“Lab” Model

The lab model encourages and allows us to learn what works, what doesn’t work, and why. This information is critical to deeply understanding how the work “works” on the ground and how it can be best supported. The project brings together funders, front-line organizations, community members, and thought leaders to experiment outside and across their traditional programs, structures, and geographies.

Guiding Principles

Follow those who are closest to the ground.

We honor the expertise of front-line organizations, practitioners, and communities most impacted by structural oppression. We seek to enlist them as co-designers and advisors around grantmaking and other critical aspects of the fund.

Be true partners and provide flexible support.

We work to create trusting relationships with grantees so that they can be honest about their struggles and their successes in the work. We strive to provide flexible financial support as simply as possible and stand ready to share our experience and networks to support them however we can.

Focus on our unique value.

We identify critical questions and areas of inquiry where this fund can uniquely add value to the community power building space. We are particularly interested in understanding and advancing the role of art and culture in community power-building in communities most impacted by structural oppression.

Do no harm.

We know that intervening in any ecosystem has the potential to destabilize hard-won relationships and progress, even if the intent is good. We aim to mitigate any potential negative impacts of our support and take as much care as possible to do no harm to grantees, their relationships, or their communities.

Build on what’s working.

We build on existing knowledge and best-practice around community power building, including calls-to-action from frontline practitioners, advice from trusted social justice funders, and equity-centered research methodologies and findings

Unite means and ends.

We believe that what is won is just as important as how it is won. To that end we support community power building as both a goal and a strategy.



We’ll experiment with ways to invest in and learn about art- and culture-based community power-building efforts that support organizations, the practitioners who they work with, and the ecosystems in which they operate.


We’ll facilitate and support connections locally and trans-locally between community power-building ecosystems.


We’ll exchange learning with practitioners, investors, civic leaders, and other critical partners (e.g., journalists, academics, researchers, evaluators, etc.) to advance understanding and support for art and culture in community power building.

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