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

(Boston, MA) The New England Foundation for the Arts (NEFA) announces the launch of New Work New England, a program supporting New England performing artists in the creation and production of new work. 

New Work New England will provide grants of $7,500-$15,000 directly to New England artists for new works in dance, film, interdisciplinary work, music, musical theater, opera, poetry, storytelling, and theater. The focus is on artists and projects that further equity, diversity, inclusion, and accessibility (EDIA).

New Work New England was informed by learnings from NEFA’s “Jobs in New England’s Creative Economy and Why They Matter” report from 2017, and the Creative City report (2019), which supported socially engaged artists in Boston. The Jobs report revealed that the top unmet need for artists in New England is income for their work, including grants and donations; 25% of artists in our region are self-employed and need access to professional development, business services, and training. The Creative City report revealed that direct grant support for artists enables them to expand their practice and serves as a building block for community change.

“We are excited to launch this opportunity,” said NEFA executive director Cathy Edwards. “Artists are at the core of the cultural ecosystem. Investing in them, and their ability to build and sustain professional careers is essential to the health of creative communities.”

The goals of New Work New England are to:

  • Support New England artists to develop new work that realizes their artistic vision
  • Advance cultural equity throughout the region
  • Provide an entry point for New England artists who have not previously been able to take advantage of NEFA grant opportunities
  • Create career opportunities by increasing New England artists’ visibility and connectivity to others working in the region’s creative economy
  • Increase artist participation at Idea Swap and applications to NEFA’s touring grant programs.

The program also includes networking and visibility opportunities to further build relationships with cultural organizations and presenters. These include NEFA’s annual Idea Swap networking event and CreativeGround, NEFA’s directory of the region’s cultural sector. Grant support for touring is possible via the New England States Touring (NEST) program.

Support for New Work New England comes from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Seedlings Foundation, and from individual donations.

The program guidelines, including eligibility and criteria, are available on NEFA's website. The application deadline is June 24, 2020, and NEFA will announce information sessions and workshops to be held this spring.

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