Actor Keanu Reeves and his longtime girlfriend, artist Alexandra Grant are in attendance Collaborating to advise new non-profit initiative Futureverse Foundation, aiming to empower the next generation of artists through the use of blockchain technology and web3.
As a result of Non-Fungible Labs and FLUF World, a New Zealand NFT studio, the Futureverse Foundation plans to support projects through an internal nomination process. Grant and Reeves hope to fund about five to ten projects a year.
“Our mission is to explore how web3 and the metaverse technology can support communities from diverse backgrounds,” Grant told Artnet News from her Berlin studio last weekend. “We’re still in the very early stages of planning, but I believe what we’re doing will have a really positive impact on artistic philanthropy in the months and years to come.”
Grant, who has long studied the intersections of language and visual culture, said she hopes the new foundation will support her existing philanthropic and publishing efforts. She walks with Reeves Los Angeles-based imprint X Artists’ Books, which recently published an edition for Asad Raza’s exhibition “diversions”, the It opened June 25 at the Protikus in Frankfurt and features a variety of contributions from Tacita Dean, Liberty Adrien and Sophia Al Maria, among others.
Reeves said in a statement that he hopes the new initiative will support artists from different communities. “I am honored to join the efforts of Non-Fungible Labs in partnership with Alexandra Grant for the Futureverse Foundation’s exceptional program and opportunity to support artists and creators worldwide.”
“It’s important to us that we do our charitable part and use our influence to inspire the collective to be generous and kind,” said Brooke Howard-Smith, co-founder of FLUF World, in a statement. “Partnering with a renowned philanthropist like Alexandra Grant is the first of many incredible initiatives that we hope to embark on to create a brighter future for artists around the world.”
Recently, the Futureverse Foundation supported the curator Nana Oforiatta Ayim with 100,000 euros for her concept of a mobile museum in the Ghanaian pavilion at this year’s Venice Biennale. Projects do not have to include NFTs or other digital components to qualify for funding. Rather, the goal is to work with blockchain to create transparency in the distribution of funds.
“What we’re trying to do is show how blockchain technology and the world of cryptography can be used to create new forms of economic activity,” Grant said, going beyond the “eligible” Elon Musk types.
Grant said she also hopes to enlighten those who may be suspicious of the blockchain and crypto spheres and whether they can truly be used to support critical and community-driven art projects, which they are often excluded through the art market.
“By exploring new forms of philanthropy, we hope to transform the landscape of structural support in the arts in a way that showcases how technology and art can advance artists at pivotal moments in their careers,” she said.
Ideally, the Futureverse Foundation will help transform traditional funding models toward a “circular economy,” not just in the art world, but also in entertainment, film, and music. “When I’m not raising funds, I’m raising friendships,” Grant said.
“The Futureverse Foundation is a work in progress,” she added, “a foundation that I hope will create more horizontal and fair working conditions for artists and cultural producers from a variety of different geographic backgrounds.”
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