Chief Happiness Spreader and co-founder Liz Powers worked as a social worker running art groups in Boston, when she discovered that a lot of the quality art being produced in these shelters and disability centers were being thrown away or left to collect dust. A common refrain she heard while working in these groups was “Liz, I want opportunity, not a handout.” She started ArtLifting to give these artists a platform to show their talents.
ArtLifting is about creating opportunity, empowerment, and validation. We offer artists the chance to secure their own income through the sale of original paintings, prints, and products. By showcasing and selling artwork via ArtLifting, artists gain self-confidence that permeates all aspects of their lives. As a social enterprise and benefit corporation, we are using “business for good.” Every artist earns 55% of the profit from the sale of their work; 1% from each sale goes to a fund, which provides art supplies to art groups nationwide; and ArtLifting uses the remaining 44% to further our mission. We realize that in order to make sustainable change, we need to run a financially sustainable business.
Liz explains: “When I realized that there was no company similar, I knew that ArtLifting had to be founded. The infrastructure (art programs in shelters and disability centers) was already in place, and the artists were already creating art. The only thing missing was a marketplace for this art. ArtLifting gives these artists a platform to sell their artwork.”
“My goal is to make their invisible talents visible and by doing so, change stereotypes. Instead of defining people by their circumstance, we should define them by their talent.”