A Blade of Grass (ABOG), established in 2011 as the first organization solely devoted to nurturing socially engaged art, is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2015 ABOG Fellowship for Socially Engaged Art.
Seven artists and one artist collective—Sol Aramendi, Laura Chipley, Steven Ciampaglia & Kerry Richardson, Suzanne Lacy, Mary Mattingly, Nigel Poor, Dread Scott and Adaku Utah—will receive an ABOG Fellowship for Socially Engaged Art, a one-year fellowship that pairs 20,000 USD in unrestricted project support with strategic assistance, assessment tools, video documentation, and other tailored resources. Fellows applied via a nationwide open call that yielded 500 initial applicants and were chosen by two independent selection committees for their artistic excellence, the innovative and ambitious quality of their proposed projects, and the viability of their projects in everyday life.
Fighting wage theft in immigrant communities
Sol Aramendi‘s ABOG Fellowship will support Apps for Power, a smartphone-based app developed in collaboration with immigrant day laborers, artists, organizers, developers, and lawyers, that will fight wage theft by allowing users to safely share their experiences and report abusive and neglectful employers.
Exposing mountaintop removal in West Virginia
Laura Chipley‘s ABOG Fellowship will support The Appalachian Mountaintop Patrol (AMP), a collaborative, environmental watchdog multimedia education initiative that will train people in Boone County, West Virginia to document environmental contamination resulting from coal and natural gas extraction in the Appalachian Mountains.
Teen artists’ video games to spark dialogue in Chicago
Steven Ciampaglia and Kerry Richardson‘s ABOG Fellowship will support The Street Arcade, a collaborative, community-based, new media art project that uses videogame design as a platform for young artists to explore social issues important to them. The games will be projected in storefront windows in Chicago’s Hyde Park and Washington Park neighborhoods, where they can be played by passersby.
Fighting violence against women in Quito, Ecuador
Suzanne Lacy‘s ABOG Fellowship will support The Quito Project, an artwork intersecting public, legal and educational institutions’ efforts to fight violence against women with a populous organizing project in Quito, Ecuador, that will culminate in a public performance in November 2015.
A floating food forest for New York City
Mary Mattingly‘s ABOG Fellowship will support Swale, an itinerant food forest that will function as a floating island in New York City. After an initial year of planning and collaborative building with community groups, nurseries, and schools, Swale will be open for public visits and will welcome participation in maintaining the forest and collecting fresh food.
Sharing original stories about prison life in San Quentin, CA
Nigel Poor‘s ABOG Fellowship will support the San Quentin Prison Report Radio Project, an ongoing collaboration with incarcerated men at San Quentin State Prison that creates original audio pieces about life in prison for broadcast on public radio.
Reenacting the largest slave rebellion in American history
Dread Scott‘s ABOG Fellowship will support Slave Rebellion Reenactment (SRR), a community-engaged artwork that will reenact Louisiana’s German Coast Uprising of 1811, the largest rebellion of enslaved people in American history, on the outskirts of New Orleans.
Liberatory healing for communities of color
Adaku Utah‘s ABOG Fellowship will support Harriet’s Apothecary, an intergenerational healing village committed to co-creating accessible, affordable, all-body loving, all-gender honoring, community spaces that recognize, inspire, and deepen healing for people who identify as Black, Indigenous and People of Color and allies.
The ABOG Fellowship for Socially Engaged Art is made possible by the generous Field contributions of our board members and friends, and by the leading support of our esteemed Groundbreakers, Agnes Gund, Eva Haller, Shelley Frost Rubin, and Linda Schejola.
A Blade of Grass nurtures socially engaged art
We provide resources to artists who demonstrate artistic excellence and serve as innovative conduits for social change. We evaluate the quality of work in this evolving field by fostering an inclusive, practical discourse about the aesthetics, function, ethics and meaning of socially engaged art that resonates within and outside the contemporary art dialogue. Learn more at www.abladeofgrass.org.
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