The Arts: Making Meaning – A Synthesis of Conversations with Creative Leaders

The Arts: Making Meaning – A Synthesis of Conversations with Creative Leaders

While arts funding plays an important role in fostering cultural activity and economic vitality, structural challenges and limitations need to be addressed, a report from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation finds. The report, The Arts: Making Meaning – A Synthesis of Conversations with Creative Leaders (7 pages, PDF), highlights themes that emerged from discussions among foundation staff and leaders in the field, among them that art serves to strengthen identity and human potential, amplifies voice, contributes to inclusive economies and communities, and is a social process. The report also found that the voices of many artists and underrepresented groups remain unheard, that structural challenges often result in funders perpetuating the status quo, and that many cultural organizations focused on communities of color are reluctant to accept funding and/or program directives from outside their communities. To address these issues, the foundation plans to work more diligently to amplify unheard voices by reviewing which organizations it funds and whose stories it highlights; build connections across and within sectors, populations, and geographies; and challenge structures that reinforce inequities. 

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