A Blade of Grass is pleased to announce the eight artists and artist collectives who will be the organization’s 2020 Fellows for Socially Engaged Art. This includes the inaugural recipient for A Blade of Grass’s new Fellowship for POC Emerging Artists in New York City, as well as the ongoing A Blade of Grass-SPArt Fellow for Los Angeles, for which a Los Angeles-based artist is selected in collaboration with SPArt, a philanthropic initiative that supports social practice in Los Angeles. All of the Fellowships, which are awarded annually, support artists and artist collectives working with communities in ways that encourage social and political change at ambitious scale.
The 2020 Fellows for Socially Engaged Art include Alfredo Salazar-Caro (New York), the inaugural dedicated Fellow for POC Emerging Artists in New York City; Cannupa Hanska Luger (New Mexico); a collective including Alex Hare, Zhailon Levingston, and Nehemiah Luckett (New York); the Hidden Voices collective (various national locations, headquartered in North Carolina); Taja Lindley (New York); the Papel Machete collective (Puerto Rico); Tornillo: The Occupation Coalition (Texas and Mexico), and Rosalind McGary (California), the A Blade of Grass-SPArt Fellow. Additional information about each of this year’s fellows follows below.
Launched in 2014, the Fellowship provides artist and artist collectives with a $20,000 minimally restricted honorarium as well as support from A Blade of Grass’ professional network to help in the production and execution of proposed projects. While the 2020 Fellows were selected on the basis of specific project ideas, A Blade of Grass has made this year’s grants fully unrestricted to help artists during this unprecedented time of crisis. As such, the funds can be used for anything from studio supplies to housing and other necessities. A Blade of Grass leadership will also work with the 2020 Fellows to achieve as many of the original project goals as is possible given the implications of the COVID-19 pandemic, or help to conceptualize project adaptations to address the new circumstances.
“Artists are uniquely positioned to catalyze the existing power of communities through collaborative projects that help us imagine and build a better future. Our Fellowship program has always been about supporting visionary artists who engage with civic life and spur innovative social change at a truly ambitious scale. In this unprecedented moment, these artists, and the work we do to articulate the value of their work, is more relevant than ever,” said Deborah Fisher, executive director of A Blade of Grass. “As part of our commitment to artists, and in effort to meet them where they are in this strange new reality, we have made this year’s funds completely unrestricted and trust our artists to decide best how to utilize them. This is a necessary investment in the artists themselves, whether their projects shift to more direct COVID-19 response, continue as planned, or have to be rethought. The world has completely changed since they applied and were selected for the Fellowship, but that makes the range of visions and approaches in their work no less groundbreaking. We are incredibly encouraged by their adaptability, creativity, and grace in rising to meet the challenge of these times.”
Learn more about the new Fellows here