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 funds a fellowship program to support artists who are not only socially conscious, but socially active. Filmmakers looking for a fellowship here should pursue art that is similarly conscious and active.
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 film funding through its Fellowship for Socially Engaged Art, which supports individual artists and artist collectives 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 filmmaking support: immersive, multi-disciplinary, collaborative, often simultaneously making use of other artistic forms.
Unlike many art fellowship opportunities, this one is an open application. The deadline is typically in the fall. Past filmmaking Fellowship for Socially Engaged Art recipients include: Laura Chipley, whose project "The Appalachian Mountaintop Patrol" is a collaborative, environmental watchdog multimedia education initiative that trained people in Boone County, West Virginia to document environmental contamination resulting from coal and natural gas extraction in the Appalachian Mountains; The Plug-In Studio, whose project "The Street Arcade" used the medium of videogames as a platform for young artists to explore social issues important to them, with the games ultimately projected in storefront windows where they were played by passersby; Laurie Jo Reynolds, whose project "Honey Bun Comedy Hour" was a variety show co-created with currently and formerly incarcerated people and their family members to depict everyday realities of prison life. Individual segments were filmed for use in campaigns to advocate for prison reform and curated into complete episodes for galleries, screenings, and cable-access television.
Unlike many artist fellowship opportunities, this one is an open application. The deadline is in November.
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