Artist Collective

POVA Artist Collective

The artists impacted by homelessness in our POVA Artist Collective are pursuing art and entrepreneurship as a means to earn supplemental income, gain professional skills, and develop security nets which aids in securing and maintaining housing.

POVA provides artists impacted by homelessness the opportunity to create and sell artwork by offering them a variety of art supplies, facilitating artistic and business workshops, maintaining consistent open studio hours, and participating in a variety of exhibitions and events with community partners throughout the year. Through engagement in the Artist Collective program, artists earn creative income which gives them greater autonomy in their day-to-day lives, as well as gain valuable entrepreneurial and social skills which allows them to access better jobs, increase housing stability, and build the necessary social security networks to remain out of homelessness.

Many individuals experiencing homelessness struggle with maintaining traditional 40-hour/week jobs due to criminal history, physical disability, and/or mental illness. They also often lack emotional stability, a consistent support system, and skills for basic employment. Through our Artist Collective program, artists have an opportunity to earn supplemental income through their creative talent, as well as gain marketable skills and community relationships, allowing them to take back control over their basic needs.

As a local community, we are often demographically stratified and only find opportunities to serve people experiencing homelessness, like in a soup kitchen or shelter, rather than engaging them personally. Our volunteers and customers benefit from direct dialogue with our artists in creative contexts that celebrate their talents and individuality, weakening any stereotypes they may have brought with them.

Through monthly artist check-ins with our Program Coordinator, we are able to track changes in our artists’ employment, housing, and relationship statuses, in addition to attendance. We also help our artists set financial, professional, and personal goals, and use the monthly check-ins as a time for our artists to assess and reflect. Last year, we issued 1099 forms to four artists who earned over $600 through artwork sales.


Interested in becoming an artist? Click here for more info!

Click each artist below to read their story: