A Blade of Grass Artist Fellow Housing is a Human Right community rally to prevent eviction of Bed-Stuy homeowner, August 2011. Photo: Michael Premo.
ABOG Fellowship for Socially Engaged Art
Online application form opens Tuesday, September 3, 2013
Application deadline: Monday, December 2, 2013
A Blade of Grass, a new funding organization that nurtures socially engaged art, is pleased to announce the launch of the ABOG Fellowship for Socially Engaged Art. Seven Fellows will be selected to receive an unrestricted stipend of 20,000 USD to realize an innovative community-based project. The program will also offer tailored professional support to socially engaged artists including documentation and assessment of each project, and workshops that teach skills that are particularly relevant to artists working directly with communities to enact social change.
Through active training, incubator-style workshops and professional consultations, the artists will be given tools to evaluate their own progress, as well as gain feedback from peers, community stakeholders, and objective, third-party evaluators. These and other professional development opportunities will help artists to make this community-driven work more meaningful and influential to the populations they are serving.
As another key benefit of the fellowship, A Blade of Grass will conduct interviews with each of the artists and produce three-to-five-minute documentaries on each project that will be accessible on the A Blade of Grass website. Such online resources will bring the experience of these works beyond the immediate community of impact and illustrate some of the distinct challenges and advantages presented by socially engaged art. This documentation will also complement the online debates, studies and resources that make up A Blade of Grass’s “DISCUSS” forum, as well as its public programs, all of which will be structured around an annual theme drawn from the work of some or all of the selected fellows. Collectively, these resources will bring clarity and excitement to socially engaged art through inclusive discussions on key topics and through direct exposure to these and other ambitious artworks.
Artists nationwide are invited to submit proposals through a two-stage, open application process. A distinguished Selection Committee, made up of artists, educators, curators, critics and other art professionals, along with community leaders and advocates, will evaluate the proposals in terms of their artistic excellence, their ability to position artists in leadership roles to promote social change, and their relevance to communities. Application guidelines are now available on the A Blade of Grass website. Letters of inquiry will be due Monday, December 2, 2013. Finalists will be invited to submit full applications in January 2014 and selections will be made and announced in April 2014.
A Blade of Grass will hold two informational Fellowship Workshops prior to each annual application deadline. This year, they will be held on September 17 and November 6. The Workshops will be open to all interested artists and are designed to bring artists face-to-face with former Fellows and staff, in order to provide a transparent overview of the ABOG SEA Fellowship experience, as well as introduce successful social engagement methods in general. For those unable to attend, the workshops will be videotaped and made accessible online. The programs should help the artists determine if they are a good fit for the program and maximize their ability to construct a competitive proposal. Attendance is strongly encouraged.
About A Blade of Grass
A Blade of Grass nurtures socially engaged art. We provide resources to artists who demonstrate artistic excellence and serve as innovative conduits for social change. We evaluate the quality of work in this evolving field by fostering an inclusive, practical discourse about the aesthetics, function, ethics and meaning of socially engaged art that resonates within and outside the contemporary art dialogue.