A two-year-old arts organization that provides funding exclusively to artists who “demonstrate artistic excellence and serve as innovative conduits for social change,” A Blade of Grass is poised to become one of the most important such outfits in the nation. What these folks are about is simple. In layman’s shorthand, they fund what constitutes the new global avant-garde: socially engaged art. A resource bank for projects that use art as a political, social, and environmental tool, A Blade of Grass provides fellowships for individual artists and collectives. In turn, recipients take art into the world beyond galleries and museums, for the sake of — get this! — service. Now there’s a revolutionary idea! Look out for A Blade of Grass–funded projects that involve a Zapatista coffee co-op supported by a community investment bank, cleanup in Newtown Creek, and a Spanish-language bookstore in Red Hook. Just like the world at large, the art world could use an injection of ethics and humanitarian values.
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