(Boston, MA) The New England Foundation for the Arts has received a grant of $1,700,000 from the Barr Foundation to launch Creative City, a three-year pilot that will make grants to Boston artists to create works that integrate public participation.

“Arts and culture are really taking center stage in Boston right now,” says San San Wong, senior program officer for arts and culture at the Barr Foundation, “With a new chief of arts and culture joining the Mayor’s cabinet, and a cultural planning process that just launched, it is a time to think big, and think differently about how to enliven and advance arts and culture long-term.  At Barr, we view this grant to NEFA as one important way to infuse new energy and ideas into that citywide conversation.”

Creative City will provide new resources to artists to bring their creative voices to Boston neighborhoods, and to further enliven the places where they live, work, and play with culture and creativity.

Creative City will support individual artists, artist collectives, and artistic collaborations in all disciplines and with roots in diverse cultures, forms and aesthetics. Grants will range from $2,500-$10,000. An additional stipend of up to $2,500 will be available for community partners to offset presentation costs.  The program will also offer grant workshops, technical assistance, and network building opportunities. The design of Creative City was informed by conversations with community-based artists, curators, producers, and presenters from across Boston, as well as a national review of artist support programs and creative place-making. Creative City will join NEFA’s portfolio of cultural investment initiatives in Boston and New England, which include the Fund for the Arts, the New England States Touring program, the Expeditions program, the CreativeGround online creative economy directory for New England, creative economy research publications like New England’s Creative Economy: Nonprofit Cultural Sector Impact, and the Creative Communities Exchange, a conference on New England creative economy projects.      

“Access to creative activity is essential for a vital community, and access to direct financial support is critical for the artists who live and work in our city. Creative City epitomizes NEFA’s mission of powering the arts to energize communities,” said NEFA executive director Cathy Edwards. “We are honored to partner with Barr on this important work and at such a pivotal time in Boston’s history.”

Application deadlines for the first year are August 3, 2015, and February 1, 2016. Applications will be available in late May, 2015; grant workshops in advance of the deadline will be scheduled and announced. For more information about funding priorities, eligibility, criteria, and more, visit www.nefa.org.  

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 nonprofit 501(c)(3) that operates in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts and the New England state arts agencies, with additional funding from foundations, corporations, individuals and other government agencies.

NEFA’s work is accomplished through grantmaking, services, and initiatives that strengthen and advance the national arts infrastructure. For more information, visit www.nefa.org or call 617.951.0010.

About the Barr Foundation

Founded in 1997, Barr’s mission to invest in human, natural, and cultural potential, serving as thoughtful stewards and catalysts. Based in Boston, Barr focuses regionally, and selectively engages nationally in three principal areas: arts & culture, climate, and education. For more information, visit barrfoundation.org or follow @BarrFdn.



CONTACT: ANN WICKS | 617.951.0010