Artists For Humanity (Boston, MA)


  • Name:Susan Rodgerson
  • Title:Executive/Artistic Director

Organization Address

  • Organization Name:Artists For Humanity
  • Address:100 West Second Street
    Boston, MA 02127
    United States

Organization Phone

  • Main phone:617-268-7620

User Email


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  • Mission:
  • Founded in 1991, Artists For Humanity’s (AFH’s) mission is to provide underserved urban youth with the keys to self-sufficiency through paid employment in the arts. AFH’s mission is built on the philosophy that exposure to the arts is a powerful force for social change, and creative entrepreneurship through the arts is a productive and life-changing opportunity for young people. Bridging economic, racial, and social divisions, AFH restores urban neighborhoods by introducing young people’s creativity to the business community.

    AFH began with what was then an ambitious and unconventional idea – young people can provide, through their creativity, tangible services to the commercial world; this concept is now a proven model for youth development. Training and employing urban teens is a solution to economic disenfranchisement and has a resounding effect on communities. AFH employs Boston teens in paid apprenticeship in the visual arts and creative industries, including Painting/Murals, Sculpture/Industrial Design, Screen Printing, Graphic Design, Motion Graphics, Photography, Web Design and Video.

    For many years, research has strongly linked arts education with increased student achievement and self-esteem. Research also links arts education with success in the business world. As renowned business analyst and author Daniel H. Pink observes, we are moving into the Conceptual Age, and prospering in this age requires the skill set gleaned from a comprehensive arts education (1). Pink cautions, however, that “it is essential for young artists and designers to be literate in business.” (2)

    For 20 years, AFH has offered this precise combination of arts and business training to hundreds of underserved urban teens. Our timing could not be better! As youth graduate from AFH’s paid apprenticeship, they are plying their skills in a market increasingly receptive to creative and aesthetic vision. But – given the current economy – youth are also entering an increasingly competitive market. AFH bolsters our young people’s job readiness by equipping them with the 21st century skills needed to excel in the modern workforce.

    At AFH, we recognize the need to bridge the disparate communities of business and urban neighborhoods. This means providing opportunities for these groups to understand and learn from one another by fostering the progressive action needed to create these experiences. By successfully working together with clearly defined expectations, teens and adults recognize each other’s value and contributions.

    Artists For Humanity took another important step toward achieving a synergy between youth and community by constructing a 23,500 square foot facility to house our programs and gallery. The EpiCenter builds on the years of success Artists For Humanity has earned in empowering young people through the opportunity to participate in groundbreaking ideas on sustainability, community development and the future of society. The EpiCenter has been built using environmentally responsible methods and incorporates renewable energy technologies. It demonstrates the feasibility – and affordability – of green design and the role it will play in the future of our changing built environment. The EpiCenter was certified in October 2005 as one of the country’s most environmentally sustainable commercial buildings.

    (1) Pink, Daniel H.; A Whole New Mind; 2006.
    (2) Pink, Daniel H.; “The Coming Right-Brain Economy;” Connection; Summer 2005

  • History:
  • In 1991, 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 urban 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 and driven, 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 urban communities to Boston’s business community.

    In the past 20 years, AFH has grown to employ 225 teens each year in the arts and creative entrepreneurship. AFH is 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.
    AFH has received national recognition (1) and has been studied extensively (2) as an exemplar of effective mentorship, youth empowerment and social entrepreneurship. Our model has been disseminated internationally to organizations that utilize our framework of respect, relationships, and responsibility to empower young people in their communities.

    (1) Select awards include: 2010 Bank of America Neighborhood Builders Award; 2010 MetLife Foundation’s Innovative Space Awards – Honorable Mention; 2007 Rudy Bruner Award for Urban Excellence - Silver Medal; 2005 Best Practices in Teen Programming, Boston’s After School for All Partnership; and 2001 Coming Up Taller Award, the President’s Committee on Arts and Humanities.
    (2) Select universities that conducted and/or are teaching case studies include: Stanford University Business School, Harvard University, Boston University, Brandeis University, Carnegie Mellon University, Columbia University, and Pace University.

  • Year established:1991
  • Endowment:Unknown


  • Executive / Trustee board size:6
  • Advisory board size:39
  • Staff size:29


  • Organization type:Grantseeker
  • Country of registration:United States
  • Tax Determination Letter:Received Determination Letter
  • IRS Section:501(c)(3)
  • IRS Subsection:None
  • Tax ID:04-3138434

Other Organization Web

IRS Business Master File Information

  • EIN:043138434
  • Organization Name:ARTISTS FOR HUMANITY INC
  • Sort (Secondary) Name:
  • Care Of Name:% JONATHAN ATWOOD
  • Organization Address:100 W 2ND ST
  • Organization City:BOSTON
  • Organization State:MA
  • Organization Zip:02127-1112
  • Group Exemption Number:0000
  • Subsection Code:03
  • Classification Code(s):1
  • Subsection/Classification Desc.:Charitable Organization
  • Affiliation Code:3
  • Ruling Date:August, 1996
  • Deductibility Code:1
  • Foundation Code:15
  • Foundation Code Desc.:Organization which receives a substantial part of its support from a governmental unit or the general public 170(b)(1)(A)(vi)
  • Activity Code(s):429
  • Activity Code Desc.(s):Other inner city or community benefit activities
  • Organization Code:1 (Corporation)
  • Exempt Org. Status Code:01 (Unconditional Exemption)
  • Tax Period:December, 2016
  • Filing Requirement Category:01 (990 (all other) or 990EZ return)
  • Accounting Period:December
  • NTEE Code:A250
  • Asset Amount:$19,280,439
  • Asset Code:8 ($10,000,000 - $49,999,999)
  • Income Amount:$8,304,025
  • Income Code:7 ($5,000,000 - $9,999,999)
  • 990 Revenue Amount:$8,271,759
  • Last Updated:2/22/2018 2:42:23 pm

This information is directly from the IRS Exempt Organization Business Master File at Exempt Organizations Business Master File Extract. This information is not under the control of the Common Grant Application and is collected and compiled and can only be changed by the IRS.