Disrupting Philanthropy by Watering the Seeds of Creativity

This session will share the path, process, and lessons learned over an 18-month timeframe in redistributing $2.7 million to BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) artists, culture bearers, and organizations. The Waterers are disruptors of philanthropy that stemmed out of Local Control, Local Fields, an initiative of ArtPlace America and people-powered process, led by grassroots Assemblies in six geographies, which shaped the use of a funding pool to further strengthen their local creative place-tending field of practice. The Upper Midwest Assembly entrusted the Waterers to steward funds for Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, and the 23 Native Nations as colonized into 3 states by scores of treaties, centering BIPOC creatives as leaders. This session explores the WaterersÂ’ gift-making strategy, including nuances and complexities of this region and in investing in small, local, and the non-colonial, as well as embracing a vision for transformative impact and lasting change.


John Davis, Leadership Team, Waterers.org
Michelle Dubray, Leadership Team, Waterers.org / Director, Pinto Horse Woman Consulting