The Pop Culture Collaborative is a philanthropic resource and funder learning community working to transform the narrative landscape in America around people of color, immigrants, refugees, Muslims, and Indigenous peoples, especially those who are women, queer, transgender and/or disabled. The Collaborative supports the growth of the pop culture for social change field through four interconnected program areas: grantmaking, convening and networking, narrative design and philanthropic learning.
The Pop Culture Collaborative supports the growth of the pop culture for social change field through four interconnected program areas: Grantmaking, Funder and Field Learning, Network and Partnership Building, and Narrative Design.
Grantmaking. The Collaborative supports pathbreaking leadership in the arts, entertainment, and social justice sectors; commissions and supports creative work that excavates and illuminates who we are as a nation and who we yearn to become; invests in critical pieces of new and evolving field infrastructure; funds groundbreaking culture change research; and establishes and fortifies field-based networks. Read more about our grantmaking priorities and guidelines and dive into our past and current grantee cohorts.
Funder and Field Learning. The Collaborative develops and shares rigorous learnings about the creative process, narrative change methodology, and the field ecosystem through in-person and virtual immersive experiences; organizes funder-based networks; produces multiplatform learning tools and products; and provides funder-to-funder strategy consultations. Dig into our learning resource hub.
Network and Partnership Building. The Collaborative forges meaningful bonds with and among entertainment industry storytellers, story strategists, and movement leaders through intimate strategy and sharing sessions, ideation-focused genius banks and field-wide gatherings. We also activate and/or support an ecosystem of cohorts and networks, including a television showrunners cohort, a culture change strategists network, an immersive storyworld designers and pop culture fandom cohort, and more.
Narrative Design.The Collaborative prioritizes and invests in a narrative theory of change in order to inform the design and testing of a specific grantmaking strategy in the larger context of building the pop culture for social change field. Read more about our narrative-change grantmaking strategy here. The Becoming America Fund was co-designed with our Senior Fellow, grantee, and philanthropic community.
The Pop Culture Collaborative reflects the collective investment and belief by some of the nation’s leading philanthropies that lasting social change on a mass scale is only achievable when we transform the stories we are telling to accurately portray the depth and cultural realities of communities of color, immigrants, Muslims, refugees and more.
Our managing partners represent a broad range of philanthropic voices all fighting for a fairer, more inclusive future – and committed to generating the cultural shifts we need by telling better stories and normalizing just values and ideas through popular culture.
If you or your organization would like to learn about how to join our Managing Partner network, please contact our Executive Director Bridgit Antoinette Evans with “Funding Partner Inquiry” in your subject line.
Throughout America’s history, the most transformative cultural shifts—from slavery abolition to Reconstruction, “I Have A Dream” to “Yes We Can,” #BlackLivesMatter, the DREAM-ers, and Love Is Love—have been achieved by movements and leaders who have awakened people’s deep yearning to belong in a pluralist America. In each case, the tug-of-war between belonging and exclusion sparked a portal moment—a cracking open of the public imagination about what this nation is capable of becoming.
The Pop Culture Collaborative was founded in October 2016 by a network of philanthropic leaders—primarily women of color—led by Unbound Philanthropy, the Nathan Cummings Foundation, and the Ford Foundation, who dared to imagine what might be possible if they expanded the impact of their investments by pooling their resources, strategic thinking, and leadership influence to dramatically increase philanthropic investment in the pop culture for social change field.