The Role of Philanthropy in Advancing Equity in the Arts


Foundation: Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, Bush Foundation, New York Community Trust

credit: The Grind Stone

Maurine Knighton, program director for the arts at the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, and Kerry McCarthy, vice president for philanthropic initiatives for The New York Community Trust, write how arts and cultural organizations in diverse neighborhoods deserve greater philanthropic attention and support.

According to Knighton and McCarthy, investing in organizations, such as Brooklyn's Weeksville Heritage Center or Billie Holiday Theatre, remove inequities that have an often unseen, yet profound, impact on society.

Both authors share research that shows investment in the arts contributes to educational outcomes and overall civic health.

Knighton and McCarthy also provides three steps funders can take to drive change toward more inclusive arts philanthropy:


  1. Commit to achieving clear, concrete goals
  2. Engage fellow funders and individual donors
  3. Commit to collaborative action

The authors note that it is "time for philanthropy to get creative and correct the historical unfairness of arts funding." Read the Entire Article

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