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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. Field Funds supports both the public components of a project and the often unseen work that makes collaborative creative practice possible such as research and relationship-building. We are piloting this program with three funds to support specific needs common to socially engaged art: Artist-led Gatherings, Accessibility & Translation, and Documentation & Archiving.

We believe all parts of the creative process are valuable—from seeding new ideas to sharing work with audiences and archiving fleeting experiences. So, we designed a process where all eligible applications have the same chance of being funded. For this reason, there is no need for applicants to make a case for why a project is deserving of support, instead we ask applicants to speak directly and concisely to how they will specifically use $500.

All applications will be reviewed for eligibility. All eligible applications will be entered into a computer program where final selections will be made randomly. 4-5 applications will be selected for funding each cycle. Our intention is to create a nimble process that can be responsive to feedback and the changing needs of practitioners.

Artist-led Gatherings: Application Open May 15—June 30, 2024

To be eligible to apply for this opportunity, practitioners must: 

Please see full Frequently Asked Questions at the bottom of this page.


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.


Frequently Asked Questions

Field Funds FAQs

Who can apply?

US-based 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.

Why $500?

We are working to support practitioners at a range of scales, from Field Funds to the A Blade of Grass Fellowship. Making these grants $500 maximizes the resources we have to reach the most people. We do not expect Field Fund recipients to produce a public event or completed project with these funds. Instead, we hope to help recipients develop, enhance, and document the important work they’re already doing.

How will proposals be selected?

A Blade of Grass staff will review applications to ensure they meet the eligibility criteria.  Eligible applications will automatically be assigned a number. Grantees will be selected using a random number generator. This process means  all eligible applications have the same chance of being funded. For this reason, there is no need for applicants to make a case for why a project is deserving of support, instead we ask applicants to speak directly and concisely to how they will specifically use $500.

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 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 a starting point for introducing Field Funds. As we pilot this new program, we hope to continue learning what support would be most helpful. We invite applicants to share other needs this program could support in the application form.

Artist-led Gatherings FAQs

What is an artist-led gathering?

This is an opportunity for artists and practitioners to bring together gatherings of 3 or more people, whether in person or online. This could be a standalone event or part of a larger project folks are already working on. There’s no requirement for the gathering to be public—folks may use the $500 as they see fit to research, chase curiosities, or simply build connections.

What types of gatherings are eligible?

Eligible proposals include artist-organized events that can be held in person, online, or a combination of both. These events can serve various purposes, such as:

  • Facilitating continued conversations about socially engaged practices.
  • Bringing artists together to organize or share resources.
  • Gathering a community to explore potential projects or conduct research.
  • Reuniting participants of a previous project for celebration, reflection, or reunion.

All proposed gatherings should be scheduled to take place by 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.)

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. 


Open Call: Artist-led Gatherings 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

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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