Our support for community challenges

COVID-19 Racial Injustice

Strategic Initiative

Community Creativity Initiative

The idea: make art central to problem solving on more issues in more communities all around our region.

We want to encourage people to use the power of arts and culture to solve community problems. This idea combines the Bush Foundation's long-standing organizational commitment to the arts with our focus on problem solving.

We have a particular interest in supporting efforts led by and serving people from communities of color and rural communities. These are communities that face some significant challenges where we see exciting opportunity for arts-based problem solving to make a big difference. These are also communities that have historically received less attention and support for the arts, from the Bush Foundation and from other funders.

Why do we believe this is a great idea?

We see the arts as a powerful means of building the region's capacity to effectively solve problems. We believe that integrating the arts into community problem solving efforts can:

  • Help people view opportunities and issues in new and different ways, leading to more creative solutions.
  • Engage people who might not otherwise feel compelled enough or comfortable enough to participate, including more people and more perspectives for smarter solutions.
  • Build understanding and connections across differences in ideas and experience, leading to increased community cohesion and shared ownership of challenges and solutions.

Major Investments

Our most significant investments to encourage using the power of arts and culture to solve community problems include:

Community Creativity Cohort 2 (CCC2) is a participant-led, capacity building program to support organizations that make art and culture central to problem solving. It includes both art and culture organizations and non-art organizations. The cohort focuses on organizations led by and serving people of color or Indigenous people and/or led by and serving people from rural communities and smaller towns in our region. Participants receive general operating grants and capacity building support. CCC2 is operated by Arts Midwest.

Creative Community Leadership Institute (CCLI) is a leadership development program and network that inspires, equips and connects people to lead inclusive community change through art and culture. CCLI is operated by Springboard for the Arts in partnership with Racing Magpie and Plains Art Museum.

Check out related grantees.

Funding and Learning Opportunities

We encourage people working at the intersection of arts and problem solving to apply to our open grant programs. (Note that we’ll be making some changes to our open grant programs to be more open and responsive to the communities we serve. Stay tuned!)

We are not seeking other investments outside of these open programs at this time. We do occasionally have special funding and learning opportunities. To be in the loop, please sign up for our e-newsletters or follow us on FacebookInstagramLinkedIn or Twitter.