Over a Decade of Impact
MOZAIK Philanthropy (formerly the 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 of giving. Today, our work takes us to the margins of traditional grantmaking in an attempt to transform the very culture of philanthropy itself.
15 Years of Giving
800 + Grantees
$12M + in Philanthropy
1 Full-Time Staff
The MOZAIK Bridging The Borders Award
MOZAIK hosts “The Impact of Art in Social Movements” panel at the Iranian American Women’s Foundation Leadership Conference
Over 250 Iranian American women attended the 22nd leadership conference hosted by Iranian American Women Foundation (IAWF) on June 3rd, 2023 in Marina Del Rey, California to discuss the world’s largest female-led revolution happening right now in Iran. Panelists in the arts included Singer, Producer and Composer, Azam Ali; Metalsmith and Studio Artist, Azita Mireshghi; Multidisciplinary Artist, Katayoun Bahrami; and Artist and Researcher, Mobina Nouri. The panel was moderated by MOZAIK Founder and IAWF Trustee, Neda Nobari.
The 2023 Future Art Awards: WOMAN. LIFE. FREEDOM.: Year of Hope Virtual Exhibition Opens Free To The Public
The WOMAN. LIFE. FREEDOM.: Year of Hope virtual exhibition features over 100 contemporary artworks by artists inside Iran and beyond its borders. The exhibition serves as a dedication to the bravery of the Iranian people. All artworks are shown anonymously for security purposes and in solidarity with all those who have and continue to risk their lives for freedom. Honoring outstanding contemporary artworks for creative excellence across the following categories: originality, personality, quality of composition, creativity, skills, concepts of activism, justice or representation, overall emotional impression, and adherence to the awards’ interpretive theme: WOMAN. LIFE. FREEDOM.: Year of Hope. View The Exhibition Here
MOZAIK Philanthropy Founder & Chief Catalyst Officer Neda Nobari awarded a 2023 Ellis Island Medal of Honor
The Ellis Island Medals of Honor have been presented since 1986 and is one of our nation’s most prestigious awards. Each year its recipients are read into the Congressional Record. The Medal celebrates inspiring Americans who are selflessly working for the betterment of our country and its citizens. The Ellis Island Honors Society heralds the importance of immigration to America’s prosperity and celebrates the contributions immigrants and their progeny have made to our nation. Congratulations to 2023 Ellis Island Medal of Honor awardee, Neda Nobari.
The Digital Awakening Future Art Writers Award Call for Entries
The 2023 Future Art Awards: The Digital Awakening extended an open call to U.S. artists from all walks of life and creative expressions wishing to use their art to reimagine what a high-tech, highly connected future metaverse could look that is also deeply human. Over 350 artists submitted works that contemplated our relationship to the digital realm, including the impact of Web 3.0. on individual and collective identity, the environment, and the latent potential of a democratized, decentralized art world. Grants for emerging and established art writers, covering the art on view in the current Digital Awakening exhibition.
The 2022 Future Art Awards: The Digital Awakening Virtual Exhibition Opens Free To The Public
The 2022 Future Art Awards: The Digital Awakening honors outstanding contemporary artworks, individual NFTs as well as NFT collections for creative excellence across the following categories: originality, personality, quality of composition, creativity, skills, concepts of activism, justice or representation, overall emotional impression and adherence to the awards’ theme: The Digital Awakening. View the 3D Virtual Group Exhibition
The 2023 Future Art Awards: WOMAN. LIFE. FREEDOM.: Year of Hope Launches Global Open Call For Art
In the spirit of renewal and hope, and in cross-cultural celebration of Norooz 1402, MOZAIK Philanthropy opens its second international open call art; inviting all artists of all ages and creative practices, from around the world, to submit works that represent the future of Iran in this year of hope. Selected artists will be featured in the WOMAN. LIFE. FREEDOM.: Year of Hope virtual exhibition and will receive a $1,000 prize honorarium. Submit and learn more here.
ArtRise: WOMAN LIFE FREEDOM Public Arts Projection
Art from the first 90 days of the revolution for freedom in Iran was projected onto the façade of the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, nightly between January 26th – January 28th, 2023. Inspired by a women-led revolution in Iran, artists have been creating paintings, drawings, posters, digital art, animation, videos, and short films around the theme of WOMAN LIFE FREEDOM. In collaboration with ArtRise Collective, the event is dedicated to all those who have and continue to risk their lives for freedom. View the video of the event here.
The 2023 Future Art Awards: WOMAN. LIFE. FREEDOM. Virtual Exhibition Opens Free To The Public
In support of the largest women-led Iranian freedom movement in history, the 5th Annual Future Art Awards presents its latest virtual group exhibition, titled: WOMAN. LIFE. FREEDOM. Spotlighting the universal power of art, the 3D exhibition showcases the artwork of 50 international contemporary artists, using their creative works to demonstrate solidarity with the people of Iran as an offering to the movement for freedom, human rights, and human dignity. All the artwork is shown ANONYMOUSLY out of sensitivity for the severe security concerns for the artists inside Iran and in solidarity with all those who have and continue to risk their lives for freedom. Explore the exhibition here.
“Fremont” Premieres at the 2023 Sundance Film Festival
Shot in black and white, and with warmth and a wry sense of humor, director Babak Jalali has crafted a loving portrait of a young woman haunted by the past but still filled with desire for companionship and connection. Featuring a cast of unforgettable, unique characters, and anchored by a beguiling debut performance from real-life Afghan refugee Anaita Wali Zada, Fremont is an ode to the curious beauty of trying to build a new life in a strange land. Executive Produced by Neda Nobari. Learn more here.
The 2022-2023 Future Art Awards: WOMAN. LIFE. FREEDOM. Launches Emergency Global Open Call For Art
The 2023 Future Art Awards: WOMAN. LIFE. FREEDOM. is an arts-based expression of solidarity with the brave women of Iran, in their intersectional movement for freedom and human rights. This emergency open call-to-action is an invitation to global artists wishing to use their art to express emotional support of the women in Iran at this pivotal moment in history. The awards will honor outstanding contemporary artworks for creative excellence across the following categories: originality, personality, quality of composition, creativity, skills, concepts of activism, justice or representation, overall emotional impression, and adherence to the awards’ interpretive theme: WOMAN. LIFE. FREEDOM. Learn more here.
MOZAIK E-ZINE Edition No. 2 Launches
“How can art help society reimagine the future of life on Earth?” This question gave rise to our 2nd cycle of The Future Art Writers Award. 15 U.S. art writers were selected by a jury of their peers to receive writing grants and publication exposure. We are honored to recognize the 2022 Future Art Writers for their literary excellence and hope that the power of their words serve as seeds for a regenerative future. Learn more.
The Future Art Awards: The Digital Awakening Launches Open Call For Art
2022 Future Art Writers Award Grantees Announced
The 2022 Future Art Awards Virtual Exhibition Opens Free To The Public
The 2022 Future Art Awards celebrates the creative achievements of all 40 winning artists in a virtual exhibition now open and free to the public. Welcoming hundreds of artists with submissions historically from over 70% BIPOC and underrepresented artists across the country, MOZAIK Philanthropy’s 3rd Annual Awards program drew inspiration from socio-environmental values that we so strongly believe are intrinsically important in catalyzing a just, equitable, and morally inclusive future for all people in all places. The 2022 Future Art Awards celebrate the individual and collective reimaginings of artists who dare to vision a just and flourishing future through the healing power of art. Join us in honoring these cutting-edge, creative changemakers who work to transform our world. Explore exhibition.
MOZAIK’s Bridging The Borders Award Winner Receives 2022 Oscar Nomination For Best International Feature Film
Iranian drama “A HERO” has been selected as the winning film of the 2022 MOZAIK Bridging The Borders Award at Palm Springs International Film Festival, hosted by Cinema Without Borders. Directed by two-time Oscar winner Asghar Farhadi, A HERO is a co-production between Iran and France, following Rahim (Amir Jadidi), who is in prison because he was unable to pay a debt. During a two-day leave of absence from prison, he attempts to have his creditor withdraw his complaint over part of the sum owed. But things don’t go as planned. Taut with suspense, this captivating morality play continually contorts the mystery of Farhadi’s compelling characters with each furtive glance, passing comment and questionable act. Learn more here.
MOZAIK Announces 40 Artist Grantees of the Future Art Awards: Ecosystem X
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.