bringing people together in order to make art and culture and community happen.
Theo Martey (Akwaaba Ensemble, Manchester, New Hampshire): It's a lot to learn and also there's a lot of opportunity to connect with the organizers and to elevate their work in New Hampshire and New England in general.
Toby MacNutt (dance artist, Burlington, Vermont): I did end up getting a gig out of Idea Swap last year, which is sort of the jackpot in terms of coming and networking events. [That work] was funded through New England States Touring and was with Dancing Queerly in Boston in June. [It] came out of Idea Swap.