Announcing Our 2013 Organizational Grantees

We are thrilled to announce our second round of organizational grantees: The Center for Urban Pedagogy (CUP), The Laundromat Project and freeDimensional. The Center for Urban Pedagogy and The Laundromat Project were selected to receive project support in the amount of $20,000 each, and freeDimensional has been selected to receive $20,000 in general operating support.

A Blade of Grass’ stake in socially engaged art is organized around two key concepts: amplifying the role of artists as leaders and change agents, and assisting artists who operate in everyday life—particularly at an ambitious scale. Through an open application process, A Blade of Grass awarded three, one-time grants to New York City based public charities that are finding new audiences and purposes for contemporary art by actively engaging communities. Organizations were able to request funding of up to $20,000 for projects that illuminate the organization’s mission and values, and demonstrate excellence in socially engaged art. Applicants also had the option to request general operating support. A distinguished Advisory Committee evaluated the proposals in terms of their artistic excellence; their ability to position artists in leadership roles; and their relevance to communities.

We are excited to support the work these organizations do, and look forward to having them as new members of our community!

About the Grantees

The Center for Urban Pedagogy uses the power of art, design and visual culture to increase public participation in shaping the city, particularly among historically underrepresented communities. Their proposed project, Making Policy Public, will be a publication series that uses design to demystify the complex systems, laws and regulations that impact our neighborhoods.  Like all of CUP’s projects, the publication will be created through a highly collaborative community-based model in which CUP collaborates with artists and designers as well as community and advocacy groups. These community partners will then distribute the resulting product to targeted constituencies that will particularly benefit from these tools.

The Laundromat Project is a community-based arts organization operating at the intersection of arts and social change. Funding from A Blade of Grass will support their longest running program, Create Change, which puts artists-in-residence in their local laundromats and offers a series of professional development workshops and salons that focus on socially relevant, social practice art­making. This training totals more than fifty hours over five months, and is intended to move diverse artists from a conventional public art model to a practice that emphasizes the catalytic potential of art and artists to create social change via active problem-solving and relationship-building.

freeDimensional supports culture in the service of free expression, justice and equality, based on the belief that creative expression fuels social justice movements. The organization does this work, for the most part, by placing artists who are at political risk into artist residency programs worldwide. Since 2006, freeDimensional has supported over 150 artists from 30 countries facing threats, censorship, violent assault, or imprisonment for speaking truth to power and voicing the concerns of their communities.

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