Public Art

We invest in the development and support of influential artists and creative projects that are critical for positive impact within communities.

Sunshine and Shadow - Painting


Thriving communities are intrinsically complex and diverse – whether economically, racially, or in educational attainment. The problems these communities face are, therefore, equally complex.


At Access Ventures we seek to invest into this diversity and complexity by deploying holistic strategies. The creative arts are often considered to be at the outskirts of the community development process and only a minor player in helping to regenerate neighborhoods. We believe that the cultivation of smart, skilled, rich and beautiful art is essential for the health and development of individuals and communities.

As we worked in Shelby Park, public art was a part of that story. We executed three different types of projects from 2013-2015. One project was a professionally designed tagline for the community where the phrase was a project of the neighborhood association to get community members involved. The next was a true community-project from start to finish. We contracted a designer that lived in the neighborhood to design the concept and then invited the entire community to paint the “paint-by-number” squares. And the third was a traditional commission with the goal for the piece to be informed and inspired by the community and the process of painting to impact the creator. We also hosted a community “meet the artist” event to bring the effort full circle.


Art has the power to elevate and inspire and was core to our efforts in Shelby Park.

With the United States facing public spending cuts to the arts, public media, and community development, we need ways to deploy values-based capital to make up the difference because it is proven, creativity has impact. In the Community Development Investment Review (2014), the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco documented how creative activity in low-income communities can strengthen economic development, encourage civic engagement, build resiliency, and contribute to quality of life. Creatives have tremendous potential for economic and social impact and yet, according to the Global Impact Investing Network, zero percent of impact investment is in the arts and culture sector. Creatives anchor communities and help foster cohesion and engagement at a time when our nation is divided and its values are tested. 

Beyond community development, artists and designers are founders of some of the leading companies of the Internet age, such as Airbnb and CrowdRise.

Muted Flowers Mural