In fact, AFH is one of the largest employers of youth in the City of Boston,
with 250 under-resourced teens employed as artists and designers each year during critical out-of-school hours. According to the Center for Labor Market Studies, just the fact of having a job enhances a teen’s future employability, earning potential, and even the likelihood of their graduating from high school,
but very high fractions of low income and minority teens are jobless (2008).
This demographic is largely represented in AFH’s youth workforce. 83% of our youth employees are from low- and very-low income diverse families. Moreover, 54% live in the Boston neighborhoods most beset with violence and 44% live in single-parent households. These factors place our youth at higher risk for failing
or dropping out of school and for significantly decreased employability.
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 with their peers after school; a culture of respect, responsibility, and engaged mentorship; an opportunity to learn and conduct business in the innovation economy; and the studio habits of mind which transfer into essential life skills. AFH reinforces the teens’ work and experiential learning with robust academic support systems – including a fully integrated arts and STEM curricula; embedded written and computer literacy activities; thrice-weekly tutoring; ongoing college readiness workshops with individualized goal-setting pathways; and college retention supports – all designed to assist young people with
obtaining a high school diploma or equivalent and with embarking on post-secondary education.
These combined experiences cultivate social change by inspiring youth and equipping them with the skills needed for well-paying careers in the workforce
of tomorrow, by opening doors to successful, self-sufficient futures.
AFH’s real achievements lie in the pathways young people take following their experience here. In 2015:
AFH’s model can and has been successfully adapted to meet youth challenges
in other communities, both urban and rural. We have been delighted to see
AFH-based programs thrive in several disparate communities, including Woonsocket, RI (RiverzEdge Arts Project); Kansas City, MO (MyArts); North
Little Rock, AR (The Art Connection); New Orleans, LA (Youth Creative Agency) and Framingham, MA (The TEMPO program at Wayside Youth Services).
We constantly field inquiries from new communities eager to learn our approach and implement it for their youth population. We recognize the need to scale our arts enterprise model with an expanded facility in Boston so we can incubate new program innovations and respond to requests for adapting our model.
AFH reinforces the teens' work and experiential learning with robust academic support systems designed
to assist them with persisting in high school, entering college and earning
a degree. Interventions include:
Through a partnership with BPS Arts Expansion at Edvestors, AFH youth employees at under-performing schools can earn high school credits for the integrated arts education they receive while working at AFH.
STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, ARTS! Mathematics):
when art meets STEM. AFH mentors make explicit the STEM concepts embedded in AFH projects and practices to better connect youth with their school learning and expose them to
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 links program alumni enrolled in post-secondary education with financial and human resources, and we provide them with ongoing employment opportunities and leadership training.
All teens craft and refine artist
statements, reflection pieces, and descriptions of STEM used in art making.
AFH helps youth develop individualized plans for post-secondary education, tour colleges, complete applications, and secure financing and scholarships.
In my view this is more than just art,
it’s an opportunity:
one that allows our young people to
find and peruse their passion whether
it’s in the arts or another field.
Patrice Jean Louis Louvet
Former Group President, P&G
Wanna see magic? Visit Artists For Humanity - where young folks create
cool stuff and young women write their future.
Former MA Attorney General
Counsel in Foley Hoag's Litigation Department
Teen artists give voice to their experience working and learning at
Artists For Humanity.
66% of AFH alumni successfully earn a college degree
(compared with the national average
A 2014 alumni survey found 89% of past participants either actively
enrolled in school or in productive careers
100% of AFH’s high school seniors
graduate on time
100% of AFH's high school seniors have been accepted to post-secondary education or advanced vocational training
Seeing all the kids
so engaged in such meaningful and
was uplifting in a
way I never
WHAT WE'RE TALKING ABOUT