The New England Foundation for the Arts’ Native Arts program supports Native American artists and organizations in New England and nationally through grantmaking and network development. Together, these programs are designed to build regional and national support structures to help Native artists reach broader audiences, connect with new markets for their work, and gain access to financial resources.

The National Native Artist Exchange program supports teaching, learning, and collaborating in traditional and/or contemporary Native art forms through travel from one region to another in North America. American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian artists residing in any of the fifty United States may apply. The applicant must identify a collaborating artist and specific project as part of the exchange, which must be beneficial to both artists. Grants of up to $1,500 will be awarded per exchange. Acceptable expenses include lodging, meals, economy-class travel, materials, and other direct costs of the artist exchange. (Deadline: Rolling. Requests must be received by NEFA no later than two calendar months prior to the departure date of the proposed trip.)

The Native Arts New England program supports Native artists and organizations residing in the six New England states, with a focus on arts projects that involve or benefit New England communities. To be eligible, Native artists and organizations must demonstrate membership or affiliation with a Native American tribal nation and residence in one of the six New England states; knowledge and experience in the proposed art form, medium, or media; and commitment to preserving and encouraging art and artmaking in their communities. Grants of up to $3,000 are available. (Deadline: September 14, 2012, for projects occurring between November 1, 2012, and October 31, 2013.)

In 2005, the Ford Foundation invited NEFA to design a support system for New England’s Native artists. NEFA, in association with the Maine Indian Basketmakers Alliance (MIBA), conducted gatherings with Native American artists and leaders throughout the region in 2005-2006. The recommendations heard at those meetings informed NEFA’s design of a program with staff leadership by a member of the Native community, created to serve a marginalized, underserved, and often invisible community of Native artists and organizations

For complete program guidelines, application procedures, and examples of funded projects, visit the NEFA Web site here.

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