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.
12 Years of Giving
300+ Nonprofit Grantees
$10M + in Philanthropy
2 Full-Time Staff
MOZAIK’s Bridging The Borders Award Winner Receives 2022 Oscar Nomination for Best Documentary Short
A BROKEN HOUSE, the winning film of the MOZAIK Bridging The Borders Award at the 2021 Palm Springs International Short Film Festival, has been named to the top five 2022 Oscar Contenders for Documentary Short by Variety Magazine. In the film, directed by Jimmy Goldblum, Mohamad Hafez comes to the U.S. on a single-entry visa to study architecture, and, when he realizes that he can’t return to his home country, he decides to conjure it in his art. Watch here.
MOZAIK Launches The Future Art Awards: Ecosystem X
Ecosystem X is an open call to all U.S. artists to reimagine life on Earth by expressing an aspirational vision of Humanity through their art. 10 artists will be selected by a jury of their peers in a blind review process to receive $5,000 artist honorariums and a featured spot in a curated virtual exhibition. This 3rd edition of the awards also launched the inaugural Future Student Art Award – a $5,000 academic scholarship or stipend open to any U.S. rising high school senior or higher ed student looking to advance their studies in the arts. Learn more.
MOZAIK E-ZINE Edition No. 1 Launches
MOZAIK Launches The Future Art Writers Award
In the spirit of supporting an inclusive arts ecosystem around the annual Future Art Awards that celebrates the essential power of scholarly discourse in the arts, MOZAIK presents the Future Art Writers Award — a $2,000 grant for emerging and established art writers who write about contemporary visual art and its contributions to democracy. Learn more.
The 2021 Future Art Awards Virtual Exhibition Opens Free To The Public
The 2021 Future Art Awards celebrates the creative achievements of all 50 winning artists in a virtual exhibition curated by cultural historian, educator, and curator, Dr. Shiva Balaghi. The exhibition is now open and free to the public. Welcoming hundreds of artists ranging from 17 years to 75 years of age and representing submissions from 62% BIPOC artists across 38 U.S. states, MOZAIK Philanthropy’s 2nd Annual Awards program drew inspiration from the top of social and environmental justice movements of the recent past, including Black Lives Matter, Stop Asian Hate, Me Too, Times Up, Keep It In The Ground, Resist, and Love Wins, among others. Explore exhibition.
MOZAIK Announces 10 Featured Artists and 40 Special Mention Artists of the 2021 Future Art Awards
In keeping with MOZAIK’s mission to democratize philanthropy through a participatory grantmaking practice, the organization welcomed an independent jury of art professionals to assess the art submissions in a blind review, ultimately selecting 10 featured artists to receive $2,000 honorarias and an additional 40 special mention artists to receive $1,000 honorarias. Meet the artists.
MOZAIK Launches 2nd Annual Future Art Awards
The 2021 Future Art Awards will award $2,000 honorariums to 10 featured artists and $1,000 honorariums to 40 special mention artists selected by an independent jury of artists and arts professionals across the country. The theme, Re-Imagining Democracy, is an arts-based exploration of the changing meanings, practices, paradoxes, and futures associated with Democracy. Apply here.
MOZAIK Announces NEW ECONOMY Grantees
The NEW ECONOMY Flow Fund received over 100+ proposals from social enterprise organizations and changemaker entrepreneurs across Los Angeles County. 10 social enterprise grantees were selected to receive grants for their innovative models that balanced mission and margin while demonstrating a breadth of experiences and skills, a spirit of innovation and creativity, and an unwavering commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and access. Meet the grantees and funders.
COUP 53 Launches Oscar Campaign for Best Feature Documentary
MOZAIK Founder Named 2020 Alumna of The Year
Congratulations to our fearless leader and change agent, Neda Nobari, for receiving the honor of being named the San Francisco State University “Alumni of the Year”, along with oscar-winning producer Jonas Rivera.
Gather Wins New York Times Critic’s Pick
Gather is an intimate portrait of the growing movement amongst Native Americans to reclaim their spiritual, political and cultural identities through food sovereignty, while battling the trauma of centuries of genocide.
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.
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.
And She Could Be Next Premieres On PBS
POV: Midnight Traveler (PBS) Wins Peabody Award
A Peabody Winner for Best Stories of 2019, MIDNIGHT TRAVELER is a gripping vérité story made by a family on the run. When the Taliban puts a bounty on Afghan director Hassan Fazili’s head, he is forced to flee the country with his wife and two young daughters, providing an intimate portrait of the refugee experience.
Future Art Awards Launches Special Mention Honorariums
MOZAIK Announces additional $1,000 artist honorariums to 40 special mention artists of the Future Art Awards.
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.
COVID-19 Emergency Response Launches
MOZAIK Launches COVID-19 Emergency Response through a partnership with the California Community Foundation’s LA County Relief Fund.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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®.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Legal Status Obtained
Neda Nobari Foundation is formally registered as a nonprofit in the United States, supporting community cohesion initiatives across the Northeast.