Arts & Culture for Driving Social Change

Arts and culture are the natural habitat of the human heart and mind. Culture frames, reflects, exposes, enhances, and changes everything about the lives and actions of people and societies, and the arts play a vital role in how cultures evolve.

For funders who want to drive social change, therefore, arts and culture are a powerful and under-appreciated vector.

This video features three leaders engaging deeply with arts and culture to make change for a webinar in which we'll discuss their work in particular and principles of social change through culture in general.


  • Isaac Luria, Director of Voice, Creativity, and Culture at¬†The Nathan Cummings Foundation. The Foundation holds a U.S.-focused portfolio in Voice, Creativity, and Culture, which aims to shift culture to transform communities, making them more just, more vibrant, more generative, and more fully realized through arts and culture as well as through spiritual and religious traditions. The Foundation also is exploring how their funding in Israel can nurture narratives of shared belonging and push back on narratives of hate and division.

  • Jenny Steingart, Producer,¬†Fiddler on the Roof in Yiddish. Jenny is developing an initiative using the success of¬†Fiddler¬†as a¬†Jewish story of tradition and expulsion, to shine a light onto the international migration and refugee crisis. By partnering with Reboot,¬†a premier Jewish arts and culture organization,¬†Fiddler¬†is¬†using the show as well as a collective of artists, to create mechanisms to capture and share contemporary stories that resonate with¬†Fiddler‚Äôs themes.¬†The launch date is World Refugee Day on 6/20 and will extend well beyond.¬†
    Related: World Refugee Day information

  • Moderator:¬†Lou Cove, Senior Advisor, The¬†Harold Grinspoon Foundation. As Senior¬†Advisor at the Harold Grinspoon Foundation Lou co-founded the PJ Alliance, a partnership of donors supporting PJ Library‚Äôs expansion in North America and internationally.¬†He is the author of¬†Man of the Year¬†an Amazon Best memoir of 2017, and¬†previously served as Executive Director of¬†Reboot,¬†Vice President of the¬†National Yiddish Book Center, Senior Producer at Advance Digital, and Associate Publisher at American News Service. Lou also led a partnership with Righteous Persons Foundation and JFN to produce two studies¬†examining the intersection of the Jewish philanthropic community and the Jewish arts & culture ecosystem: "Cross-Section: A Look at Jewish Arts and Culture in North America Today Through the Lens of Artists and Arts Organizations" and "Devising Strategies to Support Jewish Arts & Culture: Candid Conversations with Funders".