Mission, Vision, & Values


Established in 2014, Poverty and the Arts (POVA) is a nonprofit social enterprise, based in Nashville, TN, that provides people impacted by homelessness with access to creative resources and an artistic platform to enhance their quality of life. POVA also highlights the creative talents of people impacted by homelessness in order to broaden perspectives and foster meaningful and equitable relationships across communities.

Learn more about our Artist Collective Program and our Shared Walls Art Program.

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 our environment impacts our behavior and that 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.