Artists - or creative practitioners - enable us to perceive things differently; they are the agents of change and innovation, and they have an unparalleled ability to foster cross-cultural and intergenerational understanding.
What is it?
Whether conveying ancient knowledge of plants; expressing cultural relationships to the land; or celebrating rites of passage, cultural expressions are the soul of being human, and their diversity and vitality comprise the beauty of humanity. From an endemic language that co-evolved with plant and animal species in a remote mountain landscape; a food festival showcasing dishes artfully prepared from indigenous grains and spices; to a dance that shows the respect that nomadic pastoralists have for their camels: human expressions are at the heart of biocultural diversity.
Why is it important?
Creativity is that element in human existence that allows for change and transformation, enabling both continuity and adaptability.
Music, dance, cuisine and art; language, story-telling, theater and poetry, all play a key role in the maintenance of biocultural diversity around the world. Creative practice is how culture survives, and creative practitioners advance ways of knowing and living – lifeways – which embody insights for a more sustainable existence on the planet. This is why we support the vibrant cultural expressions within our regions and around the world.
How is The Christensen Fund involved?
We believe in a world infused with diverse artistic expression, and this conviction drives our grantmaking. In the way that a seed bank can preserve biological information, support for creative practices helps to maintain cultural information, the ‘intellectual DNA’ of human beings. In each of our regions we actively fund creative practitioners who leverage the arts to increase the understanding of the beauty and complexity of life. From ancient songs and crafts to new media expressions of culture, we share with artists a mission to transform ways of thinking and to celebrate the diversity of life.