Courtesy of Tactical Philanthropy Blog:
Not everything is art. Art has meaning and value. Not everything is philanthropy. Philanthropy has meaning and value.
But with the White Painting we see the ultimate stripped down attempt at art and amazingly we find that it has meaning. I think we should take the same approach to thinking about philanthropy as we contemplate the value and meaning (or lack thereof) in new efforts to create social impact that stray far outside the familiar realm of donating and volunteering.
Do check out the full post (“The Era of Abstract Philanthropy“), in which the author recounts a trip to San Francisco’s Museum of Modern Art and his encounter with Robert Rauschenberg‘s “White Painting.” While initially dismissing the work as “not art,” the author soon realizes that this white paint on a white canvas creates an “opportunity for the viewer to contemplate what it is that makes any piece of art meaningful.” Similarly, he posits that new and seemingly abstract trends in philanthropy may have that same effect. Perhaps in their very newness and surprise, they lead us to question and re-define what philanthropy means to us and our community. He concludes that “it would be a great thing for an era of Abstract Philanthropy to open our eyes to … the very essence of the philanthropic act.” Check it out and let us know what you think! What might be part of such an era?