Welcome NEFA Artists!

Marking our first year of partnership with New England Foundation for the Arts’ Creative City Boston, A4A is thrilled to welcome ten Creative City alumni artists into our matched savings program!

Creative City Boston Artist Grant provides project-specific funding to artists to create work that sparks public imagination, inspires community members to share in civic experience, and seizes opportunities to creatively engage important conversations taking place in Boston’s communities. By funding artists directly, NEFA is investing in artists’ creative agency as civic leaders in shifting public culture in Boston. NEFA believes that diverse cultural and artistic expressions are essential to more equitable, inclusive and vibrant public spaces and public life.

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Born and raised in India, dancer Chavi Bansal received her training from an early age in styles such as: Bharatnatyam, Bollywood, Martial Arts, and Indian Contemporary dance. Craving a broader dance vocabulary, Chavi moved to the Netherlands, where she earned her B.A. in Dance with specialization in Choreography. In 2010, Chavi founded her company, Vimoksha.

In the next two years Chavi is looking to move into more holistic movement practices by combining her knowledge of yoga/meditation, martial arts, and both Indian and Western dance. She would also like to instruct a range of targeted classes such as: meditation through movement, dance movement using martial arts, Bollywood dance, modern dance, and choreography.


Laura Baring-Gould creates large-scale public sculptures, epic ephemeral installations, and small intimate objects that create wonder in the palm of a hand.  A love of universal shapes and a fascination with elemental materials and archetypal structures form the common bond within her projects. Whether developed independently or through collaboration, each piece or experience is buoyant with mythological ballast.

With her renewed commitment to her practice, Laura believes that key investments need to be made for future opportunities in public art. These investments include a new and improved website and marketing/promotional materials. Laura’s ultimate goals is to expand her capacity of engagement to ensure that the most people are able to access her work.


Eve Boltax is a violist and creative musician. She performs throughout New England as a member of various orchestras, new music and chamber ensembles, and as a solo performer. Eve is currently expanding her composition and creative music making portfolio, including a new work for two musicians inspired by William Forsythe's work "Catalogue: First Edition." She has been selected to be one of the "Concert for One" artists, a public art performance project organized by the Celebrity Series.

In the coming years Eve would like to continue to grow her performance portfolio, teaching experience, and her work to help creatives do what they want through experiences in sensorymotor learning and nervous system regulation. To do the latter, she will be designing a new website for her Feldenkrais practice.

Photo credit: Heather McGrath

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Daniel Callahan considers himself a transmedia artist and designer; meaning that his work spans, mixes, morphs and ultimately transcends the mediums he uses. Known for his art technique of MassQing which uses the human face as canvas to reveal, rather than conceal, one's inner essence - Daniel strives to make work fosters meaningful discourse and activates deeper, more intimate exchanges that blur the lines between artist, subject and viewer.

Since graduating with an M.F.A. in Film and Video from Emerson College, Daniel has written and directed his first feature film Come On In; a psychological drama/thriller about an artists search for sanity and aims to continue filmmaking along with his other visual art practices. He plans to build his own multimedia art and design company, Create and Record. Through the company, he will offer a range of design services including: graphic design, web design and videography. This company will generate income and build his experience in order to fund and execute his own innovative fine art and film projects.


Silvia Chavez is an interdisciplinary artist interested in the role that art plays in the human need to connect on multiple levels: socially, environmentally and culturally. In her studio practice, she combines traditional methods of drawing and painting with experimental techniques in printmaking and collage to find a balance between the representational and abstract. Her work has gradually grown into the public realm through murals and community projects as part of her social practice.

For Silvia, the 2019-2020 period is shaping up for new great work opportunities. She has plans for six public art commissions, some community projects, and two solo exhibits. She is also doing an artist residency where she hopes to recharge, reflect, and create new work.


Composer, Beau Kenyon works in a combination of aural mediums: acoustic chamber music, live performance installations, and digitally produced sound art composed of found sounds. In recent years, Beau has become increasingly involved in interdisciplinary collaborations, working with choreographers, authors, visual artists, scientists, performers, and historians to activate public and other, non-traditional spaces.

Over the next two years, Beau plans to pursue opportunities outside of the Boston area while maintaining his relationships with Boston institutions, artists, and arts leaders. He recently received his first commission for a permanent outdoor sound and sculpture installation, to be created with sculptor and long-time collaborator Natalia Zubko. The piece will be installed in 2019 as part of a significant park renovation in Des Moines, IA.  

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Carolyn Lewenberg is a public artist and organizer of public art initiatives. Her areas of expertise include sculpture, sculptural installation, social practice, environmental art, natural resource management, relationship building, youth development, curriculum development, and artistic collaboration. Common threads through her projects include making experiences for people to connect to natural systems and the built environment and building community through inclusive processes and interactive works.

Carolyn’s near future will include more creative placemaking and green infrastructure projects and spirit of place commissions. One of her upcoming projects includes organizing the Boston Harbor Artist-in-Residency program and Arts on The Edge Cruise.  


Yara Liceaga-Rojas is a queer, Afrocaribbean, Puerto Rican artist, a poet/writer, an organizer of cultural productions, and an educator. Her projects revolve around the visibility of marginalized subjects. She writes and publishes, performs at festivals, and coordinates projects that address origin, gender, race and class. Coming from a United States colony, Puerto Rico, Yara’s main concern is to be visible, since colonial subjects are often made invisible by not having representation.

Yara looks forward to expanding her robust portfolio of work by improving her website and marketing materials. What she wants most is to be able to live off her creative projects and to be able to raise her kids in a safe, caring environment where they can develop beautifully to their fullest potential.


Melissa Nussbaum Freeman is a theatre-maker/performance artist/activist. This means she writes, directs, acts, teaches, builds sets, issues the promotional materials and sends memos. Melissa cherishes working in collaboration with other artists, for she believes it is the space where creativity exponentially multiplies. Sometimes she will also create  performances, plays or installations around pressing issues, like the treatment of undocumented immigrants, and gather performance collaborators later.

Melissa wishes to pursue both local and global opportunities in the next two years. Her intention is to generate collaborations with local social equity and justice groups, such as the Lewis D. Brown Peace Institute in Fields Corner, Dorchester, where she lives and works. She hopes to increase her and her company’s presence, so that they will be readily called to participate in school, university, community, national, and international social justice events.

Photo credit: Marchaé Grair

Photo credit: Marchaé Grair

Artist Jesse Erin Posner conducts collaborative projects that create relationships between strangers, spark exchange and influence public space. Combining her political training as a community organizer with her background in directing and visual art, she works with groups to collectively imagine and enact interactive public actions.

Jesse envisions forming an ensemble of long-term collaborators who will engage the public through a series of experimental performances and actions.

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Ngoc-Tran Vu is a Vietnamese American multimedia artist, organizer, storyteller, and connector. Her artistic vision provokes thoughts and questions surrounding identity, community, politics, and spirituality. She strives to visually preserve the stories from communities of color and the refugee and immigrant experience of migration and displacement in order to establish modes of resistance. Ultimately, Ngoc-Tran is passionate about creating spaces and platforms for cross-cultural exchanges and about bringing critical discourse that challenges inequality at the intersection of culture and social justice.

Her vision in the next five years is to work on large-scale public and socially engaged art throughout the United States and internationally. In the meantime, she is busy preparing to make the transition by building her skills and available resources.

In addition to the New England Foundation of the Arts, our 2019 programming in Massachusetts is possible because of our wonderful funders & partners, specifically the Barr FoundationMassachusetts Growth Capital Corporation, and the United States Department of Agriculture.