A core set of values guides Lambent Foundation’s engagement with philanthropy, contemporary art, and transformative social change. These values illuminate our grantmaking strategy and the formation of our grantee-partner network.

Our values provide a compass for our tactics and aspirations and remind us that our practice must always evolve.

Mutual Accountability

Lambent works to transform philanthropic practice by promoting a culture of reciprocity, joint commitment, and mutual accountability among funders and grantee-partners.

Justice & Equity

Lambent advances equity within the world of contemporary art — from major museums to artist collectives. Lambent values artists, creative practice, and cultural practitioners as crucial contributors to movements for social change and justice.

Cultural Landscapes

Lambent is committed to three cultural hubs: Nairobi, New Orleans, and New York. We honor and engage the vibrant forms and aesthetic practices rooted in each landscape’s singular history of culture, geography, indigeneity, migration, and trade.

Uncertainty

Transformation comes from recognizing that turbulence, ambiguity, and uncertainty are natural conditions here to stay. As funders, as artists, as civic actors, Lambent’s team and community know outcomes are not always quantifiable and impactful work thrives in a climate of trust and sincerity.

Emergence

Lambent means flickering and emergent. Lambent’s ethos champions the intangible, the expansive, and the intuitive. We honor the experimentation and daily practice inherent to the creative life as an inspiration for our work.

Philanthropic Approach

Artists, aesthetics, and cultural practitioners are critical to vibrant communities and often awaken the imagination to new possibilities. Stemming from this belief, Lambent adheres to a core set of progressive values in our work: mutual accountability, justice and equity within the arts and culture sector, respect for cultural landscapes, and the importance of emergence and adaptation face of uncertainty.

We recognize that we are part of sectors with inherent problems and embedded inequities. Lambent models a different tone and approach for transformative systemic change by considering organizational health and learning and adaptive leadership and growth as critical components of an emergent practice. We believe that organizations are subject to change and honor all organizational life cycles, from accomplishments and stumblings to pivots, collapse, and rebirth.

Lambent’s grantmaking focuses on long-standing and dedicated relationships with grantee partners based in Nairobi, New Orleans, and New York City. In these unique ecosystems, we support a range of artistic and cultural practices from small non-affiliated collectives and museums to alternative art spaces, live performance platforms, and cultural policy advocates.

Nairobi, New Orleans, and New York are contested lands that have been formed and molded by multiple divergent narratives. As life-long students of history, Lambent honors ancestral lineage, diasporic flow, and how the land can shape cultural practice. We also recognize the impacts of climate change, migration, and extractive industries (i.e., tourism, oil) on the three unique cities we treasure. The complex histories and narratives of these places provide a local, national, and global context for our grantmaking and facilitative endeavors.

Lambent embraces and employs network theory, the concept that organizations and individuals derive mutual benefit when they value and share non-financial assets and knowledge. Our facilitative practice connects partners to build what poet and City of Oakland Affairs Manager Roberto Bedoya has defined as a “beloved community,” one steeped in collective action and eco-systemic approaches that are conscious of our shared humanity.

Please note: Lambent has a closed selection process and does not respond to unsolicited proposals. We value our relationships with our long-standing grantee-partners and dedicate our time and resources to provide support, feedback, assessment, and shared learning with this community.