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This event will bring together diverse stakeholders in the art ecosystem to reflect on the social value of art and the sustainability of its funding system, and to model a care-taking system for socially-engaged art.

With impulses from:
Caroline Woolard
→ Artist and Director of Research at Open Collective Foundation
Njoki Ngumi
→ Filmmaker and learning strategist at The Next Collective
Adama Sanneh
→ Co-founder and CEO of the Moleskine foundation
Gertrude Flentge
→ Member of documenta fifteen curatorial team
Inland, Fernando Garcia Dory
→ Member of documenta fifteen
Peter Kirkhoff Eriksen
→ Senior project leader at the Bikuben Foundation
Aiwen Yin and Binna Choi
→ Design theorist and curator, co-initiators of Commons.Art

Mi You, documenta Institut
Arthur Steiner, Hivos
Lauren Agosta, independent consultant


Together with artists, funders, curators and researchers we will try to locate the social value of art and the sustainability of its funding system. The symposium will center around the question: How can we, as collectivities, model a care-taking system for socially-engaged art? With this question, the event builds on insights from the global research initiative and book Forces of Art (Valiz, 2020). Two roundtable conversations and an interactive session based on actual projects will contribute to imagining and adopting actionable alternative funding options, as well as creating better synergies between artists, communities and funders. In facing new challenges in society, art helps us rethink forms of organizing diverse communities, model new economies, build cooperative move- ments and sustainability practices, following commons-based principles. However, socially-embedded artistic practices are perceived to speak different languages than "traditional" civil society. How do these fields work in synergy without instrumentalizing and institutionalizing each other? How can the funding infrastructure best respond to such socially-embedded artistic practices? And, how can artists employ alternative reporting methods to account for the "social value" they produce? After an interactive session, we will gear towards new models of grantmaking based on care-taking. The changing role of funders demands a shift in thinking: care versus or instead of 'aid'. What does care taking mean from a funder and from a recipient perspective and where do these two meet? Can we understand solidarity as mutual risk-taking and accountability that is no longer the juggling between accountability towards communities and philanthropist, public or private funders in an asymmetric setting? How does this work in an increasingly digitally mediated public space?

Participation: registration required, please send an email to

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