We use creativity to build equity.

OUR MISSION

Artists For Humanity (AFH) provides under-resourced 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 under-resourced 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.

Success Stories

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

In 2019
329
Teens employed
50%
Earned Revenue
58K+
total hours teens worked creating art and design
76%
Artist mentors who are program alumni
100%
AFH teens who graduated high school
96%
AFH teens accepted to college
30
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:

AFTER-WORK TUTORING

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.

COLLEGE READINESS

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

COLLEGE RETENTION

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

CAREER ADVISING

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

  • Kelsey Arbona

    Design Director

  • John Brewer

    Mentor/Photographer

  • Gary Chen

    Mentor/Artist

  • Jennifer De Los Santos

    Recruitment Coordinator

  • Handy Dorceus

    Director of Creative Technology

  • Jeff Ellse

    Mentor/Artist

  • Hannah Fallon

    Project Director/NYC

  • Courtney Ford

    Director of Individual Giving, Engagement and Events

  • Rich Frank

    Marketing and Events Director

  • Rob Gibbs

    Director of Artist Fellowships

  • Massiel Grullon

    Alumna Artist in Residence

  • Lorraine Johnson

    Director of Creative Services and Communications

  • Mushen Kieta

    Director of Video Production

  • Jackie Kirwan

    Assistant Mentor/Animator

  • Brenda Leong

    Director of Curatorial Affairs

  • Eir Lindstorm-Holmy

    Director of Institutional Fundraising and Advancement

  • Janna Mach

    Mentor/Photographer

  • Ryo Matsuki

    Mentor/3D Designer & Engineer

  • Lizzy Mayer

    STEAM To Schools Director/Grant Manager

  • Yolanda Mazzoni

    Artistic Director

  • Andrew Motta

    Operations/Finance Director

  • Jordan Nelson

    Mentor/Jr. Graphic Designer

  • Domonique Nelson

    Mentor/Printmaker

  • Dyllan Nguyen

    Creative Project Director

  • Mary Nguyen

    Director of Photography

  • Kitauna Parker

    Alumna Artist in Residence

  • Amanda Pelrine

    Education Director

  • Fred Plowright

    Social Media Coordinator

  • Jameel Radcliffe

    Mentor/Artist

  • Joe Ramirez

    IT/Print Production Specialist

  • Regina Parkinson

    Curation and Exhibitions Coordinator

  • Headshot of Susan Rodgerson

    Susan Rodgerson

    Founding Executive/Artistic Director

  • Fio Russo

    Mentor/3D Designer

  • José Saravia

    Visual Designer

  • Nate Swain

    Artist, Wood Shop/Facilities

  • Jason Talbot

    Co-Founder/Director of Fine Art Entrepreneurship

  • Jonathan Tejeda (Pineapple)

    Mentor/Jr. Graphic Designer

  • Trevor Ward

    Animation Director / Creative Technology Mentor

  • Phoebe Warner

    Mentor/Artist

  • Dan White

    Mentor/3D Designer

Board of Directors

  • Yaro Pan

    Board Chair

    Wellington Management, Managing Director

  • Natalie Lemle

    Board Vice-Chair

    Arts Strategy Consulting, Founder/Principal

  • Kate Agarwal

    Independent Professional

  • Marcella Barrière

    Google,
    Real Estate Project Executive

  • 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,
    President, Fidelity Pricing and Cash Management Service

  • Sheila Galligan

    Shelia Galligan Design

  • Jake Lemle

    Eaton Vance, CFA
    Director of Leveraged Loan Trading & Portfolio Manager

  • David Nagahiro

    CBT Architects,
    Principal

  • Nina Nicolosi

    Huntington Theater Company, Director of Human Resources

  • John Slyconish

    State Street,
    Executive Vice President & Treasurer

  • Jason Talbot

    Co-Founder/Director of Fine Art Entrepreneurship

  • Rob Weintraub

    Independent Real Estate Developer, Restauranteur

Board of Advisors

  • Adele Fleet Bacow

  • Lawrence S. Bacow

  • Alexander Caron

  • Susan Culman

  • Amy d'Ablemont Burnes

  • Amy Fitzgibbons

  • Mathieu Gaulin

  • Lee Ann Gilligan

  • Amanda Goodwin

  • Lauren Hasson

  • Deborah Hawkins

  • Jeremy Kay

  • Nicole Kelley

  • Mel King

  • Eric Kramer

  • Misia Landau

  • Mark Lank

  • Lisa S. Lenon

  • Harriet Lewis

  • Helene Lieb

  • Michele May

  • Meghan McNamara

  • Aaron Myers

  • Abigail Ogilvy

  • 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

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
NEFA
The Wilson Sheehan Foundation
Wellington Management
Liberty Mutual Insurance
Ann Theodore Foundation
edvestors - Driving Change in Urban Schools