In 2021, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation centered the power of voice and honored the power of the word.
A year permeated by the uncertainty of the ongoing pandemic, race-based hatred and violence, and the climate emergency only strengthened our commitment to clarity and openness in our work, and ensured that we voiced our mission for social justice at every stage of our grantmaking, operations, and public engagement. As the richly detailed etymology of the term shows, "voice" is not merely a characteristic medium of communication, but also a means to assert a position or call out a dissent, as well as a metaphor for the right to join in a shared undertaking. At Mellon, we believe in multivocality—the mighty mingling and juxtaposition of many different voices having a say in the arts, culture, and humanities. 2021 was the year that we clearly and consistently articulated our own work and values while also honoring the voices of others: from those of our grantees and peers in philanthropy to those of intellectual and creative communities across the United States.