A Blade of Grass: Grants for Theater

OVERVIEW: A Blade of Grass seeks social change through the arts. It supports of unconventional artists, thinkers, and implementers through fellowship programs.

IP TAKE: A Blade of Grass supports artists who are not only socially conscious, but social active. Grant seekers looking for a fellowship here should be similarly conscious and active. In the theater realm, supported artists trend towards performance art that actively engages community.

PROFILE: A Blade of Grass seeks to “provide resources to artists who demonstrate artistic excellence and serve as innovative conduits for social change.” The organization provides theater funding through its Fellowship for Socially Engaged Art, which supports programs and individual artists with one-year funding of $20,000, as well as capacity-building tools, such as strategic support, assessment tools, and video documentation of the artists’ work.

Grant seekers should look over A Blade of Grass’ past fellowship recipients page to better understand the organizations’ expectations for social engagement. Perusing past recipients will also give a strong sense of how this funder views and pursues its theater support: not just for the people, but by the people. Theater programs and performers who have received this fellowship create performance pieces with the community whose social need is at stake. And while these performances are theater, they typically take place in public forums and spaces, unquestionably trending towards the performance art end of the theater spectrum, and often simultaneously making use of other artistic forms.

Unlike many art fellowship opportunities, this is an open application. The deadline is typically in the fall.

Past theater Fellowship for Socially Engaged Art recipients include: Suzanne Lacy, whose project “De tu puño y letra: Diálogos en el ruedo” addresses violence against women in Quito, Ecuador; Laurie Jo Reynolds, whose project “Honey Bun Comedy Hour” created a variety show with currently and formerly incarcerated people and their family members in order to depict everyday realities of prison life; Dread Scott, whose project “Slave Rebellion Reenactment” re-staged and reinterpreted Louisiana’s German Coast Uprising of 1811.


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