Art and Financial Centers

Creating partnerships between financial institutions and art organizations to provide funding and support for emerging artists.

The financial world and the art world are deeply interconnected. On the one hand, art is valued as an important investable asset class for institutional and private investors, and on the other, it is valued as a source of inspiration for a city’s working professionals, and as a source of soft power on the world stage. Although artists often move to financial centers for community and customers, many struggle to keep up with the higher living costs in these cities. Artists and business communities are typically not well-integrated for reasons such as:

  • The art market is controlled by art brokers, who serve to limit direct interactions between artists and their customers and investors;
  • Artists are trained in their creative pursuits, but not in engaging with business and finance communities;
  • Business and finance people are interested in art works, but not necessarily the artists that are producing art works.

Art is taken seriously by the world’s major international financial centers, and there are many initiatives aimed at supporting young and emerging artists.

To embrace and foster artists in the financial ecosystem without exploiting them, one potential approach could be to create partnerships between financial institutions and art organizations to provide funding and support for emerging artists. This could include initiatives such as artist-in-residence programs, mentorship opportunities, and grants. Financial centers could also offer affordable studio space and housing for artists, and work with local governments to provide tax breaks and other incentives to help make these neighborhoods more livable for artists.

To leverage art for global harmonization, financial centers could work to promote diversity and inclusivity in their artistic communities. This could involve hosting cultural events and exhibitions that showcase a variety of artistic styles and traditions from around the world. Financial institutions could also work with local schools and community organizations to provide art education and opportunities for young people from diverse backgrounds.

Overall, the key to fostering a healthy and sustainable relationship between art and finance is to prioritize the needs and interests of artists and their communities, while also recognizing the value that art brings to the financial ecosystem. By working together to create opportunities for artistic expression and collaboration, we can help to build a more vibrant and harmonious global community.

This World Alliance of International Financial Centers’ whitepaper project aims to highlight 1) the different roles that art - from visual art to performing arts and even gastronomy – plays in international financial centers, including the critical role it can play in strengthening  international financial ecosystem attractiveness and visibility, and 2) the various approaches  to supporting the arts in different financial centers, and their outcomes.

These may include unique and pioneering initiatives being carried out by actors from the public and private sectors, concerning the integration of art and finance. These may include, but are not limited to, initiatives relating to: art financing, artist sponsorship, and community-building events bringing together artists and financial professionals.

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