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Upstart Collab for artists, investors and innovators

Upstart Co-lab is a new collaboration platform based in New York with national scope for the USA.  It will build a bridge to connect artists with the opportunities of impact investing and social entrepreneurship, and will connect social innovators with the storytelling, improvisation and creative intelligence of artists.

Upstart Co-Lab will 1) Increase opportunities for artists as innovators — starting with greater recognition of artists’ accomplishments in the private, social and public sectors; 2) Catalyze more capital for creativity — by making creativity investable through public equity, debt and venture capital investment products; 3) Enable sustainable creative lives — equipping artists with crucial skills for executing their ideas, and linking eligible artists to existing social services and subsidies.

Upstart is funded by Ford Foundation, The Rockefeller Foundation, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and Surdna Foundation with in-kind support from the F.B. Heron Foundation. Upstart is a sponsored project of Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors.

A portfolio of five projects is under development and will be implemented by the end of 2016. More information about the organization can be found at



New Arts Incubator in Georgetown, USA

Last April, a historic property in Georgetown, DC, USA, the Fillmore School, has been sold to the S&R Foundation, which plans to turn it into an arts incubator, according to a news release from the foundation. The news release says “S&R Foundation, a nonprofit supporting talented individuals in the arts, sciences and social entrepreneurship, intends to use the building as an arts incubator, which will serve as a platform to grow talented artists in the fields of fine, visual and performing arts, maintaining the educational use of the building and its place as part of the vibrant arts landscape in the nation’s capital.”

There are more and more arts and cultural incubators sprouting all over the world in the past years, especially since more and more governments are recognizing the economic benefits of the arts professions. Yet, I am very skeptical on how those systems can or will be able to empower cultural entrepreneurs in their local communities. There are more of those news to be shared in upcoming posts. Stay tuned.

More info, click here.

Related news

Social or Cultural Entrepreneurship: An Argument for a New Distinction

SSIR logo website

SSIR logo website (Photo credit: photologue_np)

While looking for info on the difference between Social and Cultural Entrepreneurship, I found this very interesting article by Courtney E. Martin & Lisa Witter from the Standford Social Innovation Review.

The authors state that through paradigms that:

[…] “Identifying and understanding the distinction between cultural entrepreneurship and social entrepreneurship is important for a number of reasons. First, cultural change usually runs deeper and can be longer lasting; more foundations and donors should invest in this theory of change, not to the exclusion of more market- or product-based approaches but in conjunction with them. Second, bona fide paradigm shifts in culture often take time; shifting behavior doesn’t happen overnight, but occurs through the accumulation of exposure to new ideas from many sources. This requires funders and supporters to be open to new definitions of measuring impact and to new expectations about mid- and long-term results—the cultural version of Acumen Fund’s idea of “patient capital.” Third, more people should look to make social change through community-driven or crowd-sourced engagement.”

To read the whole article click here.

Some more insight into the debate here from Fenton’s* blog.

* “fenton is a social change communications agency that uses the power of stories, media and technology to make the world a better place.”

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