Community Creativity Initiative

Make Art Central to Problem Solving

We see art and culture as vital assets for people working to solve problems and discover opportunities in their communities:

  • Art and culture can inspire people to think bigger and differently about what’s possible.
  • Art and culture can equip people with a drive to make a difference in their community.
  • Art and culture can connect and bridge people across differences.

The guiding goal of our Community Creativity initiative is to make art a central element of problem solving on more issues, across more sectors and in more communities throughout the region. We are particularly interested in supporting efforts in communities of color, Indigenous communities and rural communities. 

Watch our 2018 webinar to learn more about the Community Creativity initiative.

Learn about our approach with the strategic initiatives.

Our Investments

We work year-round — in consultation with community stakeholders, issue experts, our Board of Directors and others — to identify and develop promising investment opportunities.

our current investments include:

Tell us who we should know about. We do not accept unsolicited proposals for funding through our strategic initiatives. However, we do want to know about the people and organizations doing great work in the region.  

Find more Community Creativity grantees.

What We're Learning

In 2015 we created a one-time grant program to provide operating support to exemplary organizations while involving them in the design of a new ongoing program. This Community Creativity Cohort informed what is now our Community Creativity Strategic Initiative.

Read our learning paper that shared lessons learned from the Community Creativity Cohort.

We work to bring an equity lens to all that we do. We see exciting opportunities for art and culture-based problem solving to make a big difference, particularly in communities of color, Indigenous communities and rural communities. These are also communities that have historically received less attention and support for the arts, from the Bush Foundation and other funders.

Read this report by Helicon Collaborative: Not Just Money: Equity Issues in Cultural Philanthropy

What's Next

Our top priorities for Community Creativity include:

  • Invest in organizations led by and serving communities of color and rural communities to integrate art in community problem solving.
  • Build awareness and demand for the integration of art and culture in problem solving.
Our History

Our support for the arts has been a constant since 1953. Below are a few examples of the focused investments the Foundation has made in the arts over the past 60-plus years.

Bush Artist Fellowship

Enduring Vision Award


Community Creativity Cohort 2

The Community Creativity Cohort 2 is a participant-led, capacity building program to strengthen organizations that make art and culture central to problem solving. Cohort 2 focuses on organizations led by and serving people of color or Indigenous people, and/or organizations led by and serving people from rural communities or non-metropolitan cities or towns with populations of less than 50,000 people.

Applications closed April 26, 2018.

Learn more about this opportunity.


20/20 Artist Fellowship

Springboard for the Arts offers a fellowship for persons of color and Indigenous (POCI) artists, small artist run businesses and small artist collectives who have shown innovation in their work, made significant contributions to their field, and are working to build tools and pathways that support other artists. The 20/20 Artist Fellowship will be offered yearly through 2020.

Applications closed March 10, 2018. 

Learn more about the fellowship.


Ecosystem grants

Organizations can apply for our Ecosystem grants, which help sustain organizations that create unique and significant value for our grantees, Fellows, Rebuilders and others.


Leadership program

Art and culture leaders are encouraged to explore opportunities within Bush Fellowships and Change Networks.



Organizations solving problems in their communities are encouraged to explore funding within Community Innovation grants and the Bush Prize for Community Innovation.



Visit our Opportunities page or subscribe to our newsletter to stay current on what we offer.