All of our new grantmaking here at the Irvine Foundation aims to expand political and economic opportunity for Californians who are working but struggling with poverty. This includes exploring how artistic and creative expression can advance these goals.
For many of California's working adults, the path to a good job — a job with room for growth, stability, and a family-sustaining wage — seems out of reach. Meanwhile, employers are having a hard time filling open positions that require specific skills.
We believe that expanding economic and political opportunity — the goals we have set for our work — are all the more critical for California’s future success. That’s why we’ve been working hard to turn our evolving focus into grantmaking strategies.
Last week, The James Irvine Foundation announced an evolving focus based on the twin goals of expanding economic and political opportunity for California families and young adults who are working but struggling with poverty. In a related email, I introduced aspects of our evolving Arts program. Today, I would like to provide additional context on our Arts strategy and future directions.
We have been examining how to sharpen our focus to make the best use of our foundation’s experience, skills, connections, and grantmaking resources. Our goal was not to go find something new – it was to build on what’s working and find ways to do it even better.