We use creativity to build equity.


Artists For Humanity (AFH) provides teens the keys to self-sufficiency through paid employment in art and design.

AFH is built on the philosophy that engagement in the creative process is a powerful force for social change, and that creative entrepreneurship is a productive and life-changing opportunity for young people.

Bridging economic, racial and social divisions, AFH enriches urban communities by introducing young people's creativity to the business community.

  • Jobs With Wages

  • Opportunities to create fine art and design

  • Intensive mentorship

  • Intro­ducing exciting career possibilities

  • Experiential arts and stem learning

  • Fun and productive place to spend time after school

Our History

AFH began with an imperative—to address the lack of arts and entrepreneurial experiences for Boston teens—and with an ambitious, unconventional idea – young people can provide, through their innate talent and vision, contemporary creative services to the business community. Training and employing teens offers them a key solution to economic disenfranchisement and has a resounding effect on their lives, their families, and their communities. AFH employs 325+ Boston teens annually in paid apprenticeship in the visual arts and creative industries.

Since 2004, when we constructed Boston’s first Platinum LEED-certified facility, the Artists For Humanity EpiCenter, AFH has continued to bring leadership and vision to our work in the community. We have grown exponentially as a youth and cultural community resource and a successful enterprise, serving our youth apprentices and the greater community as a learning laboratory in creative industries. This has inspired us to formalize interdisciplinary arts and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) learning – or STEAM! – in our studios. AFH continues to pioneer opportunities for youth to utilize creativity, industry and innovation toward an overarching goal of preparing them for emerging workforce and educational pathways.

A group of teenagers standing close together posing for the camera

Being [at AFH] was a complete game changer for me and my life.

Jamilyah Waldron, AFH Alumna

We are a social enterprise that uses creativity and design as vehicles for social change

AFH is one of the largest on-site employers of Boston young people, with hundreds of teens employed as artists and designers each year during critical out-of-school hours. Having a job at AFH enhances a teen’s future earning potential, employability and inspires advanced education and training.

AFH counteracts the risks facing young people – one teen at a time – by giving them a job, enrichment that comes from the arts and cultural experiences, a safe place to go after school, a culture of respect, responsibility, and engaged mentorship and an opportunity to learn and conduct business in the innovation economy.

AFH offers academic support, including after-work tutoring and comprehensive college readiness.

These combined experiences cultivate social change by equipping young people with the skills needed for careers in 21st century creative and technology driven industries, opening doors to successful, self-sufficient futures.

Everyday is a miracle [here] cause you draw something today that you couldn’t do yesterday. You say wow! I couldn’t do that yesterday, what could I possibly do tomorrow. I can do anything. It’s an incredible metaphor for what’s possible!

Susan Rodgerson, Founder, Artists For Humanity

Success Stories

Teen artists give voice to their experience working and learning at Artists For Humanity.

In 2019
Teens employed
Earned Revenue
total hours teens worked creating art and design
Artist mentors who are program alumni
AFH teens who graduated high school
AFH teens accepted to college
Years employing and inspiring Boston teens

After work opportunities

Education Initiative and Support at AFH

AFH reinforces teens' work and experiential learning with robust academic support to assist teens with graduating high school, entering college, earning a degree, or successfully defining pathways to success. Our support includes:


As needed, AFH provides teens with individualized, one-on-one tutoring to help them develop basic and advanced comprehension in core subjects, succeed in tests, and improve grades.


AFH helps youth develop individualized plans for post-secondary education, tour colleges, complete applications, and secure financing and scholarships.


AFH links program alumni enrolled in post-secondary education with financial and human resources, and provides them with ongoing employment opportunities and leadership training.


AFH introduces teens to industry professionals in the context of their employment, potential internships and alternative pathways to success.

Meet Our Team

  • Moses Ajou

    Accounting & Finance Manager

  • Phyliss Aleman

    Events and Office Coordinator

  • Kelsey Arbona

    Design Director

  • John Brewer


  • Gary Chen

    Painting Director

  • Handy Dorceus

    Director of Creative Technology

  • Nicole Dubov

    Fellowship and Alumni Coordinator

  • Jeff Ellse


  • Hannah Fallon

    Project Director/NYC

  • Courtney Ford

    Director of Individual Giving, Engagement and Events

  • Rich Frank

    Director of Business Development

  • Rob Gibbs

    Co-Founder, Managing Director of Alumni Programs

  • Michael Guadarrama

    Mentor, Lead Graphic Designer

  • Lorraine Johnson

    Director of Marketing and Branding

  • Lesley Kantlehner

    Grants Researcher

  • Mushen Kieta

    Director of Video Production

  • Brenda Leong

    Director of Curatorial Affairs

  • Eir Lindstrom-Holmy

    Director of Institutional Fundraising and Advancement

  • Jesse MacDonald

    Grant Writer & Administrator

  • Janna Mach


  • Ryo Matsuki

    3D Design Director

  • Lizzy Mayer

    AFH Co-Lab Director/Grants Manager

  • Yolanda Mazzoni

    Managing Director, Client Services

  • Dominique Nelson

    Foundations Studio Director

  • Jordan Nelson

    Mentor/Graphic Designer

  • Mary Nguyen

    Director of Photography

  • Amanda Pelrine

    Education Director

  • Jameel Radcliffe


  • Joe Ramirez

    IT/Print Production Specialist

  • Regina Parkinson

    Curation and Exhibitions Coordinator

  • José Saravia

    Visual Designer

  • Nate Swain

    Facilities/Wood Shop/Artist

  • Maya T. Grevatt

    Director of Operations

  • Jason Talbot

    AFH Co-Founder/Managing Director of Programs

  • Jonathan Tejeda (Pineapple)

    Mentor/Graphic Designer

  • Luis Urena


  • Trevor Ward

    Animation Director

  • Phoebe Warner


  • Dan White

    Mentor/3D Designer

  • Sarina White

    Development Associate

  • Anna Yu

    Executive Director

Board of Directors

  • Kate Agarwal

    Board Chair

    Independent Professional

  • Natalie Lemle

    Board Vice-Chair

    Arts Strategy Consulting, Founder/Principal

  • Vickie Alani AIA

    CBT Architects, Senior Principal

  • Rustom A. Cowasjee

    Tishman Speyer, Managing Director

  • Claudia de Piante Vicin

    Dana-Farber Cancer Institute Creative Director, Development Communications

  • Valerie Francis

    Knowhere Art Gallery,
    Global Head of Knowledge

  • Howard Galligan

    Fidelity Investments

  • Sheila Galligan

    Shelia Galligan Design

  • David Jegen

    F-Prime Capital, Managing Partner, Tech Fund

  • Jake Lemle, CFA

    Morgan Stanley
    Managing Director, Head of Loan Trading and Capital Markets

  • Dayron J. Miles

    American Repertory Theater at Harvard University, Associate Artistic Director

  • John Slyconish

    State Street,
    Executive Vice President & Treasurer

  • Jason Talbot

    AFH Co-Founder/Managing Director of Programs

  • Rob Weintraub

    Independent Real Estate Developer, Restauranteur

Board of Advisors

  • Adele Fleet Bacow

  • Lawrence S. Bacow

  • Randi Benash

  • Alexander Caron

  • Susan Culman

  • Amy d'Ablemont Burnes

  • Ethan d'Ablemont Burnes

  • Lilee Dethchan

  • Amy Fitzgibbons

  • Mathieu Gaulin

  • Rob Gibbs

  • Lee Ann Gilligan

  • Amanda Goodwin

  • Lauren Hasson

  • Deborah Hawkins

  • Tim Houde

  • Jeremy Kay

  • Nicole Kelley

  • Mel King †

  • Eric Kramer

  • Misia Landau

  • Mark Lank

  • Lisa S. Lenon

  • Harriet Lewis

  • Helene Lieb

  • Rodline Louijeune

  • Karen McConarty

  • Nina Nicolosi

  • Abigail Ogilvy

  • Yaro Pan

  • Robert Pittinger

  • Chris Rifkin

  • Lucy Rosenburgh

  • Robert Sachs

  • William Stanton

  • Caroline Taggart

  • Lannhi Tran

  • Lisa Van Oossanen

  • Bradley Vernatter

  • Clara Wainwright

  • David Walek

  • Scott Walker

  • Bob Wiggins

  • Rom Wilson

  • Kristen Worley

In honorarium

Artists For Humanity gave me a voice when no one else would give me a thought.

Damon Butler, Co-Founder, AFH Alumni and Artist/Entrepreneur

Thank you to our supporters, including:

The Lynch Foundation
National Endowment for the Arts
Sustaining Grants - Cummings Foundation - Cummings Foundation
State Street
John Hancock - MLK Scholars
Stavros Niarchos Foundation
Mass Cultural Council
The Wilson Sheehan Foundation
Wellington Management
Liberty Mutual Insurance
Ann Theodore Foundation
edvestors - Driving Change in Urban Schools