(Boston, MA) The New England Foundation for the Arts announces the appointment of four new members of NEFA’s Board of Directors and recognized three members retiring from the board in 2016.

A man in a plaid shirt playing the trumpet outside with trees in the background
Photo by Kelly Jensen

Taylor Ho Bynum, Musician; Executive director, Tri-Centric Foundation, New Haven, CT
An accomplished composer, performer and bandleader, Mr. Bynum’s varied endeavors include his Acoustic Bicycle Tours (where he travels to concerts solely by bike across thousands of miles) and his stewardship of Anthony Braxton’s Tri-Centric Foundation (which he serves as executive director, along with producing and performing on most of Braxton’s recent major projects). In addition to his own bands, his ongoing collaboration with Braxton, past work with other legendary figures such as Bill Dixon and Cecil Taylor, and current collective projects with forward thinking peers like Mary Halvorson and Tomas Fujiwara, Bynum increasingly travels the globe to conduct community-based large ensembles in explorations of new creative orchestra music. He is also a published author and contributor to The New Yorker’s Culture Blog, has taught at universities, festivals, and workshops worldwide, and has served as a panelist and consultant for leading funders, arts organizations, and individual artists. His work has received support from Creative Capital, the Connecticut Office of the Arts, Chamber Music America, New Music USA, USArtists International, and the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation. He received an M.A. in Music Composition in 2005 and a B.A., Honors in Music, 1998 from Wesleyan University. "In times of profound change, the arts environment becomes ever more unstable, while the arts themselves become ever more important. We need to stand up for innovation and creativity, and I'm excited to work with NEFA in this mission - especially to help contemporary artists maintain sustainable, creative, and compelling practices, and to be an advocate for individual artists and grassroots organizations."

a woman with short red hair and dangling earrings and wearing a patterned top
Photo by Ann Wicks

Barbara E. Murphy, Writer/Poet, Vermont Works for Women board member, President Emerita, Johnson State College, Burlington, VT
Barbara Murphy served as president of the Community College of Vermont and its sister, Johnson State College, for 20 years. While at Johnson State, she presided over expansions of both science and arts programs. The Visual Arts Center grew to include the digital arts, an artist-in-residence program, and studio space for students. The Performing Arts added a major in Musical Theater early in her time at JSC. Barbara was presented the Eleanor M. McMahon Award for Lifetime Achievement from the New England Board of Higher Education in 2016. A published poet, her work has appeared in several literary journals, including Green Mountains Review, New England Review, and Michigan Quarterly Review. She is a Pushcart Prize nominee and recipient of a Vermont Council on the Arts fellowship. Her collection of poems, Almost Too Much, was published by Cervena Barva Press in 2015. She holds an undergraduate degree from The Catholic University of America, an M.S. degree in Community Development from Southern Illinois University and an MFA in writing from Warren Wilson MFA Program for Writers. “I am delighted to serve on the NEFA board,” commented Barbara. “I see the arts as holding the tools to connect us across borders, disciplines, and beliefs. I am excited to share opportunities and possibilities for collaboration and cross-genre inventions across New England.”

A man with short white hair, a yellow polo shirt and navy blazer
Photo by Ann Wicks

Stewart “Chip” Newell, Principle, NewHeight Group, Portland, ME
With an AB from Bowdoin College in Economics and an MBA in Finance and accounting from Rutgers University, Chip is a principal in The NewHeight Group, a real estate development and marketing consulting firm. Chip has been on the board of CEI Notes for several years and is currently on the board of CEI. He is also on the board and Treasurer of The Maine Center of Economic Development, on the board and treasurer of Community Housing of Maine, on the finance committee for the Boothbay Region Land Trust, and serves on the Maine Community Foundation Cumberland County Committee. In his leisure time Chip and his wife Susan Morris enjoy all Portland and Maine have to offer, from attending dance, theatre and music performances and gallery exhibits to paddling, sailing, biking, and hiking the outdoors. “In these times of limited public resources, it is essential that the arts remain a key part of our lives. NEFA contributes to this by enabling artists to share their work in the region and beyond, and I am pleased to be able to assist.”

Photo by Ann Wicks

Lisa Wong, Pediatrician/Musician/Author, Harvard Medical School, Newton, MA
Dr. Lisa Wong has dedicated her life to the health and education of children, and to the healing arts of music and medicine. She is a pediatrician at Milton Pediatric Associates and Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School and believes that the arts are an essential part of the education of every child, from birth through college and beyond. She serves on the board of Conservatory Lab Charter School, the advisory council of the BPS Arts Expansion Initiative, and co-founded two interdisciplinary organizations: the Arts and Humanities Initiative at Harvard Medical School and Boston Arts Consortium for Health (BACH). She has served on the board of the Massachusetts Cultural Council and the Boston Creates Leadership Council. Lisa is also a violinist in the Longwood Symphony, the orchestra of Boston’s medical community. As LSO’s president for 20 years, she established the Healing Art of Music program. In 2012, she published Scales to Scalpels: Doctors who practice the healing arts of Music and Medicine with writer Robert Viagas. Dr. Wong earned her A.B., magna cum laude in East Asian Studies from Harvard in 1979 and M.D. from NYU School of Medicine in 1983. She received an honorary doctorate in education from Wheelock College in 2016. “I am deeply grateful for the opportunity to be part of the deep and passionate work of the board and staff of NEFA,” said Lisa. “The arts have the power to bring people together, heal communities, and help us grapple with complexity through the expression of beauty – these are just what we need and seek in these times.” 

Three of the new directors were present at NEFA’s annual summer retreat hosted in Bretton Woods, New Hampshire. In addition, officers of the board were re-elected to their positions, while board member Ann Smith, executive director of the Featherstone Arts Center, was newly appointed as Secretary of the Board, succeeding long serving board member Byron Champlin of the Lincoln Financial Group.

“We are truly honored that these individuals have agreed to serve on NEFA’s Board of Directors; each brings a unique perspective and expertise,” said NEFA board chair Larry Simpson, senior Vice President for Academic Affairs & Provost, Berklee College of Music. “At the same time, it’s important to acknowledge the work of the board members who are now rotating off of the board; many have served lengthy terms and have contributed much to NEFA over the years. We are grateful for their combined years of service.”

At the board’s retreat, Larry Simpson thanked Sandra Burton of William College (member: 1995–2016), Jeremy Liu of PolicyLink (member: 2004-2016), and Ted Landsmark (member: 1995–2016) of the Boston Redevelopment Authority  for their participation on the board. Ted Landsmark remains an advisor for NEFA’s Fund for the Arts.

About NEFA
The New England Foundation for the Arts invests in the arts to enrich communities in New England and beyond. 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 www.nefa.org


CONTACT: Ann Wicks | 617.951.0010 x534