Following a successful two-year pilot, the New England Foundation for the Arts announces a two-year $2.2 million grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to establish the National Theater Project. The program’s pilot, also funded by Mellon, recognized unrealized potential in the artist field and confirmed enthusiasm from presenters wanting to bring innovative productions to their communities. The National Theater Project is modeled after NEFA’s 16-year-old National Dance Project.  

“We are extremely pleased to be able to formalize the National Theater Project at NEFA,” said executive director Rebecca Blunk. “With two years of learning and design, NTP is poised to provide truly meaningful opportunities for connecting artists and communities.”

NTP is conceived as a full system of support for collaborative, devised theater which in addition to providing funding, animates an informed, interactive network of producing theaters, presenters, and ensembles that will promote the funded projects throughout their development and tour planning. During the pilot phase, the program funded 12 theater projects, supporting the production and touring of each, with awards ranging from $80,000-$130,000.  For more information about the National Theater Project, or to apply by the May 3, 2012 deadline, visit

About The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation
The Foundation’s Performing Arts Program currently provides multi-year grants on an invitation-only basis to leading orchestras, theater companies, opera companies, modern dance companies, and dance-specific presenters based in the United States.  Although the Foundation does not confine its support to large organizations with national visibility, it does seek to support institutions that contribute to the preservation and development of their art form, provide creative leadership in solving problems or addressing issues unique to the field, and which present the highest level of institutional performance. Grants are awarded on the basis of artistic merit and leadership in the field, and concentrate on achieving long-term results.  In conjunction with regular program grants, the Foundation also makes a limited number of grants to research and service organizations that are doing work closely related to program goals.  For more information about the foundation, please visit  

About NEFA
NEFA creatively supports the movement of people, ideas, and resources in the arts within New England and beyond, makes vital connections between artists and communities, and builds the strength, knowledge, and leadership of the creative sector.  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.

NEFA currently administers grantmaking programs of regional, national, and international scope that support the performing arts, public art, and Native American artists. NEFA also leads projects and initiatives that range from the analysis of the impact of the creative economy to the creation of online tools which link and advance the work of the cultural community.


Ann Wicks, Communications Manager
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