Expeditions-supported Angélique Kidjo performance at the International Festival of Arts & Ideas | Photo: Judy Sirota Rosenthal

Below are links to organizations with information and data regarding the impact of the arts. 


New England

NEFA's Activity in New England - FY23

NEFA's grants and resources support artists and organizations in all six New England states. This work is possible through our partnership with New England's state art agencies.

Learn more about NEFA's partnership with the New England state art agencies

​Federal Investment & the Arts in New England

Federal Arts Funding Broadens Distribution of Resources

  • The NEA has an exemplary partnership with states. Forty percent of all NEA program funds—approximately $49.4 million in fiscal year 2017—are distributed through state arts agencies and regional arts organizations. In combination with approximately $360.5 million in state appropriations, the federal-state partnership supports more than 25,000 grants in 16,000 communities across the United States. Voters in every congressional district are stakeholders in sustaining this successful partnership.
  • Combined, NEA and state arts agency grant awards reach all 435 federal congressional districts.
  • The arts reach rural areas. States use NEA and state legislative funds together to address the unique needs of rural areas. Twenty-one percent of state arts agency grants go to rural communities. Even larger proportions of grants and grant dollars go to rural areas in states with larger rural populations.
  • Federal funding is not exclusive to large institutions: 30% of NEA grants are awarded to organizations with budgets under $500,000.
  • The arts strengthen education. Research confirms that the arts cultivate young imaginations and facilitate success in school, enhancing students' academic achievement in multiple subject areas. The arts provide the critical thinking, communications and innovation skills essential to a productive 21st-century work force.

Federal Investment from the National Endowment for the Arts Creates a Thriving New England

  • In FY18, the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) invested $9,792,400 in New England through partnership grants to New England’s six state arts agencies and their regional partner the New England Foundation for the Arts (NEFA) in addition to grants directly to cultural organizations. All recipients are required to match these grants 1:1, further amplifying the reach and impact of these dollars.
  • In FY19, NEFA awarded 430 grants totaling $3.3 million, with support from the NEA and private foundations; $826,484 of that supported artists and cultural organizations in 81 unique communities in all six New England states.
  • In addition to grants, support from the NEA enables NEFA to convene and provide networking and technical assistance to artists and organizations in New England. 
  •, NEFA’s searchable directory of New England’s creative economy, supports the visibility and connection of over 30,000 of the region’s artists, cultural organizations, and creative businesses. It is the only data-sharing tool of its kind in the country, and contributes to research on the sector while highlighting the real people and stories behind the numbers. 

The Arts Power the U.S. Economy

  • In FY18, the $155 million budget of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) represents just 0.004% (four thousandths of one percent) of the federal budget, and every NEA grant dollar leverages another $9 in public and private support.
  • The U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis reports that arts and cultural production contributes more than $763.6 billion to the nation's economy. This equates to 4.2% of GDP, which is greater than construction ($739.9 billion) or transportation ($546.2 billion).
  • The U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis also reports that arts and culture support 5 million wage and salary workers and many more independent jobs.
  • From NEFA’s 2017 study, The Jobs in New England’s Creative Economy and Why They Matter, New England’s creative economy employs nearly 310,000 people who earn a total of $17 billion per year. New England has a 20% higher prevalence of artists in its employment base compared to the U.S.
  • Americans for the Arts’ Arts & Economic Prosperity 5 study on the economic impact of nonprofit arts and culture organizations showed that in 2015, these organizations—performing and visual arts organizations, festivals, public art programs, municipally-owned museums and arts centers, and more—pumped an estimated $63.8 billion into the nation’s economy, supporting 2.3 million jobs, providing $49.4 billion in household income, and generating $11.9 billion in total government revenue.

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