Artists for Humanity (AFH) is a thriving non-profit for the creative, young, under-resourced teens of Boston to express and explore their creative abilities. AFH was established to address the lack of art experience within the Boston Public School system. Located in the heart of South Boston (aka Southie), AFH helps introduce young people from urban communities to the business community. Teen artists and designers are actually commissioned by clients. The motto on their website says, “We hire teens to work collaboratively with mentors to inspire solutions—both big and small—to meet our clients’ needs”. In fact, AFH is one of the largest on-site employers of youth in the City of Boston, with hundreds of under-resourced teens employed as artists and designers each year during critical out-of-school hours. According to the Center for Labor Market Studies (2008), having a job enhances a teen’s future employability, earning potential, and even the likelihood of their graduating from high school.
Currently, AFH employs 325+ Boston teens annually in paid apprenticeships in the visual arts and creative industries. Among their many collaborations, the AFH graphic design team partnered up with Activewear company, NOBULL to create a custom-designed, exclusive collection of sneakers and apparel. Other AFH client partners for all sorts of different creative projects include Southwest Boston Community Development Corporation, John Hancock Financial Services, Crosspoint Associates, Inc., Boston Lyric Opera, and Reebok.
You can also rent out their Epicenter—an environmentally friendly and unique space to host a memorable event. All of the funds from these private events are used to pay these young artists and purchase supplies.
Artwork and projects shown above by AFH students
By Mary Ellen