"With this report, NCRP reminds us all that arts and culture can no longer be understood to be the province of society's elites, but rather, that arts are expressions of the very essence of what makes a community whole, what makes it vibrant. Building socially just and sustainable communities requires funders to pay as much attention to the artistic and cultural fabric of our places as we do to economic opportunity and environmental health. It urges us to break away from our traditional notion of arts and culture as happening merely in stately opera houses, concert halls and museums, but instead, as existing and thriving throughout our communities."
Phillip Henderson, President, Surdna Foundation
Fusing Arts, Culture and Social Change outlines compelling demographic, aesthetic and economic reasons for foundations to rethink their grantmaking practices to stay current with changes in the cultural sector and to continue to be relevant to the evolving needs of our communities. Regardless of its history or primary philanthropic focus, every foundation investing in the arts can make fairness and equity core principles of its grantmaking. It can do so by intentionally prioritizing underserved communities in its philanthropy and by investing substantially in community organizing and civic engagement work in the arts and culture sector. By doing so, arts funders – individually and collectively – can make meaningful contributions toward a more inclusive and dynamic cultural sector, and a fairer, more democratic world.