Ray of Light supports Madonna’s Art for Freedom initiative, which encourages creative expression that brings awareness about human rights violations. Each month, Madonna and a guest curator select an artist who best embodies the mission of Art for Freedom. Ray of Light then gives a grant to the nonprofit organization of that artist’s choice. Below is a list of featured artists and their grantee organizations:


MAY: Harsen’s video “Collateral Victims.” Harsen chose grantees CODEPINK and Electronic Frontier Foundation to support their public awareness campaigns about domestic drones and government surveillance. Check out Harsen’s video here.

APRIL: (Guest curator Miley Cyrus): Koko Clarke’s video “The Body is not an Apology.” Koko chose grantee Free Arts NYC to support its art mentoring program, Parents and Children Together with Art (PACT), by providing art supplies to over 250 at-risk families enrolled in the program. Check out Koko’s video here.

MARCH: John X. Carey and Elvis de Leon are the winners for the month of March.  Their $10,000 grant will be donated to the Harlem School of the Arts and provide five need-based scholarships for their visual arts after-school program during the 2014/15 school year.  Check out John and Elvis’ « Harlem Elvis » film now! 

FEBRUARY: Congratulations to Del Mak and Patrick Ryder, winners for the month of February. They decided to split the grant between two non-profit organizations: Patrick chose Sense, which provides services to deaf/blind children, and Del chose Street Child World Cup, which helps street kids through sports. Check out their «Shift» dance film now.

JANUARY Winner (guest curator Katy Perry): Chaz Buzan's video "Love- For Art For Freedom"  Chaz chose grantee National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Southeast Valley to support its Family-to-Family program. Watch the video here.

DECEMBER Winner (guest curator David Blaine): Joy Parker’s video “Terminal Freedom”; grantees are Greater Rochester Muscular Dystrophy Association and The ALS Association; Upstate NY Chapter. Watch the video here.

NOVEMBER Winner (guest curator Tumblr): Speed Sisters film; grantee is SocDoc Studios (producers of Speed Sisters). Watch the video here.

OCTOBER Winner (guest curator Anthony Kiedis): Lesmack Meza Parente’s video “El Gran Dictador”; grantee is Orfanatorio de Mazatlán in Mazatlán, Mexico. Watch the video here.


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I  cannot accept a world where women or girls are wounded, shot or killed for either going to school or teaching in girls’ schools. We don’t have time to be complacent any longer – join me to help educate girls in Pakistan and Afghanistan. Knowledge is power. Let’s change the world!


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