(Boston, MA) The New England Foundation for the Art's Native Arts program is proud to partner with the Mashantucket Pequot Museum & Research Center to present Native New England Now: Celebrating Six Years of NEFA’s Native Arts Program. The exhibit will celebrate the artistic vitality of the region’s Native American communities and the program’s six years of grantmaking activity, showcasing the work of 28 artists working across a range of media – basketry, bead work, ceramics, painting, sculpture, Wampum work, weaving, and music - from among the over 80 artists and organizations who have received grants.  The exhibit will be accompanied by a catalog featuring the work of each artist and the contributions of the program to date. 

“NEFA’s Native Arts program owes its design/vision to the collaboration of the region’s Native American artists and leaders, its existence to funders who believe in the work, and its success to the applicants and grantees we have had the honor of working with,” said program manager Dawn Spears (Narragansett). “We are looking forward to the next six years of grantmaking and network building.”

The artists featured in the exhibit include:

  • Watie Akins (Penobscot), Brewer, ME
  • Aquinnah Cultural Center (Aquinnah Wampanoag), Aquinnah, MA
  • Eric Otter Bacon, (Passamaquoddy), Crawford, ME
  • Rhonda Besaw (Abenaki), Whitefield, NH
  • Emma Jo Mills Brennan, (Mashpee Wampanoag), Mashpee, MA
  • David Moses Bridges (Passamaquoddy), Newry, ME
  • Barry Dana (Penobscot), Solon, ME
  • Gabriel Frey (Passamaquoddy), Howland, ME
  • Jeremy Frey (Passamaquoddy), Indian Island, ME
  • Aron Griffith (Maliseet), Houlton, ME
  • Hawk Henries (Nipmuc), Sullivan, ME
  • Sierra Henries, (Nipmuc), Sullivan, ME
  • Brenda Hill (Tuscarora/Choctaw), Westerly, RI
  • Jeanne Morningstar Kent (Nulhegan Band, Coosuk Abenaki), Winsted, CT
  • Jennifer Kreisberg (Tuscarora),  Hartford, CT
  • Julia Marden (Aquinnah Wampanoag), South Ryegate, VT
  • Jennifer Sapiel Neptune (Penobscot), Old Town, ME
  • Elizabeth James-Perry (Aquinnah Wampanoag), Dartmouth, MA
  • Jonathan Perry (Aquinnah Wampanoag), North Dartmouth, MA
  • Anita “Mother Bear” Peters (Mashpee Wampanoag), West Barnstable, MA
  • Robert Peters (Mashpee Wampanoag), Mattapan, MA
  • Venus Reels (Seaconke Wampanoag), Providence, RI
  • Theresa Secord (Penobscot), Waterville, ME
  • Tim Shay (Penobscot), Indian Island, ME
  • Richard Silliboy (Micmac), Littleton, ME
  • Sarah Sockbeson (Penobscot), Kingfield, ME
  • Fred Tomah (Maliseet), Houlton, ME
  • Annawon Weeden (Mashpee Wampanoag), Mashpee, MA

Several related events and activities featuring the exhibit artists are planned:

  • Exhibit preview and reception on October 4; see details.
  • Native Arts Community Gathering on October 5; see details.
  • Gourd Bowl Family Workshop on October 12; see details.
  • Panel conversation with Native American artists on November 16; see details.
  • Artisan Market on November 30; see details.

About the MPMRC
The Mashantucket Pequot Museum & Research Center, part of the government of the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation, is a non-profit educational institution that seeks to further knowledge and understanding of the richness and diversity of the indigenous cultures and societies of the United States and Canada. The MPMRC provides exhibits, programs, and research opportunities to encourage interaction with and among indigenous peoples, the general public, and the scholarly community. Visit: www.pequotmuseum.org.

About the Native Arts program
Guided by Native staff and advisors and fueled by a commitment to increase the visibility, self-determination, and sustainability of Native artists and art forms, NEFA's Native Arts program supports projects that nurture artistic exchange, community development, youth engagement, environmental resource research and preservation, cultural preservation, and artistic innovation. Native Arts is made possible with funding from the Native Arts and Cultures Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the six New England state arts agencies, and Anonymous donors.  NEFA is grateful to the Ford Foundation's Indigenous Knowledge and Expressive Culture program, which provided lead funding for the program from 2005 to 2013.  

About NEFA
NEFA builds connections among artists, arts organizations, and funders, powering the arts to energize communities in New England, the nation, and the world. NEFA is a 501 (c) (3) that operates with funding from the National Endowment for the Arts, the New England state arts agencies, and from corporations, foundations and individuals. www.nefa.org.


Contact: Ann Wicks | 617.951.0010 x534