Public Artists Enhance Spatial Justice Across Massachusetts

NEFA Awards $435,000 to 15 Artists and Collaborators

Public Art for Spatial Justice-supported Asian Community Development Corporation's Hudson Street Stoop installation, Dancing Dragon by Katherine Chin and Parke MacDowell | photo by Lee-Daniel Tran

(Boston, MA) The New England Foundation for the Arts announces the 15 recipients of the Public Art for Spatial Justice grant. A total of $435,000 was awarded in this round to create public art that fosters more just, vibrant, and welcoming public spaces across Massachusetts.

NEFA’s Public Art for Spatial Justice (PASJ) grant supports public artmaking in Massachusetts that helps communities see, feel, experience, and imagine spatial justice now, while on a journey towards realizing more just futures for public spaces and public culture. NEFA’s Public Art program launched the Spatial Justice grants in 2020 in response to the challenges of COVID-19 and the perpetuation of systemic racism across the nation. 

"We are honored to support this year’s PASJ recipients and know they will have great impacts within their local communities and beyond,” says NEFA executive director Harold Steward. “We prioritized BIPOC and community-led projects responding to imminent displacement and strong community needs right now. Some of the themes that emerged were food security, trauma-healing, and racial justice. With a record number of applications this year, it’s clear that this work resonates with artists and communities across the Commonwealth.”

Awards range from $20,000-$30,000 and represent diverse communities, artistic disciplines, and intergenerational collaboration across Massachusetts. “The 15 Public Art for Spatial Justice projects take on many shapes and sizes. From an exploration of the Black history of millinery in Amherst to a youth-driven Hip Hop mural and commemoration program in Lynn to community-led urban gardening as forms of placemaking in Boston, each project fosters community engaged conversations about how we imagine the histories and futures of public space,” said interim program manager Jessica Wong Camhi. 

Below is the complete list of PASJ grant recipients:

NEFA’s Public Art for Spatial Justice grant is made possible with funding from the Barr Foundation

“Arts can drive the change that makes public spaces in Massachusetts more welcoming and inclusive,” said Giles Li, Barr Foundation’s senior program officer for Arts & Creativity. “We are proud to support NEFA’s Public Art for Spatial Justice program to connect artists and fund collaborative projects that make more just spaces for all.”

Inclusive of this round of awards, NEFA has awarded over $1.5 million through 96 Spatial Justice grants to Massachusetts artists and collaborators. NEFA is committed to continuing to support public art for spatial justice; the application for the next round of Public Art for Spatial Justice Grants will open in Fall 2024. Learn more about NEFA’s Public Art program

A small sign, by an outdoor booth, reads "Roxbury Sunflower Project."
Public Art for Spatial Justice-supported Madison Park DC with Ekua Holmes' The Roxbury Sunflower Project | photo by Ekua Holmes

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

CONTACT: Ann Wicks, 617-423-1390

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