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How do you find your artists?

In order to spread the work about our Artist Collective programming to prospective artists impacted by homelessness in Nashville, TN, we have partnered with Open Table Nashville for Where to Turn in Nashville: A Resource Guide for Navigating the Streets. In 2018 we were under the Employment section, and in 2019 we have 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!

Can I visit the Studio and Gallery?

Absolutely! During the week and on Saturdays, we are open for our artists to come and create. Whenever we are open for our artists, we are also open so the community can have an opportunity to stop by 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.

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.