Help our artists CREATE their way out of homelessness when you purchase art, volunteer, donate, or advocate for POVA. Every donation, sale, and hour volunteered helps our artists impacted by homelessness earn income and increase their independence.
Top Five Ways To Support Our Artists:
- Buy Art as a gift and simultaneously give our artists the gift of financial autonomy. When you shop original works and merchandise by POVA artists, you provide them an opportunity to earn meaningful and legal income through their creative talent. Bus passes, cell phone minutes, winter shoes, and a meal out are just a few of the luxuries our artists are able to afford through the sale of their artwork. Shop online or in our Studio & Gallery at 1207 Dickerson Pike Nashville, TN 37207.
- Make a Donation before 2020 to help us reach our fundraising goal of $5,000. If you make a donation on #GivingTuesday (Dec 3, 2019) through our Facebook fundraiser, Facebook will match ALL donations $1 for $1. Additionally, if it's your first time making a donation to POVA, St. George’s Episcopal Church will match all donations from NEW donors $1 for $1 in 2019. All donations help provide the supplies and space our artists use to create and sell art.
- Purchase Holiday Cards online and in store and provide our artists with needed income. Bulk order discounts available. Let us help you with your company and personal holiday cards this year!
- Join our Shared Walls Art Program (SWAP) and fill your home/office with art, as well as provide art to individuals and families moving into permanent housing through Urban Housing Solutions.
- Volunteer with us by attending a monthly volunteer orientation, organizing an Art Supply Drive, joining our event sales team, and helping in the studio. Email volunteer@PovertyandtheArts.org for more information.
“When I was homeless, I had a fear of people. When I began to come to Poverty and the Arts, some days I would just come to the studio to be with the other artists. They began to be my family. Art was my therapy because it made me feel comfortable about who I am on the inside. When I first started, my favorite thing to paint was flowers. Living in the world of homelessness, I saw a lot of evil and nastiness. So I started reflecting on the good things— flowers, vases, just anything that made me feel pretty. Because if I’m drawing something beautiful, then somebody’s going to catch it. And people have been!”
"POVA gave me a welcoming place, a home, and a community where I could be me and create. When I was homeless and had nothing, creating allowed me to start to feel like the real me again. When I became homeless, there wasn't any time or resouces to make art which led to a deep depression and panic attacks. Creating is when I feel the most Zen. My mind tends to race constantly and, only when I’m doing art, can I can focus all of my energy."
“When I started doing visual art in this program, I started seeing the world for the first time instead of feeling like I was being watched or that everyone was looking at me. I’m a human sex trafficking survivor and a domestic violence survivor. Something heinous happened to me in 2013. Right now I’m working on this rag doll, which is giving me perspective on objectification, especially of women. This doll helps me to remember my body and myself as alive. Before this, I didn’t believe I was seen as a person of agency, that I had an opinion, or experience, or even that I had an inner life, a life of the mind. So it makes me feel like a person of value and worth to see the thoughts from my head come to fruition in a visual and tactile sense, in something I can hold in my hand. I’ve done a lot of stitching and re-stitching on her, which is actually what rag dolls are for, in part: to work on your work. They’re easy to mend. Endlessly creating, endlessly created.”
"When you’re out there homeless, a lot of people lose hope because there doesn’t seem to be a way out. If you can do something to express those feelings, you can find some beauty in your life.”
"When you are homeless, you're less than something in the eyes of other people. You have to balance that with what you think of yourself. Creating art and participating in this program allows me to do that.”