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Portrait of Success: Art Company Offers Hope to Homeless and Disabled Artists

Guest Blog by Liz Powers, ArtLifting Co-Founder & Chief Happiness Spreader

January 18, 2017

As an 18-year-old living in Boston, I embarked on a unique and life-changing mission. After securing a grant from Harvard University to create art groups in homeless shelters, I was immediately struck by the incredible artistic talent I saw among some of the people I met. Unfortunately, their interesting works of art had no place for display, and so they would sit in storage collecting dust. I learned that thousands of art groups around the country were in place, but there was no collective space to sell the art.

Brainstorming with my brother, Spencer, we came up with the idea of becoming brokers for artists across the country – selling their original art, but also creating prints and other products for sale. It was an idea that we knew would fulfill us personally and professionally, but more importantly give these artists a sense of purpose as well as an income.

Thus, the online marketplace “ArtLifting” was founded in November 2013, selling the work of artists who are homeless or living with a disability. We started with four artists in Boston, and through the growth of e-commerce, have grown to almost 100 artists in 16 states!

As a social enterprise and benefit corporation, ArtLifting does business for good. Every artist earns 55% from the sale of their work. One percent from each sale goes toward strengthening art services for community partners that support ArtLifting artists, including art programming at social service agencies, shelters, and disability centers. ArtLifting uses the remaining 44% to further the mission.

Three years after founding ArtLifting, I’m amazed at our journey. I’ve seen our business transform lives. Amidst all the buzz, my greatest source of pride is ArtLifting’s role in creating jobs, and giving artists the ability to secure their own income and feel empowered.

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Comments

    meir says:

    A M A Z I N G

    Charlene Grant says:

    Gm. I think this was such a humble and wonderful idea to assist and encourage those that may not be able to afford showing their talents or having a place to store and secure their tools. You are a good person. I was homeless in my life and now I suffer with a disability. I love to draw. I would like to keep in touch with you. You are truly a, blessing in many people’s lives!

    Teri says:

    Truly inspirational !

    Joe Caudell says:

    Fantastic idea from which all humanity benefits!!!

    Let me know how I can help.

    God bless,

    Joe

    Michele says:

    I am disabled and I have 2 disabled kids out of three. If I were able bodied and had money I would try to help people like that and other people as well that’s what people with good hearts do ❤️U2 are a blessing to many

    Gary davis says:

    I am encouraged from your wisdom love and conviction.we believe to be our brothers keeper.to encouraged them.they are not a mistake.they are important to GOD and we need each other to survive.”THE HOUSE OF LOVE”ministry in palmbay fl.grace & love.

    Deaf JoAnn says:

    The world needs more of the love and helping of each other that you show and your age gives me for future of humanity. I cannot find Airlifting thru Google. How may I contact you?

    christine says:

    JoAnn
    It is ARTlifting.

    LoriAnnie says:

    Thank you for your conviction and selflessness! If only the world could learn from the two of you we wouldn’t be on the brink of war with not just one country but 2…

    Teresa Roure says:

    Does it also helps Seniors with disabilities!

    Debby says:

    A great measure in thought and kindness.

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