The Rockefeller Foundation was an early investor in culture and innovation to achieve equity and sustainability – in both the environmental and field-wide senses of the term – through its NYC Cultural Innovation Fund (CIF). Created in 2007, CIF has granted $16.3 million to support 99 efforts to leverage culture to achieve social innovation.
As we prepared to launch this evaluation, it became evident that, unlike many other fields, there is not a large body of evaluative literature on the effectiveness and impact of funds for the use of cultural innovation to achieve social change. This was a finding in itself – one that we identified before the evaluation even started. More evaluations have been conducted of programs that seek to support innovation in the arts for the sake of arts, but few have examined the degree to which arts innovation funds have actually brought about the intended societal level changes.