2016 GIA Conference
Saint Paul, MN   October 16–19
A Confluence of People, Cultures, and Ideas


Challenging our Frames for Art, Pop Culture, and Social Impact

Tuesday, October 18, 10:00am – 11:30am

Governors II

Organized by Sharon Alpert, President and CEO, The Nathan Cummings Foundation; and Taryn Higashi, Executive Director, Unbound Philanthropy.

Moderated by Diane Espaldon, Project Lead, Pop Culture Collaborative Fund. Presented by Adey Fisseha, US Program Officer, Unbound Philanthropy; Liz Manne, Principal, Liz Manne Strategy; and Carlton Turner, Executive Director, Alternate ROOTS.

Pop culture is increasingly being recognized by funders as a vehicle for catalyzing social change. Its ability to influence dominant narratives and culture more broadly makes pop culture — TV, Hollywood, music, and so on — a powerful tool for transforming harmful stereotypes about people of color and immigrants. However, when framed as an arts and culture strategy, some perceive a tension between art and pop culture. This session will examine the symbiotic relationship between art and pop culture, highlighting examples where the arts — theater, independent film, and so on — have moved into entertainment/celebrity spaces and strategically scaled their social impact. Participants will learn about the #PopJustice report series and its recommendations which are seeding a collaborative fund, as well as engage in conversation about the role of philanthropy in this shared endeavor.