Fund Art, Save Humanity

Why art is essential for our survival

👋 Artizen is the largest marketplace for artist grants. Our newsletter shares open calls for grants, fellowships, residencies, and retreats as well as short essays to help artists earn their financial freedom. Whether you’re a filmmaker, painter, or creative coder, being an artist is crazy hard. Get the resources you need to quit your job and make a living from your art.

Why is art essential for our survival?

At Artizen our mission is to radically expand support for artists who impact culture. Why? There are two reasons. First, art that impacts culture makes more money (at least in the long run). The bigger the impact, the greater the returns. And second, art that impacts culture has the potential to bend the arc of history in a positive direction. It’s a cliché but when I became a dad everything changed. What kind of world do I want to leave my son? How can I make a difference? And for me I kept coming back to art. Not because of the joy art brings to your life, but because I see art as one of the most effective tools for reprogramming our broken culture.

In this essay I explore how art impacts culture, how culture determines human cooperation at scale, and how the major threats of the 21st century will require us to cooperate globally at an unprecedented level.

Humanity faces three extinction-level threats: environmental collapse, nuclear war, and radical new technologies like AI and bioengineering.

Facing the threats of the 21st century will require us to cooperate at a global level never before seen in human history.

How humans cooperate at scale is determined by our culture. Culture is humanity’s operating system.

Today’s global culture has brought us to the brink of destruction, driven by the myopic demands of materialism and nationalism.

Art has the power to reprogram culture by showing us who we are or who we might become, by reminding us of our common humanity, and by revealing truths about the natural world.

To reprogram our broken culture, we must fund 1000x more art. To survive the century, artists must expand our identity from the local to the global and foster loyalty to humankind and planet Earth.

Art is essential for our survival. It’s time we started supporting artists like our lives depend on it, because they might.

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