A woman in a floral shirt with shoulder length hair smiles.
Communications Director

(Boston, MA) The New England Foundation for the Arts (NEFA) is pleased to announce 16 awards totaling $216,650 to New England artists through New Work New England’s inaugural round.

New Work New England provides grants of $7,500-$15,000 directly to New England artists in dance, film, interdisciplinary work, music, musical theater, opera, poetry, storytelling, and theater to support the development of new work that has potential to engage multiple New England communities. The focus of this pilot program is on artists and the creative process, and projects that further equity, diversity, inclusion, and accessibility. 

“Artists are at the center of New England’s cultural ecosystem and have been deeply impacted by the events of 2020, making it more important than ever to support them financially to get back to work. They bring imagination, joy, and inspiration to our communities, and engage us in learning and exploration,” said Cathy Edwards, Executive Director.

“With close to 200 applications from across the region, we saw the wide range of creativity that New England artists have to offer. We thank the panel of reviewers from across New England as well as national artists and advocates for their thoughtful consideration and recommendations toward selecting these 16 artists and their projects, and we are proud that their goals align with our commitments to furthering equity, diversity, inclusion and accessibility through the arts,” said Adrienne Petrillo, Senior Program Director, New England Presenting & Touring.

In addition to grant funds, New Work New England awardees will be provided networking and visibility opportunities through NEFA’s annual Idea Swap event and other opportunities to develop relationships with New England organizations to further support the development, production, presentation, and future touring of new work in New England. Support for organizations to present these new projects will be available through the  New England States Touring Program (NEST). 

Award amounts range from $9,700 to $15,000, and the new works in circus arts, dance, film, music, and theater will be created by:

Honoring Leadership

Two of the 16 awards were made in honor of past NEFA leadership:

  • Composer, violinist, and educator Daniel Bernard Roumain’s grant is made in honor of Dr. Larry Simpson, NEFA board member from 2006–2020, including six years as chair, and champion of the arts, with a particular commitment to jazz and jazz artists. Larry is Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost at Berklee College of Music.
  • Interactive performer and electric komungo virtuoso Jin Hi Kim is the recipient of the 2020 Rebecca Blunk Fund Award; the award, in memory of Rebecca Blunk (1953-2014), celebrates Rebecca’s 29 years of service to NEFA, including 10 as Executive Director, and honors her abiding passion for the arts.  Marcie Hershman, Rebecca’s widow, noted, “The solitude and strength in Jin Hi’s work sets us on an unexpected journey—and such exploration seems a fitting project for the times.”

The next New Work New England deadline is planned for late fall 2021.

Support for New Work New England comes from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Seedlings Foundation, the Fund for the Arts at NEFA, and from individual donors.


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.