The popular image of finance is numbers and charts, comprehensible only to those initiated in the craft. But numbers are expressions of stories we live with, and stories that drive finance are also driving our wellbeing, present and future. In this unique collaboration, artists Rachel Breen and Vienne Chan worked with Susanna Gibbons of the Carlson School of Management and her students at the Carlson Funds Enterprise to learn how to combine financial and artistic thinking to imagine a shared positive story of the future. Artists participated in the program alongside students and injected creative elements into the class that challenged traditional financial decision making and deepen discussions of social contexts, values, and consequences of financial investments, enhancing everyone’s sense of social responsibility for decisions in class and in the “real world.” The collaboration culminated in a roundtable in November 2019. Learn more about that event and those involved here >>
RACHEL BREEN is a visual artist who uses drawing, installations, and public actions to address social concerns. She has spent the past five years examining the implications of garment workplace disasters, and her current work explores the relationship between the exploitation of garment workers and patterns of overconsumption. She exhibits her art across the United States and is a professor of art at Anoka Ramsey Community College.
VIENNE CHAN is an artist interested in socioeconomic issues and how finance can be better structured to meet social needs. She holds an MFA in public art and new artistic strategies from Bauhaus-Universität Weimar in Germany. She has presented her art in venues and at economic forums in Europe and the United States, and she is part of the Finance, Law, and Economics working group by the Institute for New Economic Thinking.
SUSANNA GIBBONS, CFA, is the managing director of the Carlson Funds Enterprise, where students have the opportunity to manage approximately $35 million of real investment money. She was previously a senior portfolio manager at RBC Global Asset Management, where she led credit research. She began her career in the investment industry in 1985 and received an MBA in finance from New York University Stern School of Business.
Top image: A scene from the November 2019 roundtable. Photograph by Alya Ansari.