FIELDWORKS is a short documentary series presented by A Blade of Grass that explores the beauty, rigor, and impact of socially engaged art through its ABOG Fellow initiatives. FIELDWORKS: Season One, produced by RAVA Films and One Hundred Seconds, spotlights ABOG’s Distinguished Fellow, Mel Chin, and 2014 ABOG Fellows: Brett Cook, Pablo Helguera, Fran Ilich, Jan Mun, SexEd and Jody Wood.
Jan Cohen-Cruz is senior editor and co-founder of Public: A Journal of Imagining America and a university professor at Syracuse University. In addition to her new book, Remapping Performance: Common Ground, Uncommon Partners, Jan wrote Local Acts: Community‑Based Performance in the US and Engaging Performance: Theatre as Call and Response; edited Radical Street Performance; and, with Mady Schutzman, co‑edited Playing Boal: Theatre, Therapy, Activism and A Boal Companion: Dialogues on Art and Cultural Politics. As a longtime professor at NYU Tisch School of the Arts, Cohen-Cruz produced community‑based arts projects with students and neighborhood partners. She directed the minor in applied theatre and Tisch’s Office of Community Connections, and was among the founders of the Department of Art and Public Policy. She received the Association for Theatre in Higher Education’s Award for Leadership in Community-Based Theatre and Civic Engagement (2012). She was the evaluator for the U.S. State Department/Bronx Museum cultural diplomacy initiative smARTpower, and is now Director of Field Research for A Blade of Grass.
Ava Wiland is one half of RAVA Films, a producer/director team composed of Ava and her husband, Rafael Salazar. They create independent documentaries and arts-related video content on assignment that aim to shine light on real people and experiences through distinct and powerful storytelling. They have directed and produced dozens of films for the Peabody award-winning organization Art21, as well as international organizations such as the U.S. Department of State, TATE, The Bronx Museum of the Arts & SKY Arts. RAVA’s projects have received numerous accolades and selection to prestigious festivals including a Webby nomination, and have screened at renowned venues such as BAM, Tate, the International Festival of Films on Art (FIFA), among others. Learn more at: ravafilms.com
Risë Wilson is the inaugural Director of Philanthropy for the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation. As a member of the foundation’s senior leadership team, she is leading the organization through a new phase of charitable giving– one that builds on the legacy of its founder while remaining relevant to contemporary concerns. To that end, the foundation supports initiatives at the intersection of arts and political issues, particularly those that embody the fearlessness, innovation, and multidisciplinary approach that Rauschenberg exemplified in both his art and philanthropic endeavors. The foundation is particularly interested in the role of creative problem solving in achieving social change. Before entering the field of cultural philanthropy, Ms. Wilson founded The Laundromat Project, an award-winning organization that mounts public art projects and other art programs in local laundromats as a way of amplifying the creative power available in neighborhoods like Bed-Stuy, Harlem, and the South Bronx. Her seventeen-year tenure in arts and culture includes roles at the Ford Foundation, LINC, Parsons: the New School for Design, MoMA, and the International Center for Photography. She holds a BA from Columbia University where she was a Kluge Scholar, and an MA from NYU, where she was a Maccracken Fellow.
We’re grateful that this program is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.