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About Us


Poverty and the Arts (POVA) is a social enterprise nonprofit that exists to equip people impacted by homelessness with the creative resources, training, and marketplace to overcome barriers to employment and income by leveraging their creative talent, participating in developmental workshops, and establishing vital social networks and relationships.
POVA strives to create artistic and economic opportunities for those who have been denied them and to advance new models of economic justice and community that are sustainable and replicable.
Core Values
  • Creativity - We believe that environment drives behavior and art and creativity are important tools to create a positive environment for individuals to flourish. We encourage all staff and board members to utilize creativity in their planning, implementation, and evaluation of programming or operations.
  • Diversity - We acknowledge the inequity in our society and industries and strive to incorporate diverse and often unheard voices into our planning, leadership, and evaluation. We believe we are better as a society and organization when we build relationships with those who are different from us. We embrace each individual’s unique talents and honor diverse life and work styles.
  • Accessibility - We acknowledge the numerous barriers people in society experience to engaging in artistic, economic, and social opportunities. We commit to establishing accessible programming and assistance to increase opportunities for engagement for all.
  • Collaboration - We strive to find opportunities to collaborate internally with staff and clients, as well as externally with community partners in order to produce the most effective outcomes. We strive to create a strong collaborative community and stable security networks for our clients which are imperative in breaking the cycle of homelessness.  We operate in a spirit of cooperation and value human dignity.
  • Integrity - We conduct our business in accordance with the highest standards of professional behavior and ethics. We are transparent, honest and ethical in all our interactions with clients, staff, customers, vendors and the public. We will be held accountable, accept responsibility for our activities, and disclose them in a transparent manner. We will be active in evaluating what isn’t working and begin conversations about what can improve.
  • Entrepreneurship - We believe in the power of enterprise to solve social challenges. We understand that leveraging one's own entrepreneurial skills can increase one’s self-sufficiency. We foster and celebrate an entrepreneurial spirit among our clients through workshops, trainings, mentorships, and market access which pays off with earned income and gained confidence.

Read about our Artist Collective program.

 Read our 2017-2018 Annual Report to learn more about our 17-18 stakeholders, accomplishments, pivotal partners, client profiles, and impact.


Watch this testimonial video of Gwen created by Mazzo Media!