Our Story

Founded by Kate Capshaw and Steven Spielberg in 2019, The Hearthland Foundation began with a question: What can we do to help this country? Kate was painting Unaccompanied, a series of portraits of unhoused youth living in eight American cities and towns. Steven was about to film West Side Story, reimagining the classic play about division and human connection. Both were seeing dangerous threats to democracy. People being intentionally divided. Communities unaccompanied. A growing narrative of conflict and despair. And also, like many, they were sensing a new possibility. Americans working across lines of difference to make their lives and communities better. Individuals seeing one another's dignity and humanity. Artists and activists telling a deeper, more complex story of the country. Emerging acts of imagination, care, and creativity. 

With this in mind, The Hearthland Foundation was founded to harness creativity and nurture moral imagination in service of our country. Still in its early development, the Foundation works alongside many to help create a more just, equitable, and connected America.

Specifically, Hearthland makes grants and co-creates projects around three areas of focus: 

  • Building a shared democracy
  • Telling an honest and generative narrative about this country
  • Fostering a culture of accompaniment