Woman outside smiles in front of autumnal trees
Community Engagement Coordinator, Creative Economy

The players of New England’s creative economy are steadily hatching from the cocoon of physical distance brought on by Covid-19. However, there has been creative work on the ground throughout this entire pandemic. On CreativeGround, we’re celebrating hot arts summer with new featured profiles, taking flight on the Home and About pages of New England’s free online cultural directory. 

NEFA’s New Work New England (NWNE) provides grants of $7,500-$15,000 directly to New England artists to support creating and producing new work that has the potential to engage multiple New England communities. Read on to explore the robust CreativeGround profiles of these creatives breaking new creative ground. Click on the respective links to dig deeper into their profiles. 

Dig deeper to discover more New England creatives and organizations: Search by keyword and Explore your locale on CreativeGround to find resources you can engage with from your community: the creative businesses, cultural nonprofits, and artists.

Psst. Inspired to update your own robust, feature-worthy profile? Follow these steps to make it happen.

Nzinga’s Daughters of the Queen Ann Nzinga Center (Plainville, CT) 

Nzinga's Daughters

Nzinga’s Daughters is a five-woman performance ensemble that fosters appreciation of a multicultural society and deepens public understanding of the history and cultural achievements of Africa and the African Diaspora. The group brings audiences on a journey from slavery to freedom with traditional African songs, a cappella plantation songs and stories. They'll show you how enslaved blacks, free blacks and white abolitionists created codes, signs and signals, committed to memory and passed them by word of mouth, leading to the Underground Railroad. Learn more about how Nzinga's Daughters adapt their program to fit your program and venue needs. View CreativeGround Profile >

Vanessa Anspaugh (Portland, ME)

Vanessa Anspaugh

A recent Bessie Award nominee for Most Outstanding Production (for The End of Men) Vanessa Anspaugh, is a choreographer who lives and works between Portland Maine, and Northampton MA. and shows her work nationally and internationally. She was a 2020 NEFA NDP Grant Finalist for her current work in process, Aggression Confession, which is being co-commissioned by The Bates Dance Festival and New York Live Arts. At the heart of most all of her work, lies investigations into various structures of power, examining how power lives in and between bodies. Anspaugh's work has been both commissioned and presented by venues such as, The Joyce Theater, Danspace Project, DTW, New York Live Arts, and more! Anspaugh attended Antioch College in Yellow Springs, OH where she received a BA in Buddhist Studies and Fine Art, and Smith College where she received her MFA in Choreography and Performance. Learn more about her current choreographic research on her profile. View CreativeGround Profile>

Larry Spotted Crow Mann (Nipmuc) (Webster, MA) 

Larry Spotted Crow Mann performs at the Concord Museum

Larry Spotted Crow Mann is an award-winning writer, poet, and cultural educator, He is a traditional storyteller, tribal drummer/dancer, actor, filmmaker, and motivational speaker involving youth sobriety and cultural and environmental awareness. Mann is the Co-director of the Ohketeau Cultural Center and Founder of the Native Youth Empowerment Foundation and former board member of the Nipmuk Cultural Preservation Trust. He served on the Review Committee for The Native American Poets Project at the Peabody Museum of Archaeology & Ethnology. Mann has traveled worldwide to schools, colleges, powwows, and organizations sharing music, culture, and history of the Nipmuc people. He is known for his literature and traditional Nipmuc stories, which he’s shared from Ecuador to Sweden. The work is intersectional, building bridges from Native to non-Native communities helping create intentional relationships. His work connects Indigenous populations with resources and potential allies. View CreativeGround Profile >

Pamela: Circus Artist & Choreographer (Etna, NH) 

Pamela: Circus Artist and Choreographer

Pamela is an artistic director, choreographer, and international performing artist; an aerialist, acrobat, gymnast, and dancer. Pamela enjoys integrating movement from the African Diaspora into contemporary dance styles, and she is knowledgeable in Afro - Cuban, Afro - Haitian, Afro - Brazilian, Jamaican, and other Caribbean and Latin Dance forms including: salsa, cha cha, cumbia, merengue, rueda de casino, and bachata.  She received her degree in Cultural and Social Anthropology from Stanford University, and she completed field research projects and worked with nonprofit organizations throughout Africa, India, Latin America and the Caribbean.  Broadly, her research interests include: conflict and peacebuilding, sustainability and the environment, social justice, equity, and empowerment, cultural development, history, and folklore.

Pamela considers herself an acrobatic storyteller of African American and African Diaspora histories and traditions, as well as spiritual tales and morals. Pamela specializes in creating socially relevant and globally engaged performances. Her vision is to generate art that inspires people to think critically and contribute positively to their world. View CreativeGround Profile >

Teatro ECAS (Providence, RI)

Teatro ECAS

The mission of Teatro ECAS is to promote theater as a viable form of self-discovery, within an urban multicultural community, with particular emphasis on children and young adults.  Through creation and presentations, participants discover hidden talents and build self-confidence. As the largest independent professional Spanish-speaking theater in New England, with a 24- year history, Teatro ECAS aims to elevate and enrich our Southside Providence community through the power of the arts and culture.  View CreativeGround Profile >


Ashley Hensel-Browning (Perkinsville, VT) 

Ashley Hensel-Browning

Ashley Hensel-Browning is a choreographer, dancer, teaching artist and community artist. She is available for both school-based residencies and community arts projects and is primarily interested in developing co-created choreography with different populations of people. Ashley has had experience in intergenerational dance projects, performing arts in prisons, and community center classes. She has taught in camps, libraries, schools, and affordable housing developments. An established choreographer and performer, Ashley has performed in works by Trisha Brown, Agnes DeMille, Elizabeth Bergman, Amie Dowling, and others. Most recently she choreographed an original story ballet to Evam Premo's score of Thumbelina. Psst She is on the Vermont Education Roster! Learn more about the types of residencies and choreographic services Ashley offers on her profile. View CreativeGround Profile >

Evie Lovett (Putney, VT) 

Photo by Evie Lovett

The work of Evie Lovett spans photography, digital media, storytelling, painting, teaching, public art and community art-making. Evie believes in taking the tools of art-making and media and putting it in people’s own hands, enabling them to explore aspects of themselves, their families, their communities, and the world around them through photography, art-making and digital storytelling. A member of the Vermont Education Roster, Lovett has worked with students in schools to interview and make portraits of climate activists and local farmers; map and photograph historic homes in their communities and match them with old photographs and names on gravestones; create a 10 foot-wide cyanotype collage that explores who each student is individually and collectively; investigate the school forest through on-site photography and writing; and make short videos of community members with compelling stories to share about life as an immigrant to Vermont, making art, food, sustainability, and growing up in a small rural community. Check out Evie’s I Have Worked With section to learn about her NWNE project and collaborators. View CreativeGround Profile >