The Art for Justice Fund is helping create the template for leverage art to advance social change. The New York Times explained how the Art for Justice Fund’s work is paving the way for other investors:
Mr. Beard, who focuses on art lending at U.S. Trust, said there had been an uptick in using art to fund other philanthropic endeavors. He cited Agnes Gund’s sale of a $150 million Roy Lichtenstein painting to start a criminal justice fund, called Art for Justice. Others, he said, are borrowing against their art to make traditional grants to organizations.
And traditional art funding — through philanthropy and private buyers — has worked well, Mr. Beard said.
“We’re trying to create a new channel of investment capital,” said Sam Marks, executive director of the New York office of Local Initiatives Support Corporation.
“Does our art system need impact investing?” he said. “We already have this very dynamic art model that goes out in the world. That may be why we’ve seen a failure to launch with impact investing in the arts.”
But groups like Upstart Co-Lab and LISC are looking to invest in a broadly defined creative economy, which can include traditional arts organizations like La MaMa but also small manufacturing companies that make high-end cabinetry and retail displays.