It presents an overview of the relationship between progressive social change work and the arts, explores the role of philanthropy in supporting this work and sets out recommendations for how philanthropy might further its engagement with work at this nexus. The objective of the report is to stimulate further reflection and exchange of lessons and opportunities for inculcating practices in philanthropy for supporting arts and culture work as a means to advance social justice and peace.
The process of compiling this report has been a journey and, like all journeys, it has involved changes of perspective and, like some journeys, a revision of ideas. During its course, it has become clear to us that arts and culture are not just a matter of better tools for supporting change; they are often central to personal and social transformation. The arts often reach us -- and influence us - in ways that direct explanation cannot. The call to philanthropy that seeks to support progressive social change is to recognise this transformational power of arts and culture and to engage with it as a holistic strategy.
This argument will be presented more extensively in a brief paper (to be published in August 2014) entitled, 'Making the Case for the Arts to Social Justice Funders'.