The 2020 recipients of A Blade of Grass fellowships: Top row: Cannupa Hanska Luger; A Burning Church (Alex Hare, Zhailon Levingston, and Nehemiah Luckett); Rosalind McGary; and the Papel Machete collective.
Bottom row: Hidden Voices collective; Taja Lindley; Tornillo: The Occupation Coalition; and Alfredo Salazar-Caro.
Courtesy of A Blade of Grass.

A Blade of Grass Awards 2020 Fellowships

A Blade of Grass, the nonprofit dedicated to supporting socially engaged artists through fellowships, events, publications, and other programming, has selected eight artists and artist collectives for its 2020 Socially Engaged Art Fellowships. Launched in 2014, the fellowships provide the recipients with $20,000, as well as access to the organization’s professional network, to help in the production and execution of proposed projects. 

“Artists are uniquely positioned to catalyze the existing power of communities through collaborative projects that help us imagine and build a better future,” said Deborah Fisher, A Blade of Grass’s executive director. “Our fellowship program has always been about supporting visionary artists who engage with civic life and spur innovative social change at a truly ambitious scale. In this unprecedented moment, these artists, and the work we do to articulate the value of their work, is more relevant than ever.”

Because of the pandemic, this year’s cohort will not be restricted in the use of their funds and can use the sum for anything from studio supplies to housing expenses. Commenting on the decision to relax its rules about the use of the grant money, Fisher said: “This is a necessary investment in the artists themselves, whether their projects shift to more direct Covid-19 response, continue as planned, or have to be rethought. The world has completely changed since they applied and were selected for the fellowship, but that makes the range of visions and approaches in their work no less groundbreaking. We are incredibly encouraged by their adaptability, creativity, and grace in rising to meet the challenge of these times.”

The 2020 fellows are Alfredo Salazar-Caro, the inaugural dedicated fellow for POC emerging artists in New York City; Cannupa Hanska Luger (New Mexico); a collective whose members include Alex Hare, Zhailon Levingston, and Nehemiah Luckett (New York); the Hidden Voices collective (North Carolina); Taja Lindley (New York); the Papel Machete collective (Puerto Rico); Tornillo: The Occupation Coalition (Texas and Mexico); and Rosalind McGary (California), the A Blade of Grass-SPArt fellow.