Toward Equitable Investment (Grantmaking and Beyond)

Saturday, June 16, 3:00 pm - 4:15 pm

What does "investment" mean? How can an expanded and more flexible definition of investment create a more equitable playing field? This session focuses on funding alternatives, new ways to think about staff and space capacity as investment capital, and models for evaluating how equitable your investment strategies are.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Explore and push at the boundaries of "investment," and surface the ways that narrow, traditional definitions create and perpetuate inequitable systems.
  2. Hear about how financial investment tools from the for-profit sector, other non-profit fields, and more are being readjusted and experimented with in the local arts space.
  3. Dig into all of the different types of capital you already have on hand: people, space, skills, time, money, and more.



Kate Barr
President and CEO
Propel Nonprofits
Minneapolis, Minnesota

Kate Barr is President and CEO of Propel Nonprofits, whose mission is to fuel the impact and effectiveness of nonprofits with guidance, expertise, and capital. She oversees strategic and business planning, development, and external relations.  She led the merger of Nonprofits Assistance Fund and MAP for Nonprofits in 2017 to create a premier resource for nonprofits. She is a national leader, speaker, and writer on nonprofit strategy and finance. Before joining the organization in 2000, Kate was a bank executive and an arts administrator. She has served on numerous nonprofit boards, currently for Borealis Philanthropy, and the Jerome and Camargo Foundations.

Melissa A. Hamilton
Engagement Director
CultureWorks Greater Philadelphia
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Melissa is an arts administrator, educator, and artist who has been involved in Philadelphia arts and culture for over a decade. Committed to economic and social justice, Melissa understands that art is a vital tool for community building and a conduit for change. Melissa has worked in office, nonprofit, and educational environments - and most recently served as the Program Assistant for the Leeway Foundation, a philanthropic organization supporting women and trans* artists and cultural producers. She was nominated for a Pushcart Prize, and continues to teach courses at local universities while researching comics. A Philadelphia native, Melissa holds a B.A. in English + Gender Studies + an M.A. in English + Communications. She happily resides in Mt. Airy with her wife and daughter.

Caroline Taiwo
Economic Opportunity Program Director
Springboard for the Arts
Minneapolis, Minnesota

Caroline Taiwo is the Economic Opportunity Program Director at Springboard for the Arts and leads the work to create more equitable funding solutions to under-resourced artists in the U.S. Caroline oversees a partnership with Kiva U.S. to offer low barrier and crowd-funded loans to creative entrepreneurs and artist-run businesses in the U.S. Recently, she piloted the 20/20 Artist Fellowship program to award artists of color and indigenous artists who are creating tools and pathways for other artists in the industry. Caroline has a background in digital storytelling and currently manages the Arts + Culture section of the Twin Cities Daily Planet. Previously she worked in Inclusion and Community Impact at American Public Media and sat on the Healthy States advisory panel at Minnesota Public Radio. Caroline studied at Howard University and holds a B.A. from Hamline University.