Over a Decade of Impact

Neda Nobari Foundation launched in 2007, on a quest to find meaning in Philanthropy – a $400-billion-a-year industry with a questionable track record of success. What started as a small family foundation quickly grew in influence to support a diverse array of initiatives across the spectrum of social and environmental justice. As a foundation, we have never been afraid to transform, to reflect on our work and ultimately evolve while embracing new missions and models. Today, our work takes us to the margins of traditional grantmaking, in an attempt to transform the very culture of philanthropy itself.

10 Years of Giving

200+ Nonprofit Grantees

$10M + in Philanthropy

1 Full-Time Staff

Jul 08

Ai Wei Wei: N. American Release

Ai Wei Wei: Truly Announces N. American Release through First Run Features. The documentary from Cheryl Haines about Ai, a Chinese artist and activist, explores the tension between the idea of liberty and the fate of those who pursue it. Winner of 2019 Best Documentary Feature at Nevada City Film Festival and the 2019 Audience Award at BendFilm Festival.

Jun 30

Future Art Awards Virtual Exhibition Opens To The Public

MOZAIK Opens The Future Art Awards “Curating The Creative Reimagining” 3D Virtual Exhibition, featuring the work of 50 artists across the nation. The opening weeks of the group exhibition saw over 50,000 virtual gallery patrons.

Jun 29

And She Could Be Next Premieres On PBS

And She Could Be Next, a two-part docuseries from POV, premieres on PBS’ Female Trailblazers programming pillar, celebrating 100 years of women’s suffrage. The series tells the story of defiant women of color, transforming politics from the ground up. Now available for free streaming here.

May 31

Future Art Awards Launches Special Mention Honorariums

MOZAIK Announces additional $1,000 artist honorariums to 40 special mention artists of the Future Art Awards.

Apr 10

Future Art Awards Open For Entries

MOZAIK Launches The Future Art Awards with $2,000 relief grants in support of artists of all ages and mediums impacted by the pandemic, nationwide. The ten featured artists selected from over 1,100 art submissions in a blind review by the foundation’s panel of flow fund judges in the art was subsequently announced online.

Mar 12

COVID-19 Emergency Response Launches

MOZAIK Launches COVID-19 Emergency Response through a partnership with the California Community Foundation’s LA County Relief Fund.

Jan 01

MOZAIK Philanthropy Launches (formerly Neda Nobari Foundation)

MOZAIK’s task is to explore and model new practices in philanthropy with disruptive, creative, and catalytic potential.

Aug 31

Coup 53 Launches

Telluride Film Festival Premiere

Ten years in the making, COUP 53 tells the story of the 1953 Anglo-American coup d’état that overthrew Iran’s government of Prime Minister Mohammad Mossadegh and reinstalled the Shah. The CIA/MI6 covert action was called Operation Ajax.

Winner of the 2019 Vancouver International Film Festival Award for Most Popular International Documentary

Jul 08

L.A. Arts Flow Fund Launches

MOZAIK piloted its first Flow Fund in July 2019, welcoming a group of community artists and arts professionals working across diverse expressive mediums to allocate the foundation’s resources to six innovative artists and organizations working to empower arts activism across Los Angeles.

Apr 14

Yours Truly Launches

San Francisco International Film Festival Premiere

The story of the film Yours Truly begins with FOR-SITE’s remarkable exhibition @Large: Ai Weiwei on Alcatraz. The resulting exhibition engaged over 900,000 visitors in a conversation about the plight of prisoners of conscience around the world.

Mar 28

Forty Years & More Launches

The Center for Iranian Diaspora Studies at SF State presents its Inaugural International Conference. With over sixty scholars from 40 countries around the world, the conference recognized the cultural, political, and national terrain(s) that have defined the approximately 5 million Iranians who have left Iran in the years immediately following the 1979 revolution as well as in subsequent migrations throughout the past four decades.

Mar 08

Immigrant Yarn Project Launches

Immigrant Yarn Project featured knitted and crocheted yarn contributions made by over 600 contributors from across the country, representing generations of immigrants from every corner of the world — and including contributions from homeless communities, seniors, students, LGBTQ, Native Americans, and even a Former Secretary of State.

Feb 01

CinéEqual Platform Launches

CinéEqual represents filmmakers, institutions, and community members with a focus on social justice cinema. As an integrated unit of Cinema Without Borders, it promotes a diverse, inclusive, and equitable democratic society that values the worth of all humans.

Jan 30

Environmental Education Mentorship (TEEM) Launches

The Nature Bridge TEEM program helps participants develop an understanding of environmental education hands-on, through field trips and one-on-one mentor relationships with seasoned educators while exploring the beautiful landscape of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area.

Nov 18

Humanity On The Move Platform Launches

Humanity on the Move shines a light on the global struggle for safety and equal rights for refugees, migrants and displaced people through their own powerful stories.

The HOTM documentary short “Los Comandos” was shortlisted in consideration for the 91st Oscars®.

Sep 15

Of Two Minds Podcast Launches

Of Two Minds is a podcast where we invite two people with very different views to talk to each other. It’s kind of a social experiment: A conversation between people that share something deeply in common and yet they remain deeply divided. Hosted by journalist Sarah Shourd.

Aug 01

West of Middle East Podcast (Season II) Launches

In Season II of West of Middle East, we hear from people from the Middle East diaspora who are changemakers working in and around the field of education- be it through traditional academia, technology, the arts, advocacy or movement-building.

Jun 25

PPLA Sexuality Health Educators Fund Launches

Planned Parenthood of Los Angeles offers education on all sexual health topics in South and East Los Angeles/Antelope Valley, helping foster understanding about human sexuality and educate youth and adults about their human right to health care.

May 28

Culturistan Artist Residency Launches

Culturistan is a space to connect with other creators and thinkers whose work is making an impact on the world around us. It is a place to step beyond our normal routines to explore new ways of thinking and to reflect on the essential questions of our time, leading to a richer engagement with the world around us and transforming what we bring to it.

Jan 24

Akicita Launches

Sundance Film Festival Premiere

In the shadow of the largest Native American occupation since Wounded Knee, thousands of Water Protectors descend upon the Standing Rock Reservation to resist construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline.​ Through a Native lens and unprecedented access, Akicita captures the spirit of a movement and its people.

Sep 22

Smarter Green Schools Launches

Tree People works to unite with communities to grow a greener, shadier and more water-secure city at homes, neighborhoods, schools and in the local mountains. The Smarter Green Schools initiative increases environmental literacy in underserved schools throughout Los Angeles.

Jun 25

Art/Act: Youth Launches

The David Brower Center presents Art/Act: Youth, our annual exhibition showcasing work by over 80 current Berkeley High School students examining the intersection of environmentalism and art.

Jun 09

Radio Dreams Launches

San Francisco International Film Festival Premiere

Radio Dreams follows an eccentric Iranian writer through his travails as he pursues his ambitious goal of bringing together Metallica and Kabul Dreams, Afghanistan’s first rock band, at a satellite radio station in San Francisco.

Winner of the 2016 Hivos Tiger Award at the International Film Festival Rotterdam.

Jan 15

West of Middle East Podcast (Season I) Launches

In Season 1 of West of Middle East, we hear from people from the Middle East diaspora who are changemakers in a variety of unique ways: fighting for indigenous rights in the Amazon, advocating for LGBTQ refugee support, or making movies about Afghan rock stars and the diaspora experience.

Jun 01

Center for Iranian Diaspora Studies Launches

The Center for Iranian Diaspora Studies at San Francisco State University fosters innovative and collaborative scholarship between faculty and students and engages with complex and pressing subjects such as nationalism, immigration, xenophobia, gender, sexuality and identity.

Mar 25

Mother Miracle Classroom Launches

Mother Miracle is dedicated to serving exceptionally intelligent children from the slums of Rishikesh, India by providing K-12 education, nutrition, healthcare, and extracurricular activities.

Nov 05

SIMA Classroom Launches

SIMA Classroom is an online global citizenship education and film platform that reaches 1,850 educators and 44,000 high-school and college students in 30 countries. It combines a carefully curated collection of over 140 award-winning short documentaries and virtual reality films with learning resources and participatory skill-building lessons that bring global social justice issues, the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and social entrepreneurial innovations to life.

Oct 01

IAWF NorCal Chapter Launches

The Iranian-American Women Foundation NorCal Chapter represents a confluence of dynamic Iranian-American women from across all professions and communities in the Bay Area. 

May 01

Relocation & Rebranding

Neda Nobari Foundation moves to the San Francisco Bay Area, with a newfound mission to support social and environmental justice through the arts and education across five interconnected focus areas: Innovative Arts, Transparent Media, Holistic Education, Earth Advocacy, and Social Impact Cinema.

Nov 19

Project W Launches

Chapman University’s Project W: Stories of Women Creating Change supports emerging student filmmakers as they produce short social issue documentaries profiling inspiring women leaders across the country who are creating change through stories of courage in the face of adversity.

Jun 05

Human Rights Watch LA Film Series Launches

Shining a light on gross human rights violations in over 90 countries around the world, the Human Rights Watch Los Angeles Film Series celebrates both new and established international filmmakers committed to impact and awareness of some of the greatest global struggles of our time.

Mar 29

Bidder 70 Launches

Cleveland International Film Festival Premiere
Bidder 70 centers on an extraordinary, ingenious and effective act of civil disobedience demanding government and industry accountability in the name of climate justice. Winner of Best American Film at Traverse City Film Festival and the United Nations Film Festival.

Jan 23

The Invisible War Launches

Sundance Film Festival Premiere 

The Invisible War is a groundbreaking investigative documentary about one of America’s most shameful and best kept secrets: the epidemic of rape within the U.S. military. The film was a nominee for the 2013 Academy Awards, and resulted in the Congressional establishment of the Special Victims Unit.

Nov 09

Guardian Scholars Scholarship Launches

San Francisco State University’s Guardian Scholars Program (GSP) is a comprehensive program of the Educational Opportunity Program (EOP), in collaboration with the School of Social Work which serves former foster care youth who are pursuing their undergraduate degrees.

Jan 07

Learning Works Launches

Homeboy Industries’ Learning Works program aims to provide a personalized, rigorous academic program and relevant life skills to disengaged youth who have dropped out of school due to gang-related activity or incarceration. 

Feb 01

Legal Status Obtained

Neda Nobari Foundation is formally registered as a nonprofit in the United States, supporting community cohesion initiatives across the Northeast.

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