As part of our larger restructuring process, I am writing to announce that I will be stepping down as Executive Director of A Blade of Grass on May 31, 2022 so that I can focus on my own creative work. To assist this transition, we have enlisted the help of Suzy Delvalle, who will be acting as the Interim Executive Director and also guiding myself and our continuing board through a planning, research, and evaluation phase geared toward maturing A Blade of Grass, diversifying its funding, and rebuilding the structures necessary to reestablish its grants to individual artists. Suzy began work with us April 4, and is already digging deep and asking great questions in order to ensure a smooth, intentional leadership transition.
I am thrilled to be working with Suzy to set the next leader of A Blade of Grass up to succeed. She brings more than 20 years of highly relevant leadership experience to this new role–we are all excited to learn from her. Suzy most recently served as Interim Executive Director of Socrates Sculpture Park, where she supported the board and staff through a leadership transition by addressing important systems and capacity issues, and aligned operations and programmatic work with broader institutional goals in order to prepare the organization for its next Executive Director. Previously, Delvalle served as President and Executive Director of Creative Capital. As the second Executive Director in Creative Capital’s history, she successfully diversified its funding, increased the organization’s annual operating budget by 20 percent, and expanded services to artists by instituting annual awards.
This is exactly the experience and skill set A Blade of Grass needs to continue to grow and thrive. Welcome Suzy!
I am so proud of A Blade of Grass and the incredible work we all have accomplished over the past eleven years. We created and sustained the only national nonprofit that is solely dedicated to socially engaged art, and a uniquely responsive funding structure that can bend and flex with the needs of artists that are working in communities to enact social change. Through the ABOG Fellowship we collaborated with over 60 artist-led projects, and generated programs, content, and research that reached an international audience and clearly articulated the value of artists working toward social justice goals. And we have always endeavored to behave as an institution as if we are socially engaged artists ourselves. This continuous practice of considering our own power creatively over more than a decade is what I believe is making this thorough restructuring process possible, and it isn’t always easy! I am deeply grateful to everybody who has participated at every level–current and former staff, board members, artists, and all of our partners.
I came to A Blade of Grass as an artist focused on public and socially engaged work, and as someone who has always belonged to communities of practice. A Blade of Grass is a testament to how much I believe in the power of people coming together to do something that is beautiful and intentional. After eleven years of building this vast, international network of creative practitioners, it is time for me to work more locally, in a way that is more directly tied to my own creative life. As a serious student of aikido since 2001, I am planning to open a dojo to teach and build a community of martial arts practitioners. And as my own art practice has been investigating divination techniques since 2014, I am looking very forward to having the time to deepen my astrology practice.
But first, my top priority is to leave A Blade of Grass on a growth trajectory. I am confident that working with Suzy and our board over the next many weeks will result in a thoughtful, growth-oriented transition that sets the next leader of A Blade of Grass up to keep playing a leadership role in the field of socially engaged art.
You are an important part of our community. As always, we want to know your thoughts! Do not hesitate to reach out with questions or responses.