Mission & History


Image still from This World Made Itself by Miwa Matreyek

Creative Capital is a nonprofit organization that has awarded more than $50 million to artists for the creation of groundbreaking new work in the visual arts, performing arts, literature, film, technology, and multidisciplinary practices, including socially-engaged work in all forms. We also provide professional development programs, networking opportunities, and educational resources for arts communities around the world.

Creative Capital seeks to amplify the voices of artists and catalyze connections to help them realize their visions and build sustainable practices. We are committed to fostering a diverse and equitable ecosystem in the arts, and more than 75% of our recent awardees are Black, Indigenous, or artists of color representing a wide range of age groups, artistic disciplines, and regions.

Since our founding in 1999, Creative Capital has funded more than 775 artists working on more than 630 projects. Creative Capital Awardees impact global arts and culture and have gone on to receive additional prestigious honors, including: 127 Guggenheim Fellowships, 17 MacArthur “Genius” Fellowships, 3 Academy Awards and 13 nominations, 1 Booker Prize, and countless other accolades.


Support Brave & Innovative Ideas

Artists have the power to push our societal conversation forward, asking difficult questions and taking personal risks. We aim to support the latest thinking that challenges cultural and aesthetic conventions and pushes boundaries.

Generosity & Resource Sharing

We encourage a spirit of mutual generosity among artists and partners and seek to foster exchange. This cultural commons is critical to building a flourishing ecosystem of artist support, one that thrives on collaboration and reaches inside and outside of traditional cultural centers to be accessible to artists nationwide.

Diversity & Inclusion

We serve artists representing a diversity of disciplines, education and career levels, abilities, ages, genders, ethnicities, cultures and geographic locations. We are proud to support their work and protect their freedom of expression. We are advocates against oppressive practices and barriers that limit artists and actively work to create a more inclusive and equitable culture within our organization and the field.

Artist Support

Through an open application process, Creative Capital identifies and selects artists from all disciplines to receive the Creative Capital Award. We provide each project with $50,000 in direct funding allocated at key intervals in project development, combined with additional deep mentorship and advisory services. Since 1999, we have awarded over $50 million in project funding and advisory support to 631 projects representing 783 artists.

Creative Capital Award

Peer-to-Peer Workshops

We provide the tools and strategies needed to gain self-sufficiency as artists. This spirit of community building and resource sharing inspired us to create a full suite of workshops accessible to artists everywhere. Since 2003, our artist-led career advancement and educational programs that have reached 30,000 artists.


Community & Connections

We organize gatherings around the country that include the Creative Capital Artist Retreat. These gatherings provide important networking and collaboration-building opportunities, as well as connections to local communities, cultural leaders, and supporters of the arts. From informal dinners to multi-day discussions and workshops, we believe in the power of uniting around creative ideas.

Retreat & Gatherings


Creative Capital was formed in 1999 as a way to reinvent cultural philanthropy in an effort to support innovative artists, and it picked up some tenets of venture capital in doing so – specifically the ideas of providing infusions of funding at key moments in an artist’s project, surrounding the artist with mentors and access to a network of cultural experts, and hosting retreats for artists to pitch their projects and express what they need to a large audience of cultural producers and stakeholders.

Founded in response to the National Endowment for the Arts’ termination of the majority of its grant programs for individual artists, Creative Capital is animated by a fierce commitment to freedom of expression. We particularly value forward-thinking and boundary-blurring work, and seek out projects that could not be realized without the additional support we provide.

Read more about 20 years of Creative Capital.


Land Acknowledgment

Creative Capital would like to call attention to the complex history of the lands on which we live and work. We do this to honor the lands we occupy and the histories of their Indigenous peoples, who remain part of the past, present, and future of places we call home.

Creative Capital’s offices are situated on the unceded, ancestral homelands of the Lenape people, called Lenapehoking, commonly referred to as Manhattan. The Creative Capital website and servers occupy Ohlone, Chochenyo, and Ramaytush land, commonly referred to as South Beach, California, and Tongva land, commonly referred to as Los Angeles.

We commit to responsible stewardship of the land and respect for the First Nations. We also acknowledge the people forcibly taken from their ancestral lands in Africa and enslaved to build the economic infrastructure from which this country now benefits. We furthermore recognize the interconnections between the enduring impacts of colonization, enslavement, and our current climate emergency, which manifest in a myriad of ways including habitat destruction and global dispossession, environmental exploitation in Indigenous communities and in communities of color, and climate refugee crises.

Creative Capital is committed to finding and developing, on an ongoing basis, more sustainable and equitable social, economic, and environmental practices for our organization in our day-to-day operations and for the artists we support.

Selected Online Resources

Selected Print Resources

  • From the Ground Up: Environmental Racism and the Rise of the Environmental Justice Movement by Luke W. Cole and Sheila R. Foster (NYU Press 2001)
  • Power, Justice and the Environment: A Critical Appraisal of the Environmental Justice Movement, edited by David Naguib Pellow and Robert J. Brulle (MIT Press, 2005)
  • Climate Change is Racist by Jeremy Williams (Icon Books 2021)

To recommend resources to add to the lists above, please email: [email protected]