The Surdna Foundation believes that cultural organizations, programs and projects often provide the opportunity for exploration of values and can act as catalysts for the building of just and sustainable communities. At their best, they contribute to fair access to social goods such as rights, opportunities and dignity.
We fund three key lines of work:
Surdna is dedicated to providing opportunities for the artistic advancement of teens. We aim to stimulate fresh thinking and new approaches to address the isolation and lack of opportunities for artistic advancement for young people from disadvantaged communities. In the long term, we expect teens from many cultures to contribute to the artistic fabric of the United States and to contribute to the evolution of new art forms.
Artists, arts and other cultural organizations play a critical role in fostering just and sustainable communities: they raise awareness and deepen our understanding of seemingly intractable social problems, they help those whose stories are not often heard to gain a public voice, and they help to develop innovative solutions and inspire community members to action. Surdna aims to strengthen the capacity of artists and cultural organizations to effectively engage in social change and to support and heighten awareness of the diverse roles artists can play in social change efforts.
As part of Surdna’s effort to foster just and sustainable communities, the Foundation recognizes the critical role of community driven design as a catalyst for positive change. Disadvantaged cultural groups often have little say in and few resources to contribute to the creation of public spaces that recognize their values, preferences and needs. Surdna assists community and cultural leaders, architects, designers, engineers and others to increase their collaborative capacity to design places that honor the inhabitants and signal increased optimism about the community’s future.