How do you find your artists?

We utilize several methods in order to spread the word about our Artist Collective programming to prospective artists impacted by homelessness in Nashville, TN. In 2018, we partnered with Open Table Nashville for Where to Turn in Nashville: A Resource Guide for Navigating the Streets, and were under the Employment section. In 2019 we helped Open Table Nashville create an Arts section for the Where to Turn in Nashville resource guide to make it easier for people on the streets to find and access art programming. Our community engagement intern also researches and reaches out to agencies that serve similar populations each semester and we send marketing material and establish relationships in an effort to educate social service workers, case managers, recovery centers, and more about our Artist Collective opportunity. We also have business cards with our program description, contact info, and bus info that community members can distribute to artists experiencing homelessness they know or see. To pick up a dozen Become a POVA Artist business cards, email our Executive Director, Nicole.

Who can become an artist?

All applicants must be at least 18 years of age and have authorization to work in the U.S. In addition, artists must be currently homeless or have experienced homelessness at some point in their life with an artistic background or desire to engage in an creative outlet to earn income. To join the Artist Collective, prospective artists start by completing an Artist Application and attending an Artist Orientation. To learn more about becoming an artist, click HERE.

How do you pay your artists?

Poverty and the Arts pays our artists with checks, and through our relationship with Suntrust Bank our artists impacted by homelessness do not have to pay fees when cashing their checks without a bank account at a Suntrust location. The complex nature of our artists' circumstances prohibit many of them from opening their own bank account (i.e. home address, regular income, etc.) but that is the eventual goal. Having access to cash their checks at no charge is a first step in the process of re-establishing stability, hopeful that eventually they can open their own accounts.

Where can I buy artwork?

Customers can purchase artwork online, during our Second Saturday Art Stumble, during open studio hours, or at an exhibition or event around town. View our past and current events HERE. Follow us on social media for upcoming events @PovertyandtheArts!

How long will it take to receive my online order?

The average delivery time for domestic orders is two weeks. Once you place your order, we will carefully package it and bring it to our local USPS office within the next three business days. Once the package has been dropped off at the post office, you will receive an email that your order has been shipped. If your order is currently part of an outside exhibition, it will ship following the exhibition's closing date. For expedited shipping/pickup options and more information regarding the shipping/pickup timing, email our Program Coordinator, Emily.

How much does it cost to ship art to me?

The price of shipping artwork is based on the size and weight of your order using USPS shipping rates. While every order is different, our online shop will automatically calculate your shipping costs during the checkout process, but before you finalize the payment.

Do you ship internationally?

We're sorry, but we do not typically ship to international destinations for orders placed online. Customers outside of the U.S. who wish to purchase POVA art may contact our Executive Director, Nicole, to be considered.

Can I commission an original art piece for my collection or office?

Yes, most of our artists are available to work on commissioned pieces. Customers will have an opportunity to discuss the details of their desired commission with the artist and will be provided a sketch or color palette by the artist creating the piece. Please note that depending on size, commissioned pieces can take anywhere from 3 weeks to 3 months to complete. If interested in commissioning a piece, please email our Program Coordinator, Emily.

Can I visit the Studio and Gallery?

Absolutely! We are open during the week and on Saturdays for our artists to come and create. These hours also provide an opportunity for members in our community to stop by to meet our artists, browse our latest group exhibition in our gallery, and/or purchase a piece or product in our storefront area. To see our current open hours, click HERE. We are also open for group and private tours upon appointment. Email our Executive Director, Nicole, to schedule one today.

Can I meet a POVA artist?

Absolutely, our artists love meeting people in the community! To meet a specific POVA artist, email our Executive Director, Nicole. Our artists are available to give interviews, provide tours of our studio and the city, live paint at your event, and share their story to your group.

How do I license work for products that I want to produce?

We're always open to collaborations with like-minded companies and organizations. Please contact our Executive Director, Nicole, to discuss working together. 

Do you offer gift cards or gift certificates? 

Yes, if you want to purchase a POVA gift certificate, click HERE. 

Why are you both a social enterprise and a non-profit?

Unlike traditional social enterprises, POVA operates as a nonprofit social enterprise to give our artists and artisans impacted by homelessness the freedom to design, create, price, and sell their original works of art and jewelry. Your tax-deductible donations allow us to provide our artists and makers with the needed training and mentorship to grow and get better at designing and pricing their works, even if that means we don’t meet our “bottom line” in artwork sales. Centering our clients’ creativity and imagination is important to us as we develop our earned income opportunities. Our artists keep full creative and professional freedom, while leveraging the resources in our Artist Collective to learn and grow. Your investment, whether through buying artwork or making a donation, tells our artists to keep dreaming, keep growing, and keep creating!

How and when did you start?

Poverty and the Arts started as college student's dream and volunteer project in Fall 2011. The project's goal was to bring community members together and connect Nashville’s rich with Nashville’s poor using creativity and the arts. With the mission of providing a marketplace for artists impacted by homelessness to earn income with their creative skills, our founder filed for 501c3 status her Junior year of college in 2013, graduated May 2014, and received POVA's 501c3 letter in July 2014! Read our Founder and Executive Director's story HERE.

Who do I contact for press inquiries?

Do you want to feature POVA or a POVA artist in your magazine, zine, blog, or newspaper? Please contact our Executive Director, Nicole, at for press inquiries.