What is the capacity for art to influence social change? The New York Women’s Foundation and its Justice Fund now have more funding to explore this question, particularly as it relates to women and girls involved with criminal justice. Recently, The New York Women’s Foundation (The Foundation) announced receiving an award of $300,000 from the Art for Justice Fund.
The grant will go to support The Justice Fund, a seven-year initiative launched under the umbrella of the foundation in fall 2018. The goal of the Justice Fund is to decrease mass incarceration and overcome the negative impacts of incarceration on women and girls. The Justice Fund is working toward this goal by supporting organizations using art to promote justice, safety, and well-being in the community.
“We’re so thankful to Agnes Gund, the visionary and transformative philanthropist, who founded the Art for Justice Fund,” said Ana Oliveira, President and CEO of the New York Women’s Foundation. Gund is also one of the first members of the Foundation’s Justice Fund collaborative, and was one of the earliest supporters of The New York Women’s Foundation.
The Art for Justice Fund is a five-year initiative created by Agnes Gund and dedicated to reducing mass incarceration through the collective action of artists, advocates, and donors. Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors and the Ford Foundation are also partners in the endeavor.
One unusual aspect of The Justice Fund is its family-centered approach. “Women and families are seldom at the center of criminal justice reform and when women are incarcerated, the ripple effect on their dependents is profound,” said a press release announcing the $300,000 donation.
The Justice Fund is working at the crosshairs of art and social justice in an attempt to influence public systems, including the courts, health care, housing, child welfare and immigration. Through artist expression, advocacy and coordinated giving, the Justice Fund is advancing a strategy that is aimed at the root causes of social and economic inequality.
“We are at a unique moment in time to drive meaningful, long-term change,” said Helena Huang, project director for the Art for Justice Fund. “This is why the Art for Justice Fund exists: to support the work of artists and advocates to seize this moment and accelerate the movement. And this movement is a defining movement of our time.”
A full list of grantees can be found at the Art for Justice website.