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Communications Director

(Boston, MA) The New England Foundation for the Arts (NEFA) announces the recipients of 14 grants for Massachusetts-based artists and collaborators to imagine and create public art that fosters more just, vibrant, and welcoming public spaces.

NEFA’s Spatial Justice grants were launched in 2020 in response to the challenges of COVID-19 and the perpetuation of systemic racism across the nation.  Two grants – Collective Imagination for Spatial Justice and Public Art for Spatial Justice – were created with the generous support of the Barr Foundation to support both the imagining and the implementation of this work. Inclusive of this round, NEFA has awarded nearly $600,000 through 66 grants to Massachusetts artists and collaborators.

“These grants are having an impact on communities across the Commonwealth, celebrating and amplifying artists and the places they care about,” said NEFA executive director Cathy Edwards. “We are grateful for the partnership of the Barr Foundation, whose continued support has enabled an increase in award funds this round.”

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. Each team was awarded $5,000.

CISJ teams are reimagining the role of public artmaking in fostering spatial justice – the right to simply be, thrive, express and connect in public. They are re-imagining public spaces  through the lens of James Baldwin’s 1957 statement, "The place in which I fit will not exist until I make it," asking how public art can invite us into more honest storytelling of contested spaces within our communities, and exploring how public art can support residents to reclaim control of land and their homes,” said Kim Szeto, NEFA public art program director.

The four Collective Imagination for Spatial Justice teams 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. Each project was awarded $15,000.

“PASJ projects are using dance, storytelling, murals, music, and performance to embody and anchor the rights of BIPOC artists and communities to simply be, thrive, express, and connect in communities from Boston to Gloucester to Greenfield. We look forward to seeing and experiencing the ripple impacts of these imagination journeys and PASJ projects across the state,” said Kim Szeto, NEFA public art program director.

The 10 Public Art for Spatial Justice projects are:

The next annual deadline to apply for CISJ and PASJ will be in the fall of 2022. Learn more about NEFA’s Public Art program.

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 www.nefa.org.

 

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