An initiative of the Center for Cultural Innovation


Theory of Change

Download our Theory of Change PDF.


Current economic paradigm (profit at all cost) is destructive and must change for the sake of people, communities, and the planet. There is a need for wide-ranging investments for equitably ensuring sustainable conditions and meaningful lives.

Connecting values-aligned social change actors (investors, innovators, and cultural change agents) working for more just and sustainable economic systems will improve conditions for creatives and whole communities simultaneously.


Invest in alternative economy “trailblazers” (i.e., the innovators, anchors, and keystones of alternative economy efforts) and artist-owned assets to build out alternative economic efforts.

Influence different types of capital (grants, crowdfunding, loans, loan guarantees, equity and non-equity investments) to better reflect what alternative economy enterprises need to become self-sustaining.


Provide financial support to bolster efforts by alternative-economy trailblazers seeking the input of artists;

Invest in artist-owned enterprises so that they can show up in alternative economic ecosystems;

Manage a funding portfolio of diverse, experimental projects and types of investments across silos that expand possibilities and thinking;

Act as a convener to connect practitioners, share knowledge, and accelerate practice nationwide.


New, energetic, and mutually affirming networks of diverse practitioners whose work toward regenerative and just economies is furthered and improved by including artists.

Artists recognize their value in advancing alternative economic paradigms, are actively shaping alternative futures through their artist-owned enterprises, and demonstrate new approaches for what artist-owned assets could look like. Artists who are seeking to expand outside of the studio box are validated as citizens, heartbeats of communities, and change agents.

Experiments analyzed in order to shape recommendations for subsequent investment strategies.

Arts and non-arts funders diversify funding approaches and re-calibrate their focus from project to system levels in collaboratively supporting alternative economic models that can help people live healthy and meaningful lives across multiple dimensions, including creative expression and cultural participation.


We see a near-term future when the current exploitative and extractive paradigm does not hold due to large shifts in demographics, generational attitudinal changes, technological impacts, and discontent of economic conditions that mirror the last Gilded Age. When so many changes are happening so quickly, the current moment is the most affordable and opportune time to invest in influencing change and to create readiness of popularizing alternative solutions.