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A Blade of Grass Fellow Sol Aramendi and immigrant day laborers, artists, organizers, developers, and lawyers created a collaborative smartphone app to fight wage theft. Image courtesy of RAVA Films.

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We believe that qualitative research and evaluation is an important tool for understanding both the aesthetic value of socially engaged art projects, and the effect they have on participants and other stakeholders’ lives. As part of the Fellowship for Socially Engaged Art and in partnership with the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs’ Public Artists in Residence, A Blade of Grass has built a library of research about a variety of ambitious projects. 

Our field research is grounded in action research methodology. This approach studies an action while it’s in process by asking the artist to identify initial project goals and definitions of success, and then conducting interviews with participants and stakeholders to gather their perspectives on whether and how these goals are met. The primary goal of this research is to serve the artists and participants we partner with, as well as a broader field, in three ways. We want to capture the way an art project’s goals and definitions of success will inevitably evolve, and provide narratives of individual experiences that account for the subjective nature of these projects. 

Research-related inquiry? Email us at

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