About Us


Poverty & the Arts (POVA) is a social enterprise nonprofit that provides supplies, studio space, training, and a marketplace for artists impacted by homelessness to create and sell artwork, as well as gain valuable entrepreneurial and social skills which helps them earn creative income, access higher-waged employment, increase their housing stability, and build the necessary security nets to remain out of homelessness.

“Environment drives behavior. Beautiful environments create beautiful kids, prisons create prisoners. People are born into the world as assets, not liabilities. It’s all in the way you treat people that drives behavior. If you want to get people to perform like world class citizens—you’ve got to treat them that way.” – Bill Strickland, Make the Impossible Possible

In the POVA Artist Collective program, artists utilize the provided art supplies and studio space to create artwork in partnership with mentors from the local art community (learn about teaching a business or artistic workshop HERE). Finished works are displayed and sold in the gallery of our studio space as well is in businesses and personal collections across the city. Artists receive 60% commission of original artwork and 25% of prints and merchandise sold with their designs.

Art is a way for our artists to find beauty in the midst of their daily struggles. Art also facilitates a space for our community members to gain experiences with individuals impacted by homelessness, and see them as a creative and talented part of our community.

Gwen and Kateri share about being in our Artist Collective program.

 Thank you Mazzo Media for shooting and creating the videos for us!