(Boston, MA) The New England Foundation for the Arts has awarded $59,500 in grants to five Boston-area nonprofits to support local public art projects.

NEFA’s Fund for the Arts supports nonprofit organizations for artist selection and implementation of new site specific works.  The program funds projects that feature new work, actively engage and have a lasting impact on diverse communities, and those that address an environmental, social or civic need. Recently selected grantees received grants ranging from $5,000-$20,000 for the following projects:

  • Boston Center for the Arts, Boston MA: To support the annual Public Art Residency, which simultaneously promotes curiosity and interaction within the community, while engaging in an active public dialogue with a diverse urban audience. Liz Nofziger will be the BCA’s 2014 Public Art Residency artist, and will create an interactive installation on the plaza that includes three conjoined, regulation-size ping pong tables to form an oversized “community” ping pong court.
  • Fort Point Arts Community, Boston, MA: Anchored by FPAC's floating art installations in the Fort Point Channel, FPAC seeks to fund three additional works of temporary public art to be installed around Fort Point. These works may include site-specific performances with a visual arts component and other artistic engagements, and are part of FPAC’s mission to enliven Fort Point and engage residents, visitors and the business community.
  • Grove Hall Neighborhood Development Corporation, Dorchester, MA: To create a phone app tour guide for the Cultural History Trail in Roxbury-Dorchester. A collaborative team is making this application for photographer and film artist involvement. Curation is also an important element in creating a fully activated trail as part of the mission to make Roxbury/Dorchester’s rich cultural history more accessible to the residents of these neighborhoods, to the general public, and potential tourists.
  • Rose Kennedy Greenway Conservancy, Boston, MA: At the centerpiece of the Greenway Conservancy’s Public Art Strategy is a spectacular installation, Boston Line Drawing. World-renowned artist Janet Echelman builds living, breathing sculpture environments that become inviting focal points for civic life. Commissioned by the Conservancy, Boston Line Drawing will be a monumentally-scaled, soft woven-fabric sculpture suspended over several Greenway parks. This request will advance the conceptual and final designs for this signature artwork.
  • Watertown Cultural Council, Watertown, MA: As part of a formal effort to bring more public art to Watertown, the Watertown Cultural Council is proposing a community mural in a prominent location depicting the town’s cultural diversity. Muralist Gregg Bernstein will work with Watertown High School student artists to create the mural through a multi-week hands-on experience in conceptualizing, designing, setup, color mixing, painting and cleanup. He will build on the skills and relationships with students and teachers formed during a 2013 mural project.

"Public art creates a specific sense of place that enhances community identity and supports economic vitality,” noted NEFA board member and Fund for the Arts advisor Ted Landsmark, president of Boston Architectural College. “As citizens, we want to be in spaces that are active, culturally interesting, safe for diverse people of all ages, and distinctly identifiable. These projects accomplish these goals and involve respected community groups and engaging public artists.”

About the Fund for the Arts
The Fund for the Arts supports public art projects where professional artists create new, site-specific, contemporary artwork in collaboration with community-based nonprofit organizations within Route 495 in Massachusetts. Launched in 1981, under the leadership of Boston attorney Phil David Fine, Fund for the Arts began with an extensive publicity and fundraising campaign out of WBZ-TV (now CBS4). The campaign drew support from local businesses, arts organizations, and individuals and resulted in the formation of an endowment fund, which today has assets of nearly $3 million. In 1992, Fund for the Arts became a permanent program of the New England Foundation for the Arts.

About NEFA
NEFA builds connections among artists, arts organizations, and funders, powering the arts to energize communities in New England, the nation, and the world. NEFA is a nonprofit that operates in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts and the New England state arts agencies, with additional funding from foundations, corporations, individuals and other government agencies.

NEFA’s work is accomplished through grantmaking, services, and initiatives which strengthen and advance the national arts infrastructure. For more information, please visit www.nefa.org or call 617.951.0010.

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