What We're Reading: Want Narrative Power? Invest in Narrative Infrastructure.

From Pop Culture Collaborative: "It was 2018, in the last few hours of ENTERTAIN CHANGE, a two-day learning and relationship-building gathering for pop culture narrative change field members. Hosted by the Pop Culture Collaborative, ENTERTAIN CHANGE took place at the gorgeous ARRAY campus in Los Angeles, the creative home of award-winning film director and producer Ava DuVernay."

"The plan had been for participants to go on break while 10 long tables were combined to form one communal farm table for our final meal together. But as the best-laid plans sometimes go (as in, they don’t), our previous session ran long. But at that moment, when our plans looked like they were about to fall apart, something beautiful happened."

"Moving quickly into coordinated action, attendees joined with the Collaborative team to lift and combine tables. As some passed and placed dozens of chairs around the lengthening perimeter, others began laying down tablecloths and settings. And then everyone, together, sat and broke bread. Amid the clattering of plates and passing of food, the rumble of laughter hit the rafters, ricocheting against the sound waves of dozens of cross-table conversations."

"And now, after six years, two things are clear:

1. Social justice funders are getting into position to support narrative change work at scale. More philanthropic peers are exploring and expanding their narrative infrastructure resourcing strategies, but also face questions on how to start and where to focus.

2. We have no time to wait. White nationalist movements have spent decades investing in narrative infrastructure. Now they are using that narrative power to fundamentally transform this country into a society where most of us don’t belong, or even exist.

"That is why, informed by years of learnings and insights from field members, the Pop Culture Collaborative is proud to release, 'Narrative Infrastructure for Narrative Immersion,' a new strategic grantmaking framework to support social justice funders on their journey towards resourcing, at scale, the critical area of narrative infrastructure."

"The Pop Culture Collaborative focuses on culture change, specifically on popular culture, because it’s one of the most influential arenas shaping how people make meaning and forge identities: the big ideas and immersive stories that flow through television, movies, digital and social media, music, books, sports, journalism, political campaigns, and other artistic and cultural experiences that millions of people experience every day. This cultural context influences how people behave, their conclusions of who belongs (or doesn’t) in a society, their participation and decision-making in the democratic process, and the vision they hold about the future."

Read the full article here.