Public Art Program Updates

Public Art for Spatial Justice-supported Common Wealth Murals | photo by Isabella Dellolio Photography

Woman in green smiles in a studio space
Senior Program Director, Public Art

The transition from summer to fall often marks the beginning of our grantmaking season for Public Art at NEFA. And as usual, we have a few updates to share with you if you are considering applying! 

New Timeline for Public Art for Spatial Justice (PASJ) applications

2023 applications are due December 4, 2023, 11:59p ET.

Please note this is a change from our previous October due date! With a later deadline, we hope to provide artists with a little more runway to prepare applications in the fall. The seasonal weather in Massachusetts means that a lot of public art making is happening in the late spring through early fall months, and we hope that a little more time in the fall will provide a little more spaciousness in the process for applicants to review the webinar materials we’ve prepared, attend a virtual information session (visit NEFA’s event page for more details on upcoming information sessions!), and to meet with staff through office hours as needed. A later deadline also means that our review process will now take place at the top of the new year, with the PASJ grant year beginning in March 2024.

Revised Funding Criteria and Narrative Questions for PASJ

Please take a moment to carefully review all of the eligibility criteria, funding criteria and priorities as well as the narrative questions before beginning your PASJ application. You may also be interested in our pre-recorded webinars, that are also available to walk you through these updates. 

Through PASJ, NEFA is specifically funding public artmaking in Massachusetts that embodies and expresses more just possibilities for our public spaces. We recognize that there is a lot of important spatial justice work that may not be public artmaking. This year, we are offering more specificity in our funding criteria by defining public artmaking as artistic and culture expressions of all artistic disciplines – including visual, performative, and those rooted in ritual – that engage and/or activate public space. And we are defining public space as places that are open and available for the general public to happen upon. If you have questions about your project’s eligibility, we encourage you to join us in an information session or sign up for office hours! 

We also reorganize the narrative questions in the application to better speak to the funding criteria.  We hope this will make it clearer to applicants to know what we are looking for and why we are asking about it in the application. For a deeper dive into the narrative questions, we encourage you to check out the 2nd webinar in the PASJ webinar series

Pausing Public Art Learning Fund, Collective Imagination for Spatial Justice, and Newell Flather Award

In addition to these changes to PASJ, we will also be pushing pause on our Public Art Learning FundCollective Imagination for Spatial Justice, and Newell Flather Award for Leadership in Public Art opportunities. These grant programs have been staples of our Public Art Grantmaking over the past three years, and we will be taking this time to reflect on our learnings and zoom out as NEFA enters into a strategic planning process. Meanwhile if you are looking for a learning opportunity in 2024, check out the Making it Public for Massachusetts Municipalities and Artists. The Making it Public for MA Municipalities application is currently open through October 13, 2023, and the Making it Public for MA Artists registration will open in January 2024.

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