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 18 awards totaling $250,750 through New Work New England, a grant supporting New England artists to create new work.

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, now in its second year, is on artists and the creative process, and projects that further equity, diversity, inclusion, and accessibility

“Artists continue to be deeply impacted by the economic impacts of the pandemic. This program assists New England artists directly to focus on what they do best: bringing joy, creativity, and conversations to our communities,” said NEFA executive director Cathy Edwards,

“Our second year of the program continued to generate a significant number of applications, demonstrating the demand for this type of support to artists across the region,” said Adrienne Petrillo, Senior Program Director, New England Presenting & Touring. “We value the time and thoughtfulness of the panel of reviewers who helped to center equity, diversity, inclusion and accessibility in this selection process.”

In addition to grant funds, New Work New England awardees will have access to networking and visibility opportunities through NEFA’s annual Idea Swap 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 is available through the New England States Touring Program (NEST). 

On a stage, in black outfits, black, brown, and white women smile and look around.
Gail Burton and Josie Bray | photo by Iman Louis-Jeune

New Work New England Recipients

Award amounts range from $7,500 to $15,000, and the new works in, dance, film, music, storytelling, and theater will be created by:

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

  • Violinist, vocalist, and composer Dr. Terry Jenoure’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.
  • Performer, creator, and educator Tom Truss is the recipient of the 2022 Rebecca Blunk Fund Award. The award, created 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, commented on Tom’s work, “ Is one gesture so eloquent that it stands for—and changes--an entire work?  Each time I saw it, it elicited the same deep emotional response: a hard-earned release of beauty and fluidity.”

Support for New Work New England comes from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Seedlings Foundation, the Fund for the Arts at NEFA, the American Rescue Plan, Anonymous Foundation, the Rebecca Blunk Fund, and from individual donors. 

On a trail in daylight, a parade of folks with lanterns.
In Kinship Collective | image by Robyn Towle / Robyn Nicole Film & Photo

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.