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A Blade of Grass Announces Fellowships for Socially-Engaged Artists

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A Blade of Grass Announces Fellowships for Socially-Engaged Artists


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.

About the Fellowship
The ABOG Fellowship for Socially Engaged Art is an active, year-long funding relationship. Documentation and field research may extend beyond the Fellowship year, in order to fully represent your project in your FIELDWORKS documentary and publication.  Fellows become active members in a cohort and participants in a program that features a range of services, including:

  • Project support of $20,000 with minimal restriction (budget line items may include things like living expenses that are not direct project expenses).
  • A two-day orientation that explores ABOG’s documentation and field research models, and includes workshops on strategies for community engagement.
  • A two-day midyear retreat with other Fellows to share progress and challenges, and offer feedback to one another.
  • Support and feedback for ongoing self-evaluation in the form of collaborative action research.
  • Field research by an outside evaluator. We want to understand how the projects we support impact communities, and capture and share innovative ideas and successful
    models for future use.
  • ABOG production of a short video documentary on each project.
  • Access to our broad network of specialists outside the art world. Ask us how we can help you connect with experts in issues your project addresses!


Fellows submit interim and final reports, each including a narrative description of activities to date and a budget update, to ABOG.

What We Fund
• Socially engaged projects in which art is a catalyst for social change.
• Projects that feature artists in leadership roles.
• Dialogue-based projects that emphasize sustainable partnerships with communities.
• Projects in which artists engage community members as equal partners.
• Projects in which co-creation with non-artists is part of the process.
• We value process over product: relationship building and problem solving are key goals.
• We provide funding with minimal restriction, and budget line items may include things like living expenses that are not direct project expenses.
• We fund artists working nationwide, as well as artists based in the US who are working internationally.

What We Don’t Fund
• Projects in which the focus is on producing an exhibition, theater production, or objects for display.
• Residencies or studio practice, except as they directly relate to achieving outcomes of a community-based project.
• Projects that lack co-created outcomes and/or community engagement.
• Artists or artist collectives registered as 501c3 nonprofit organizations.

Eligible applicants for the ABOG Fellowship for Socially Engaged Art…
• Are artists or artist collectives working independently. Artists or artist collectives registered as 501c3 nonprofit organizations are not eligible to apply. If you are a collective, please submit a single application under the name of the collective.
• Are not currently enrolled as students.
• Are US citizens, or US residents with legal work status. If applying as a collective, a US citizen or resident with legal work status must be the primary contact for the group.
• Are at least 25 years of age.
• Have not received an ABOG Socially Engaged Art Fellowship as an individual or as part of an artist collective in the last 3 years.
• Have projects that engage directly with a specific community or communities.
• Have a website with contextualized examples of past work that a selection panel can review.

This is a two-step application process. Semi-finalists from the first round will be invited to submit a full application with an extended narrative, budget, and a timeline with specific benchmarks for realizing each stage of their project.

• Fellowship Workshops: June 29, 2016 & early September 2016 (TBC)
• Deadline for submissions of Letter of Interest: September 19, 2016
• Notification of all applicants; invitation to semi-finalists to submit full application: Begins November 7, 2016
• Deadline for full application: January 6, 2017
• Notification of semi-finalists: Begins January 30, 2017
• Interviews with finalists (in-person or via Skype): January 30 – February 10, 2017
• Notification of selected Fellows: Begins March 14, 2017
• Fellows’ Orientation (mandatory): May 5-6, 2017


How to Apply

Make sure to submit your application via our online form only.     Applications received via other means will not be reviewed.

Review the full fellowship brief for complete program and application information.


Not sure whether your project is a good fit? Have questions about the application process? Send a short description via email (not the whole application document), and allow 2-3 days for a response: