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Communications Director

The New England Foundation for the Arts (NEFA) announces the launch of the New England Arts Resilience Fund, part of the nationwide United States Regional Arts Resilience Fund, an initiative of the U.S. Regional Arts Organizations and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The New England Arts Resilience Fund is also supported by federal CARES Act funding from the National Endowment for the Arts. The Fund was created in response to the impact of COVID-19 on the nation’s arts infrastructure and will support New England nonprofit arts and cultural organizations with recovery and planning capital for a post-pandemic future.

The COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically impacted the arts sector, with theaters, festivals, and museums closed, events cancelled or postponed, and layoffs and furloughs at many organizations. Nationally, estimates of financial loss to the nonprofit arts sector since the onset of the pandemic are up to $5.9 billion as of June 1, 2020. An active creative sector has many economic benefits, supporting jobs and driving investment in local communities. The arts are an essential component of a just society, and as the sector conceives of equitable and innovative approaches to imagining a post-pandemic future, cultural organizations are in need of funds to support sustainability and planning.

The New England Arts Resilience Fund will provide approximately 50 non-matching grants, generally in the range of $10-$75k, with potential for a small number of grants up to $100,000. The fund prioritizes organizations, communities, populations and art forms that have historically had less access to major financial resources for sustainability and seeks in particular to support organizations that are led by and deeply engage communities of color.

“We are excited to partner with our Regional Arts Organization colleagues and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation on this national recovery and resilience initiative,” said NEFA executive director Cathy Edwards. “This fund’s eligibility requirements are designed to facilitate swift distribution of the awards. We are grateful to our partners at the National Endowment for the Arts, and we thank the elected officials in the U.S. Congress for their support of the CARES Act, which will enable the fund to extend its reach and impact for New England cultural organizations.”

The program guidelines, including eligibility and criteria, are posted on NEFA’s website. The application deadline is June 30, 2020, and awards will be made in August.

The new fund is created by awards from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts. The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation awarded $1,270,000 to NEFA as part of Mellon’s $10,000,000 investment in the six Regional Arts Organizations to support arts organizations across the country. Additionally, through the federal CARES Act, the National Endowment for the Arts awarded $568,000 to NEFA to support the region’s nonprofit cultural organizations. 

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.


Ann Wicks, 617-951-0010 x534