In 1990, Susan Rodgerson – artist, teacher, and entrepreneur – felt the need to address the lack of arts experiences within the Boston Public School system. Her vision was to inspire a group of 13 to 14 year olds at an inner-city middle school to engage in the creative process through visual arts. The intent was to communicate their experiences to the larger world, thereby empowering them and educating their community. She found young people hungry for opportunity to have a voice and engage in the world. Together with six talented and dedicated young people, inspired by this venture and driven to succeed, these collaborations continued and they co-founded Artists For Humanity. AFH began as an entrepreneurial venture that produced and marketed large-scale collaborative paintings reflecting the voice and vision of the rich cultural diversity of urban communities to Boston’s business community.
Today, AFH remains a haven for teens from every corner of the city, a place where they can explore and express their creative abilities, identify possibilities for continuing education, and most importantly, dispel the myth that the larger world is forever closed to them. AFH develops young people as leaders in social change.
“They came every day after school. In the summer, they were sitting on the steps outside my studio and I was driving them home at night.” (Susan Rodgerson, artist, AFH co-founder and Executive/Artistic Director)