Art for Justice Fund
The Art for Justice Fund is a five-year capital aggregation initiative of influential funders who seek to reduce mass incarceration in the U.S. The Fund’s founding donor, Agnes Gund, was inspired by the influential civil rights advocacy of filmmaker Ava DuVernay and author Michelle Alexander and donated the proceeds from the sale of a painting in her private art collection to seed the Art for Justice Fund with a contribution of $100 million in 2017. Inspired by Gund’s initiative, 20 additional funders have contributed to the Fund since its inception.
The Ford Foundation and Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors manage grantmaking collaboratively. By influencing criminal justice policy reform and simultaneously promoting the arts as a means of changing the narrative surrounding incarceration, the Fund aims to transform the criminal justice system and reduce mass incarceration by 20% in target states over five years.
Since the Fund first began awarding grants in October 2017, more than 74 grants have been dispersed totaling $32 million. The Ford Foundation project team identifies potential grantees whose work falls in line with one of the Fund’s core grantmaking areas: keeping people out of jail and prison; shortening sentences; promoting reentry; and changing the narrative through art.