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The Future Imagination Fund Launches to Support Citizen Artists and Visionary Thinking at NYU


A $1-million gift allows NYU Tisch School of the Arts to lead the way for interdisciplinary collaboration

Sharon Chang

The Future Imagination Fund, created and funded by Sharon Chang, NYU Trustee and Tisch Dean’s Council member, today launched in collaboration with NYU Tisch School of the Arts. Chang has donated an initial sum of $1,000,000 to Tisch to support visionary and forward-thinking ideas in a deeply collaborative, interdisciplinary environment across Tisch and NYU.

The Future Imagination Fund is designed to empower citizen artists to solve complex problems by challenging and rebuilding the systems that govern everyday activities. Cultivating discovery and experimentation with combinations of art, science, and business, the expandable fund will help harness the power of imagination to create better futures.

Traditionally, art has been effectively used as a critique of modern society, providing narratives and frameworks to better understand and improve how the world is operating. With the launch of the fund, artists, scholars, entrepreneurs, image makers, filmmakers, and photographers will be given the tools to become more active change-makers.

The collaboration will pave the way for creatives to unlock greater potential and better mechanisms to advance their mission as society’s most enlightened leaders.

“I am delighted to support Tisch as a leader and educator in architecting a better future. They truly recognize the power of citizen artists, and I look forward to collaborating with Dean Allyson Green and faculty to explore bold visions,” said Sharon Chang. “Together, we hope to confront the obsession with market-driven innovation and instead celebrate the timeless artistic process that will lead to society-wide improvements. It is imperative, now, more than ever, to turn to imagination to help solve the problems of today and tomorrow.”

The fund will be used for various purposes such as scholarships, convening individuals and organizations, supporting artists in residence and research fellows, and other programmatic elements.

The first initiative, The Applied Entertainment Collaboratory, will explore what’s possible when we demand entertainment to help individuals and society actualize potential and address real world challenges.

The Future Imagination Fund sets a new course for the Tisch School of the Arts. We can now forge greater ties to the community, across the university, and around the globe thanks to Sharon Chang’s boundless generosity and visionary spirit,” Allyson Green, dean of the Tisch School of the Arts, said. “As we expand our Tisch campus to the NYU Media, Technology and the Arts Center (MTA) in Brooklyn, artists now will intersect with scientists and engineers to forge world-changing solutions to global issues. The Future Imagination Fund will help us to harness the power of the artist’s commitment to develop community, creativity, communication, critical thinking, and problem solving."

About Sharon Chang
Sharon Chang (Steinhardt ’95; TSOA ’98) is a Future Architect, an expert generalist armed with a unique collection of building blocks to construct positive change in the world. Her work focuses on reframing the relationship between capital, creativity, and impact through carefully calibrated collaborations.

A philanthropist, entrepreneur and investor in transformational ideas and technologies, Sharon is also trained as an artist, designer and architect. She uses the combination of these talents, experiences and resources to imagine and build a more beautiful future.

Early in her career, at the nexus of Madison Avenue, Hollywood and Silicon Valley, Sharon established a powerful perspective on how to cross pollinate dramatically different cultures to guide the creation of hybrid fields. As both creative director and media executive, she contributed to multiple industry-defining milestones including Motorola’s pioneering global digital expansion and American Idol’s uninterrupted dominance in massive audience engagement.

Leveraging this perspective today, Sharon’s wide-ranging endeavors challenge and rebuild the systems that govern our everyday activities – the way we eat, shop, travel, learn, work, think, and dream.

Sharon lives in New York City and travels the world often. She makes spectacular martinis, and craves snow-capped mountains and exotic ice cream.

About the NYU Tisch School of Arts
For over 50 years, the NYU Tisch School of the Arts has drawn on the vast artistic and cultural resources of New York City and New York University to create an extraordinary training ground for the individual artist, scholar and entrepreneur.  Today, students learn their craft in 16 disciplines of performing, cinematic and emerging media arts in a spirited, risk-taking environment that combines the professional training of a conservatory with the liberal arts education of a premier global university with campuses in New York, Abu Dhabi, Shanghai and 11 academic centers around the world. Learn more at www.tisch.nyu.edu.