Field Funds


Over the next year, A Blade of Grass will distribute $25,000 to artists and creative practitioners working throughout the country with 50 grants of $500 each. Every other month, Field Funds will host open calls for support around specific needs common to socially engaged creative practice. Our intention is to create a nimble process that can be responsive to feedback and the changing needs of practitioners.

As we pilot this program, Field Funds will support practitioners to gather their communities in person and online, enhance the accessibility of their projects, and attend to documenting and archiving of their work. It’s free to apply, and the process should only take a few minutes. All applications will be reviewed for eligibility, and eligible proposals will be entered into a computer program where final selections will be made randomly. 4-5 proposals will be selected for funding each cycle. 

Open Call Cycles

Artist-led Gatherings: Applications open May 15—June 30, 2024

Accessibility & Translation: Applications open August 1—August 31, 2024

Documentation & Archiving: Applications open October 1—October 31, 2024

Partner Cycles

To expand the reach of Field Funds and help us refine the program to meet the needs of practitioners working across disciplines and in different locales, A Blade of Grass will partner with peer organizations who will host closed application cycles exclusively for their communities. This year, our partners are artist-founded organizations deeply rooted in specific communities, regions, or disciplines. We understand that there is not one, easily defined field of socially engaged practice, and we look forward to learning about the communities our partners serve. 

If your organization would be interested in partnering with us, or you would like to nominate an organization in your community, please write to programs@abladeofgrass.org.


Open Call: Artist-led Gathering


Schedule

May 15 – Applications open

June 30 – 11:59 PM ET – Applications close

July 8 – Selected applicants notified. Applicants who do not hear from us by 6:00 PM ET on July 8 have not been selected. 

July 11 – Funds distributed to selected projects

July 11 -December  31 – Selected gatherings take place

January 15, 2025 – Follow-up survey due

FAQs

Who can apply?

Artists, creative practitioners, and culture bearers with a demonstrated history of creating socially engaged art. Applicants may come from any artistic discipline and background as long as they can show that their practice significantly gathers or involves a community or public as a core component of their work. We are foregrounding the term artist, but we understand that practitioners do not all use the same language. Applicants are invited to self-identify in the application form. 

What is an artist-led gathering?

This is an opportunity for practitioners to bring groups of 3 or more people together. This could be a standalone gathering in person or online to further research, chase curiosities, or simply build connections. Or, this opportunity could add support to a larger project or event that is already in the works. There is no requirement that the gathering be public, and selected practitioners will have the freedom to use the $500 contribution as they see fit. 

What kind of proposals are eligible for this opportunity?

Artist-organized events in person, online, or a hybrid of the two that: gather peers for continued conversation about socially engaged practice; gather artists to organize or share resources, gather a community to explore potential projects or conduct research, gather the participants of a project for a celebration, reflection, or reunion. Proposed gatherings should take place by December 31, 2024.

What kind of proposals are not eligible?

Proposals for events or projects that are not initiated and led by artists, proposals to support the creation of studio work or presentations, proposals from nonprofit organizations or businesses, and proposals for gatherings that take place after December 31, 2024. 

Could requested support go towards a larger project or event that is already planned? 

Proposals can be made for enhancements to gatherings that have already been planned or to add a gathering component to a larger project, as long as it happens before December 31, 2024. 

What kind of costs would be supported?

Travel for participants, food and hospitality, promotion, documentation, venue rentals, honorariums to artists and/or participants, fees to a facilitator, fees to accessibility service providers (ASL interpretation, CART or live transcription, image description, etc.), COVID safety measures for events (testing, masks, hybrid options, etc.) 

Why $500?

We opted to offer $500 to each selected practitioner to maximize the resources we have to distribute. We do not expect recipients to produce a public event or completed project with these funds, rather we hope this resource can support the development, enhancement, and documentation of what folks are already working on.

How will proposals be selected?

Applications will be reviewed by A Blade of Grass staff to confirm their eligibility. Eligible applications will be entered into a computer program that will make the final selection randomly.

Why use a computer program to randomly select who gets supported?

We chose to randomly select recipients because we believe that all eligible requests are deserving of support. By forgoing an extensive review process, we have more resources to distribute as grants, and we can pay out funds within a week of applications closing.

How does this program think about the diversity of who it supports?

Using a randomizer to select from eligible applicants reflects back the makeup of the application pool overall. As we pilot this program, we opted to work on building an applicant pool that includes practitioners representing many geographic regions, disciplines, practices, and identities. To do this, we are partnering with artist-founded organizations throughout the year to host funding cycles for their communities. 

Why support artist-led gatherings, accessibility & translation, and documentation & archiving?

We’ve spent the last year in conversation with practitioners about their needs, which pointed to these categories as necessary and relevant to a wide range of practitioners. Understanding that practitioners are under-supported across the board, we also thought the $500 we have to offer could be useful when applied to these categories. We invite applicants to suggest other needs that Field Funds could support in the application form. 

Office Hours

Our team will host open hours on Zoom for folks to drop in with questions about their applications or the process. Feel free to join any of these calls. Please note, other applicants may be present. 

June 4 – 2:00-3:00 PM ET / 11:00 AM-12:00 PM PT (register here)

June 12 – 2:00-3:00 PM ET / 11:00 AM-12:00 PM PT (register here)

June 20 – 1:00-2:00 PM ET / 10:00-11:00 AM PT (register here)

June 27 – 1:00-2:00 PM ET / 10:00-11:00 AM PT (register here)

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