Project Origins

In 2021, the Barr, Kresge, and William Penn Foundations joined together to more deeply understand the needs of organizations utilizing art and culture strategies to address systemic and intersectional societal challenges. The inquiry resulted in the formation of The Culture and Community Power Fund, developed throughout 2022 by project Co-Directors Aviva Kapust, Erik Takeshita, and Helicon Collaborative.

Funders Collaborative

The Barr Foundation

The Barr Foundation’s mission is to invest in human, natural, and creative potential, serving as thoughtful stewards and catalysts. Based in Boston, Barr focuses regionally, and selectively engages nationally, working in partnership with nonprofits, foundations, the public sector, and civic and business leaders to elevate the arts, advance solutions for climate change, and enable all students to thrive in high school and beyond. Founded in 1997, Barr now has assets over $2.5 billion and has contributed more than $1 billion to charitable causes.

The Kresge Foundation

The Kresge Foundation was founded in 1924 to promote human progress. Today, Kresge fulfills that mission by building and strengthening pathways to opportunity for low-income people in America’s cities, seeking to dismantle structural and systemic barriers to equality and justice. Using a full array of grant, loan, and other investment tools, Kresge invests more than $160 million annually to foster economic and social change.

William Penn Foundation

The William Penn Foundation, founded in 1945 by Otto and Phoebe Haas, is dedicated to improving the quality of life in the Greater Philadelphia region through efforts that increase educational opportunities for children from low-income families, ensure a sustainable environment, provide inclusive and equitable public spaces and arts and culture experiences, and advance philanthropy in the Philadelphia region.

Our Team

Co-Director, Aviva Kapust

Aviva brings more than a decade of experience leading front-line organizations that work at the intersection of art, social justice, and community development.

Co-Director, Erik Takeshita

Erik brings more than 25 years experience focusing on the role of art and culture in building stronger and more equitable communities.

Strategy & Research Partner, Helicon Collaborative

Helicon works at the intersection of equity, culture, and the environment. The collaborative specializes in asking good questions, helping people explore new and complex territory, and developing transformative strategies for change.

Let’s Talk

The Fund welcomes inquiries from potential thought partners with experience and ideas to inform our path ahead, as well as funders and government agencies in these geographies or beyond interested in learning more and aligning efforts.

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