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Leveraging Pop Culture to Change the World

Monday, October 19, 10:00am – 11:30am

Gold Room, Main Galeria

Organized by Maurine Knighton, Senior Vice President, Grantmaking, Nathan Cummings Foundation.

Moderated by Bridgit Antoinette Evans, Founder, Fuel | We Power Change. Presented by Alex Rivera, filmmaker/digital media artist; Rashad Robinson, Executive Director,; and Andrew Slack, Co-Founder, Board Member, The Harry Potter Alliance.

Artists and culture bearers have produced work that addresses social justice for many years. A compelling theatrical piece or a song may impact individuals or communities deeply; however, bringing the work to scale sufficient to power movement-building is challenging. As funders, artists, and NGOs seek to learn more about promising practices, some are tapping into popular culture. Pop culture – TV, Hollywood, books, video games, graphic novels, etc. – is emerging as a powerful and strategic narrative tool to catalyze change. The session will explore case studies of how artists, cultural organizers, and funders have leveraged popular media to impact social change movements along a continuum, from awareness to engagement to action. Participants will also discuss this area of work as an opportunity for cross-sector collaboration.