Artists Examine Spatial Justice Across Massachusetts

$160,000 awarded to support collective imagination and public artmaking

2020 PASJ project Food for Thought by Cinda Danh and Michael Aghahowa; photo by Michael Aghahowa.

Ann has long auburn hair. She's a white lady and she wears thick framed eyeglasses. She has gold earrings that dangle and a teal poncho.
Communications Director & Co-Accessibility Coordinator

(Boston, MA) The New England Foundation for the Arts (NEFA) announces the recipients of grants for Massachusetts-based artists and collaborators to imagine and create public art that fosters more just, vibrant, and welcoming public spaces.

“Public art inspires public reflection,” said Kim Szeto, NEFA public art program director. “These artists are imagining and creating through the lens of spatial justice and fostering dialogue, celebration, and healing.”

Collective Imagination for Spatial Justice (CISJ) grants support Massachusetts teams of artists, creatives, culture bearers, cultural organizers, and community-based collaborators to do the important work of imagining public art that fosters and contributes to more just futures for our public spaces and public culture. Grants range from $2,000-$5,000.

The five Collective Imagination for Spatial Justice recipients are:

Public Art for Spatial Justice (PASJ) grants support artists and artistic collaborations to create public art in Massachusetts that fosters public imagination and contributes to more just futures for our public spaces and public culture. Grants range from $5,000-10,000.

The 14 Public Art for Spatial Justice projects are:

NEFA’s spatial justice grants are made possible with generous support from the Barr Foundation.

In June 2021, the Barr Foundation awarded $2.4 million over two years to continue NEFA’s Public Art program, supporting grantmaking and strategic partnerships to contribute to a more equitable public art ecosystem in Massachusetts.

“The need to embrace spatial justice is urgent as our society considers how to reemerge into the public realm and as we look ahead to the end of the pandemic. Returning to the way things were is not good enough. Artists play a critical role in helping us reimagine a better world --- one that affirms all people deserve to be heard, seen, and valued,” said Giles Li, senior program officer for Arts & Creativity at the Barr Foundation. “Barr is proud to partner with NEFA to help support and build a trusting community of BIPOC artists as a foundation for the spatial justice movement.”

Shifting to an annual cycle, the next deadline to apply for CISJ and PASJ is October 18, 2021. Learn more about NEFA’s Public Art program.

Two people in an art studio painting on round colorful discs. They are wearing masks and acrylic panels are placed between the. The background has 3 tall panels each with a colorful portrait of a person.
2020 PASJ recipient RAW Art Works' Love Letters to Lynn. Photo courtesy RAW Art Works.

About NEFA

The New England Foundation for the Arts invests in artists and communities and fosters equitable access to the arts, enriching the cultural landscape in New England and the nation. NEFA accomplishes this by granting funds to artists and cultural organizations; connecting them to each other and their audiences; and analyzing their economic contributions. NEFA serves as a regional partner for the National Endowment for the Arts, New England’s state arts agencies, and private foundations. Learn more at