Framing the Discourse, Advancing the Work: Philanthropy at the Nexus of Peace and Social Justice and Arts and Culture
Commissioned by the Working Group on Philanthropy for Social Justice and Peace (PSJP), Framing the Discourse, Advancing the Work, by Moukhtar Kocache, speaks to funders as an exploration of philanthropy at the nexus of social justice, peace, and arts and culture. It presents a broad overview of the relationship between progressive social change work and the arts and explores the role of philanthropy in supporting this work. It sets out recommendations for how philanthropy might further its engagement with work at this nexus.
Foundations are embracing the value of arts and culture as a powerful and uncontested space to regenerate society, to give voice to people and to challenge and address discriminatory structure. The central questions that this research paper explores are why don’t more funders support social-change-through-arts work, what is needed to change this and what are the opportunities if such changes are made. The first section presents a brief review of socially engaged art and its function. The second looks at the growing recent convergence between the two sectors and is followed by a section of examples where arts and social change are successfully brought together—including projects in the Netherlands, South Africa, Nicaragua, and Turkey. The next section presents a taxonomy of arts and culture which will allow funders and social change organizations to locate themselves and see where mutual interest might lie. Following this, the report looks at the challenges involved and the obstacles to a closer relationship between the two sectors. Finally, we draw out a number of recommendations for developing a fuller relationship which might help to realize the potential of greater collaboration between the two.