NEFA’s Board of Directors Elects Two New Members

(Boston, MA) The New England Foundation for the Arts announces the election of two new Board members and acknowledges members rotating off the board.

“NEFA is honored to have Dawn Gibson-Brehon and former Advisory Council member Chris Newell on our board; each will bring important skills and perspectives to the board, and we look forward to working together,” said John Henry, NEFA board chair. “And we extend our gratitude to those board members rotating off; we value their service and their continued support of the field.”

At the annual June meeting, the board elected two new members:

  • A smiling Black woman wearing a blue top and dangling earrings
    Dawn Gibson-Brehon
    Dawn Gibson-Brehon is an Assistant Professor in the Practice of Arts Management at SUNY Purchase College. A nonprofit consultant with Gibson & Brehon & Company to many cultural organizations, Mrs. Gibson-Brehon has served as a peer advisor through the Connecticut Commission on Culture and Tourism and has served as grant panelist for organizations large and small across the country. Prior to her consulting work, she served as executive director for Evidence, A Dance Company, and served in leadership roles in presenting organizations from Palm Beach, FL, to central California, to New York City.


  • Chris has short dark, thinning hair and wears a blue and gray tie.
    Chris Newell (Passamaquoddy)
    Chris Newell (Passamaquoddy) is the Co-Founder/Director of Education for Akomawt Educational Initiative, a majority Native-owned educational consultancy based in Connecticut. He was born and raised in Motahkmikuhk (Indian Township, ME) and a proud citizen of the Passamaquoddy Tribe at Indian Township. He is a longtime member of the Mystic River singers, an internationally acclaimed and award winning intertribal pow wow drum group. He served as the first Wabanaki Executive Director for the Abbe Museum, Maine’s only Smithsonian affiliate.

The board also acknowledged the service of three outgoing members:

  • Amy Ellsworth, nine years of service
  • Randy Rosenbaum, 26 years of service
  • Lisa Wong, six years of service

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

Contact: Ann Wicks, 617-423-1390