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Foundation taps art-world talent for think tank

The Ford Foundation—one of the largest charitable organisations in the US, with more than $11bn in assets—has set up a year-long think tank dedicated to art and social change. The 13 participants include the museum directors Arnold Lehman (Brooklyn Museum, New York) and Thelma Golden (Studio Museum in Harlem, New York), the artists Pedro Reyes and Carrie Mae Weems and the film-maker Laura Poitras. Each participant will tackle one issue, from the importance of diversity in cultural institutions to artists’ roles in fighting extremism. Their findings will help the foundation to distribute arts grants. Darren Walker, the institution’s president, says: “Widening inequality, growing extremism, evolving technology and volatile markets render art—and its unique role in effecting social change—more important, not less, for societies today.”