07.17.2020

Inside Philanthropy: A Necessity, Not a Luxury: A Funder Looks to Activate Art’s Power to Heal

by Mike Scutari  


In my recent conversations with arts professionals looking at how philanthropy can build a more resilient post-coronavirus arts sector, respondents repeatedly called for more robust advocacy from funders. 

“Right now, we are seeing a demand for the arts like never before: individually and collectively, societies around the globe are expressing themselves through art, yearning for creative expression, using the arts to heal,” said MCW Projects founder Melissa Cowley Wolf and M+D co-founder Sean McManus. (Wolf and McManus are also partners of the Arts Funders Forum, which seeks to increase private support for arts and culture with an emphasis on engaging emerging philanthropists.)

My thoughts immediately turned to the prescient work of the Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund, which recently announced it would expand its Arts in Health Initiative to include three additional organizations and new programs at seven others.

The fund launched the initiative in 2018 as a $10 million, multi-year effort to support organizations working on health issues that impact New York communities and that “utilize the arts as a tool for healing, with a special emphasis on improving access and addressing disparities in health outcomes.” The initiative defines “the arts” as visual art, dance, music, theater and film, and focuses on mental health stigma, trauma, aging-related diseases, as well as caring for caregivers and frontline healthcare staff.

Read whole article in Inside Philanthropy

Community Access - Changing Minds Young Filmmakers Festival, marquee
A GRANT TO A MENTAL HEALTH ORGANIZATION ENABLED YOUNG PEOPLE TO MAKE AND SUBMIT SHORT FILMS THAT TELL STORIES TO HELP COMBAT STIGMA. PHOTO: COMMUNITY ACCESS