Social Entrepreneurs Help The Homeless Sell Their Art, Regain Dignity
Siblings Elizabeth and Spencer Powers have created an ingenious way to help the homeless and disabled and they are raising money on Kickstarter to expand their reach. The Powers have created Artlifting, a program that enables them to help artists among the homeless and disabled to monetize their art.
Recently, we caught up with them to learn more about it. Here is what they told us:
What is the social benefit you hope to achieve with or through your crowdfunding campaign?
We are siblings from Boston who are passionate about creating jobs for homeless and disabled individuals. We have worked with disadvantaged individuals for the last 8 years and saw a striking problem: homeless and disabled individuals across the country create amazing art but have no way to share it with the wider community. Our solution was creating a professional online gallery that features homeless and disabled artists, called ArtLifting. We sell prints and originals of our artists’ artwork to customers on our website, as well as directly to businesses looking to decorate their walls with beautiful and inspiring art.
We launched ArtLifting in Boston with our savings on a shoestring budget and our first four artists have experienced great financial and confidence gains from being able to sell their work through ArtLifting. We launched a Kickstarter campaign to help us add 65+ new artists to our platform in 5 new cities (or more!). Our aim would be to bring the same financial and confidence benefits to artists across America and provide reliable income to disadvantaged individuals by helping them sell their art through our gallery.
How much money are you hoping to raise and why? How much have you raised so far?
We are looking to raise $20,000 to reach 65 new artists in 5 cities. At the time of submission, we have raised $6,826. We will use the $20,000 to travel to the 5 new cities we aim to add to our platform, to purchase professional photography and video equipment for photographing art and videotaping interviews with our artists, and for marketing spending. These funds will enable us to create professional marketing that treats our artists with the respect that they deserve. Being featured on a professional online art gallery will help homeless and disabled individuals earn their own money and build self-esteem.
Whom are you trying to help with your project and why?
We aim to help homeless, disabled, and other disadvantaged individuals sell their artwork through a professional gallery. Sales through ArtLifting help art move from the closets of homeless shelters to worldwide sales. Without ArtLifting, the thousands of homeless and disabled individuals across the country have no means to sell their artwork scalably. By selling prints and originals of artwork we are changing lives. People who previously went unnoticed are now receiving national attention for their talents. By focusing on the strengths of homeless and disabled individuals, we are helping them build confidence and increasing understanding across our community.
What rewards, if any, are you offering to your supporters?
Our rewards range from ArtLifting personalized thank you cards ($25) to canvas and art supplies ($100) to a beautiful framed ArtLifting print ($1000) to meeting an artist and the founders ($2500).
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