Art Basel, in addition to showcasing fascinating new work, also holds a series of Salons in the midst of the installations. RPA President & CEO Melissa Berman spoke on a panel about the arts and venture philanthropy, and addressed innovations in arts funding. In addition to philanthropists who support art institutions, more donors now create their own arts organization to fulfill their vision. Tippet Rise in Montana, which allows audiences to experience nature, sculpture and music all at once, is an example of that kind of vision fulfilled. Other donors seek to have impact through arts funding in three areas of substantial innovation:
- Wellbeing, including the role of arts in building learning and resilience, or easing PTSD and pain. Studio in a School has shown that arts instruction improves learning outcomes. Theater of War Productions mounts performances for veterans and their families dealing with the often-invisible wounds of war.
- Creative placemaking, which sees arts as a key component for vibrant, flourishing communities – in terms of equity as well as economics. ArtPlace America is a great example of this approach.
- Artists as entrepreneurs refers to initiatives that are creating ways for artists to be recognized as social entrepreneurs and to connect to capital. Upstart Co-Lab and Creative Capital are great examples.