CLICK HERE TO APPLY – Initial Letters of Interest DUE DECEMBER 2, 2013


Our Mission – 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.

What We Fund

  • Socially engaged projects that promote art as a catalyst for social change
  • Projects that feature artists in leadership roles
  • Dialogue-based projects that emphasize active and sustainable partnerships with communities
  • Projects in which artists engage community members as equal partners on locally relevant issues, or globally relevant issues as they apply to the local context
  • Projects in which co-creation with non-artists is part of the process
  • We value process over product: relationship building and problem solving are key goals
  • We provide funding with minimal restriction, and budget line items may include things like living expenses that are not direct project expenses

What We Don’t Fund

  • Projects in which the focus is on producing objects for display
  • Exhibitions
  • Residencies or studio practice, except as they directly relate to achieving outcomes of a community-based project
  • Projects that lack co-created outcomes and/or community engagement

Eligible Applicants

  • Are individual artists or artists collectives. If you are a collective, please submit a single application under the name of the collective. Multiple applications for collectives are not permitted.
  • Are not currently enrolled as students
  • Are legal US residents or US citizens
  • Are at least 25 years of age
  • Have not received a full ABOG Socially Engaged Art Fellowship as an individual or as part of an artist collective in the last 3 years.
  • Have projects that engage directly with a specific community or communities
  • Have a website with contextualized examples of past work that a selection panel can review.

Fellowship Participation

The Fellowship For Socially Engaged Art is an active, year-long funding relationship. Fellows become active members in a cohort and participants in a program that features a range of services, including:

  • A two day orientation that explores ABOG’s documentation and assessment models, and includes workshops on strategies for community engagement.
  • Quarterly co-assessment meetings with other Fellows to share progress and challenges, and offer feedback to one another.
  • Support and feedback for ongoing self-assessment in the form of collaborative action research.
  • Assessment by an outside evaluator. We want to understand how the projects we fund impact communities, and capture and share innovative ideas and successful models for future use.
  • ABOG production of a short video documentary on each project
  • Access to our conference room for meetings
  • Access to our broad network of specialists outside the art world. Ask us how we can help you connect with experts in issues your project addresses!

Interim and final reports are submitted by each applicant, each including a narrative description of activities to date and a budget update with expenses noted and receipts submitted.

Fellowship Workshops

  • We strongly recommend attending a workshop before applying. They are a great opportunity to meet staff, ask questions, learn more about our mission and how we consider applications, see great examples of the type of work we fund, and get practical information about the methods socially engaged artists use.
  • Fellowship Workshop dates are September 17, 2013 and November 4, 2013.

Application Timeline and Deadline Information

This is a two-step fellowship process. Finalists from the first round will be asked to submit a more detailed full application. All deadlines and the entire timeline of the application process are outlined below.

  • Fellowship Workshops September 17, November 4
  • Deadline for submissions of Letter of Interest, December 2, 2013
  • Notification of semi-finalists; invitation to submit Full Application, January 3, 2014
  • Deadline for Full Application, January 31, 2014
  • Interviews of finalists (skype or in-person) scheduled February 24-Mar 7, 2014
  • Final notification of grantees, March 31, 2014
  • Orientation, April 25-26, 2014 (mandatory)

How We Decide

  • Nomination and Outreach: We will solicit applicants by reaching out to grassroots art organizations and other art institutions nationwide, and by asking key scholars, curators, administrators, and artists in various regions to nominate candidates, who may apply through the usual process.
  • Selection: A panel of readers which may include curators, art administrators, educators, artists, and/or scholars will review Letters of Interest and recommend up to 50 finalists. Finalists will submit a full application, which will be screened by a selection committee made up of a similarly diverse group. ABOG staff will screen final recommendations made by the selection committee.
  • Click HERE for Selection Criteria

Contact Us

Not sure whether your project is a good fit? Have questions about the application process? Send us a short description via email (not the whole application document), and allow 2-3 days for a response:

HOW TO APPLY: – Deadline for Applications: DECEMBER 2, 2013

All applications must be received via online form only. Applications received via other means will not be acknowledged.
We strongly encourage you to attend or view a video of a Fellowship Workshop on September 17 or November 4 in advance of applying. Click HERE for more information.
All applicants must submit the following via online form:

  • Eligibility Screening
  • 500-word Letter of Interest
  • Link to website with examples of past projects (you must have a website to apply)
  • CV (or CV’s if applying as a collective) in pdf format

Eligibility Screening Questions:

Are you an individual artist or an artist collective? Collectives should submit a single application under the name of the collective, and collective members should not apply individually.

  1. Are you a student?
  2. Are you a legal US resident or US citizen?
  3. Are you at least 25 years of age?
  4. Will your project engage directly with a specific community or communities?

Letter of Interest Guidelines:

SEA Project Fellowships fund artists who take a leadership role, and engage directly with communities to develop projects of ambitious scale that promote social change. We do not fund projects focused on exhibition outcomes, artist residencies, or studio practice unless explicitly geared toward direct social engagement.
Be sure to frame your project in these terms as you address the following questions in your 500-word statement:

  • What is your proposed project? Describe activities that you will undertake to accomplish the project’s goals.
  • What are the goals of the project? Clearly articulate project goals and explicitly describe how you intend to achieve them.
  • How does your project enact social change?
  • Will the project be realized in the course of a year? If not, what deliverables do you expect during a one-year fellowship?
  • Will your project engage with a community or communities in a collaborative or dialogic manner? Explain your rationale for wanting to work with this community. Describe the ways in which community members may be directly involved in executing the project goals.
  • Describe the community you’re working with, and the relationships you’ve established with members of that community.

Finalists will be notified in early January and will be invited to submit a full application by January 31. At this time, finalists will be asked to supply an extended narrative, budget, and a timeline with specific benchmarks for realizing each stage of their project. All LOI applicants will be notified by January 31 as well.

APPLY NOW! And remember that only applications submitted via online form will be reviewed.