News

4.8.17

NEFA Strengthens Artist-led Ensemble Theater

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation awards $3.77 million for theater program

(Boston, MA) The New England Foundation for the Arts is pleased to announce a three-year $3,770,000 grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to continue the work of the National Theater Project.                                             

The National Theater Project (NTP) promotes the development and touring of artist-led, ensemble, and devised theater works. Modeled on NEFA’s now 20-year-old National Dance Project, NTP functions as a full system of support for devised theater, providing funds and animating an informed, interactive network of producing theaters, presenters, and ensembles.

Since the first round of NTP grants in 2010, NEFA has infused over $4.4 million into the field through the program. To date, 43 new theater works have been supported; touring of those works has reached 38 different states across the U.S. NTP projects have toured to large and small arts presenters, military bases, universities, regional theaters, and festivals.

With this renewed funding, several elements that were previously being piloted are now permanent:

  • Every year, NTP brings its grantees for that year into the same room for the NTP Cohort Meeting. For the 2014 and 2015 cohort meetings, NTP also held a regional convening the day before. This meeting brings together artists, presenters, service organizations, and NTP Advisors, to share the challenges and opportunities for artists in the region.
  • Finalist Development grants are given at the discretion of the Advisors to a small number of finalists who do not receive the Creation and Touring grant. These grants are less than $10,000 but support a discreet portion of the development phase for that project.
  • Transition Grants are the newest grant for NTP awardees. These grants are for NTP alumni and are to efforts to increase the sustainability of grantees. Artists must have completed their NTP supported tour to be eligible to apply.

The seventh round of NTP Creation and Touring grant recipients will be announced in August 2017.

“NTP funds theater makers and their partners at cultural organizations across the U.S, many in small and mid-sized communities. Ensemble theater artists are catalysts for important, forward-thinking conversations about art and the well-being of communities,” said NEFA executive director Cathy Edwards, “and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation’s commitment to supporting devised theater artists remains unparalleled.”

About The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation
The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation endeavors to strengthen, promote, and, where necessary, defend the contributions of the humanities and the arts to human flourishing and to the well-being of diverse and democratic societies.  To this end, it supports exemplary institutions of higher education and culture as they renew and provide access to an invaluable heritage of ambitious, path-breaking work.  The Foundation makes grants in five core program areas:  Higher Education and Scholarship in the Humanities; Arts and Cultural Heritage; Diversity; Scholarly Communications; and International Higher Education and Strategic Projects. www.mellon.org.

About NEFA
The New England Foundation for the Arts invests in the arts to enrich communities in New England and beyond.  NEFA accomplishes this by granting fund 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.  For more information, please visit nefa.org.

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CONTACT: Ann Wicks | 617.951.0010 x534