Idea Capital was founded in 2008 by Stuart Keeler, Susan Todd-Raque, Pam Rogers, Louise Shaw and Cinqué Hicks.


In Spring 2008, five Atlanta art community activists came together to launch a pilot program to support Atlanta-based artists that might not otherwise receive funding. The idea for a self-generating funding mechanism developed from a conceptual social project by Stuart Keeler. Idea Capital's goal was to establish an innovative new funding mechanism that directly supported artists outside of typical institutional models.

Each founder personally invested $100 in a common pool of money and called for ideas. Eighteen artists and cultural producers responded, and Idea Capital selected performance/conceptual artist Allison Rentz as its first recipient. The overall response to the pilot program was tremendous--from both artists and the broader community that cares about fostering a creative environment that supports artistic innovation.

More than a decade later, Idea Capital continues to provide multiple grants per year on a competitive basis to Atlanta artists, performers and cultural producers on a competitive basis. The funding model continues to be based on collecting small investment donations from the arts community at large and then redistributing the money to directly support artists. The more money Idea Capital receives, the more grants we can award.

In 2018, ArtsATL recognized Idea Capital’s contribution to the Atlanta art scene through a Luminary Award for Innovative Practice. We are proud that we have been a catalyst for healthy cultural ecology that recognizes the importance of the contributions of individual artists.