Art Works Blog

American Artscape Notable Quotable: Cathy Edwards, New England Foundation for the Arts

“Artists and arts and creativity are life-giving sources to communities, so they need to be supported and they need to be more visible.” — Cathy Edwards, Executive Director, New England Foundation for the Arts

Having grown up with a father who worked in cultural affairs for the U.S. State Department and a mother who was an accomplished amateur performing artist, Cathy Edwards has long understood the power of the arts. “I'm a believer that the arts are an important part of becoming engaged in our communities and places and telling our personal stories,” she said. Edwards has been executive director of the New England Foundation for the Arts (NEFA) since 2015, though it’s fair to say her relationship with NEFA really started when she moved to Connecticut eight years earlier to become director of programming for the International Festival of Arts and Ideas. During her tenure at the festival, as a NEFA constituent, she grew to believe “that the work that NEFA did on the regional level was a key strategy to support artists and creative workers.” Today, Edwards and her colleagues at NEFA work to ensure that the organization stays true to that mission by connecting artists to opportunities and to each other, by linking New England’s creative workers to the funding and professional development support they need to flourish, and, most of all, by making sure that all New Englanders—wherever they may be in the six-state region (Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont)—have the opportunity to engage creatively in telling their own stories. For the National Endowment for the Arts American Artscape magazine, we recently spoke with Edwards about the work NEFA is doing for its region. MORE.

Learn more about the importance of arts and culture to the U.S. economy in the latest report from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Bureau of Economic Analysis. Find it here.


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