NEST (New England States Touring) Grant
NEST (New England States Touring) funds presentations of New England-based artists from outside of a presenter’s state.
To be eligible for NEST funding, applicants must:
- Be a nonprofit organization, school, or government entity.
(Nonprofit organizations do not have to be arts organizations. Organizations that do not have a federal tax identification number may apply if part of an official government agency.)
- Be based in New England (Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont) is eligible to apply for NEST funding.
- The federal government now requires that all NEFA organizational grant recipients supported by federal funds register for DUNS numbers. More specifics on the requirement will be included in all NEFA grant applications.
- Applicants must be able to provide, if requested, documentation of their compliance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA). Please visit our Increasing Access to the Arts page for details.
A presenter may apply for an artist within their state if all of the following requirements are met:
- They have booked the artist as part of a New England tour with at least two other presenters.
- At least two other presenters on the tour are from outside of the artist’s home state.
- All presenters are applying to the same NEST deadline.
NEST will not fund:
- Activities and programs which take place exclusively in schools during class time.
- Events that are not open to the public and advertised accordingly.
- Events outside of the six New England states.
- Performances in which the performers are primarily students.
MatchBook.org houses the directory of all artists who may be chosen by NEST applicants for funding. Therefore, all artists who wish to qualify for NEST funding must maintain an artist profile on MatchBook.org.
How to become a NEST artist
- Register for free on MatchBook.org.
Go to www.MatchBook.org, click “GET LISTED,” and complete the form.
- Create an artist profile.
Once you are registered, click on “My MatchBook” (top right) and select “Artist” next to “Create a Profile.”
In order to become a NEST artist, artists are required to complete all fields listed below in their artist profile:
Group or Artist Name
Description of Residency and Outreach Activities
|PERFORMING HISTORY TAB||Performing History (Please list at least five different organizations that have presented you in concerts/performances/readings in the last year. You must include hiring organization, contact name, date, and activity type.)|
|WORK SAMPLES TAB||
At least one photo posted
Once all requirements have been met, return to the OVERVIEW tab in your artist profile and check the box next to “I have completed the requirements and wish to be considered eligible for the New England States Touring Program.” Be sure to click “save” once you have completed this task.
- Sign up for the MatchBook.org e-newsletter.
All artists who wish to be a part of NEST must also sign up for the MatchBook.org newsletter. To do this:
- Go to www.MatchBook.org and log in.
- Click “Edit Details” from your “My MatchBook” screen.
- Click “Send me periodic MatchBook.org eNewsletter & announcements.”
After your profile has been reviewed by the MatchBook.org team, an icon will appear on your profile indicating that you are eligible for NEST funding. Artist profiles must be updated at least once a year to maintain NEST status. Otherwise, the profile will be deactivated and the artist will no longer be eligible for NEST funding.
Once an artist becomes eligible for NEST, their professionalism and quality will be evaluated by presenters who receive NEST funding. If comments from presenting organizations are continually marginal or unsatisfactory, the artist will be contacted and interviewed.
It is beneficial for artists to let presenters know that they are eligible for NEST funding and mention it in promotional materials, as potential presenters may be more likely to book an artist knowing that funding assistance for the artist's fee is available from the NEST program. Below is an example of what artists may use:
Fee support for [insert artist name] may be available to nonprofit organizations through the New England States Touring (NEST) program of the New England Foundation for the Arts. Visit www.nefa.org for more information.
NEST grants are awarded through a competitive selection process. Grants are available in amounts of up to 50% of the artists' fees, and typically range from $400 to $4,000. Requests below $400 will not be accepted. Artists’ fees may include costs for creation of new work, travel, and per diem.
Grant amounts are based on:
- The artist’s fee.
- How well the project meets the funding criteria below (applicants who receive the highest scores receive the maximum amount, which is 50% of the artist’s fee).
The amount of funding awarded is based on the extent to which the project meets the criteria below.
- Contextual, educational, and adjunct activities featuring the artist(s) in the project (e.g., workshops, lecture-demonstrations) which meaningfully engage various sectors of the community. Cross-sector exchanges (connecting arts and non-arts organizations) and collaboration are strongly encouraged.
- Collaborative planning to extend the arts to populations whose opportunities to experience the arts are limited by geography, economics, or disability.
- Well-planned promotion and marketing, including linkages that extend and deepen the reach of the project.
- A budget that reflects revenue from a variety of sources including admissions*, sponsorships, private foundations, individuals, and/or government agencies. NEFA strongly encourages charging admission to performances and events for the following reasons:
- Admissions are a vital source of income to help pay artist fees and other event expenses.
- Admissions remind audiences that the work of artists has distinct value and that the professionals involved must make a living from their endeavors in order to continue.
- Admissions purchased through advance ticket sales help ensure attendance.
- Admission purchases provide patron information that can aid in marketing, fundraising, and audience development.
If a project changes after funding has been awarded, the applicant must notify NEFA as soon as possible. NEFA does not guarantee funding if the project differs substantially from the original application. Requests for changes will be considered on a case by case basis and may change the amount of the grant award.
Process & Deadlines
Online applications must be submitted before midnight on the deadline date.Applications must be submitted a minimum of three months in advance of the proposed project. A finite amount of funds is allocated each year; organizations are encouraged to submit applications early within NEFA's fiscal year (June 1 through May 31).
Online evaluations must be submitted within one month from the end of the artist engagement to receive reimbursement. Read the Requirements & Reports for Grant Recipients section.
NEFA staff is available for assistance Monday-Friday, 9AM-5PM EST.
NEST has quarterly application deadlines:
- First business day of March, for projects beginning on or after June 1
- First business day of June, for projects beginning on or after September 1
- First business day of September, for projects beginning on or after December 1
- First business day of December, for projects beginning on or after March 1
Grant REQUESTs & Instructions
Click below to REGISTER and BEGIN your grant request. You may save and return at any time.
Click below to LOG IN and RETURN to your grant request.
Grant payments will be made upon receipt of the following which must be submitted within 30 days after the funded event:
- A completed NEST Evaluation Form for each grant. (See below for instructions on how to access your form.)
- A copy of the signed contract or letter of agreement (with printed name and title) between your organization and the artist(s) presented.
- Copies of letters of appreciation sent to your federal and/or state legislators. This is to inform them about the purpose of this award, and the impact it will have on your organization’s activities and service to the community.
- Copies of program and publicity materials showing acknowledgement of NEFA’s funding.
Failure to provide this material within 30 days of the event may result in cancellation of the grant and all pending NEFA grants. If the performance date is changed or cancelled, or if you anticipate a delay in submission of materials, please contact Elizabeth Bouchard.
Reductions in Artist Fees
NEST grant amounts are determined based on the proposed artistic fee; therefore, reductions in artist fees may result in the reduction or cancellation of your grant. Grant recipients must notify NEFA of any changes in fees paid to the artist(s) as soon as possible in advance of the event.
Click below to log in and begin your grantee report. You may save and return at any time.
Adrienne Petrillo | Program Manager, Presenting & Touring
firstname.lastname@example.org | 617.951.0010 x527
Elizabeth Bouchard | Program Coordinator,
National Theater Project, Presenting & Touring
email@example.com | 617.951.0010 x516