(Boston, MA) The New England Foundation for the Arts (NEFA) announces the receipt of an $8 million dollar award from MacKenzie Scott and Dan Jewett.

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 was founded in 1976 as one of six Regional Arts Organizations in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts and New England's state arts agencies to strengthen regional and national arts opportunities. NEFA programs support artists and communities through grantmaking, by hosting convenings and professional knowledge-sharing opportunities, and by engaging in creative economy research.

“We are grateful for this significant investment,” said NEFA board chair John Henry. “NEFA’s work strengthens the arts and culture sector in New England, and beyond. We are a partner in building a stronger, more equitable landscape for the benefit of all; this award will have a deep impact on the field for years to come. As one of 286 recipients, we are in extraordinary company, including with other arts and culture organizations, doing exemplary work.”

Cathy Edwards, NEFA executive director, said, “During a year that was defined by the Covid pandemic and highlighted an urgent need for equitable access to resources and opportunities, NEFA focused on transformational funding and field-building work. We invested in the self-determination and creativity of artists, and prioritized access to funds for those individuals and organizations who have historically had less access to resources, often who identify as Black, Indigenous, and People of Color. We are honored that MacKenzie Scott and Dan Jewett acknowledge the generative power of the arts, and this support will further NEFA’s vision of a nation where artists flourish and communities celebrate art as essential to a thriving, equitable society.”

In the past 15 months since the Covid pandemic began, NEFA has launched several initiatives to support artists and cultural organizations. In April 2020, NEFA launched an Emergency Artist Relief effort for New England artists in partnership with New England’s six state arts agencies. In September 2020, NEFA announced the recipients of the New England Arts Resilience Fund, part of the U.S. Regional Arts Resilience Fund, addressing recovery and resilience during the Covid pandemic in the form of operating support grants to 80 arts and culture organizations, with a priority for those led by or serving BIPOC and rural communities.

NEFA serves as a regional partner for the National Endowment for the Arts, New England’s six state arts agencies, and individual donors, and has longstanding partnerships with private funders, including the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and the Barr Foundation, to support multiple grants and initiatives.

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 networks and knowledge-building opportunities, and analyzing their economic contributions. Learn more at www.nefa.org.

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