Artists For Humanity, Inc. (Boston, MA)


  • Name:Patrice Maye
  • Title:Director of Institutional GIving

Organization Address

  • Organization Name:Artists For Humanity, Inc.
  • Address:100 West Second Street
    Boston, MA 02127-1112
    United States

Organization Phone

  • Main phone:617-268-7620
  • Main fax:617-268-7358

Organization Web

User Email


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  • Mission:
  • Artists For Humanity’s (AFH) mission is to provide underserved urban youth with the keys to self-sufficiency through paid employment in art and design. AFH’s mission 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 and their communities. Bridging economic, racial, and social divisions, AFH restores urban neighborhoods by introducing young people’s creativity to the business world.

    AFH utilizes four strategies to realize our mission by offering youth: (1) the respect and responsibility of paid employment that promotes self-esteem and workforce readiness; (2) a safe, meaningful place where teens develop important mentoring relationships; (3) an opportunity to be part of a creative community; and (4) educational enrichment that supports and encourages high school graduation and post-secondary education.

  • Overview:
  • Our name notwithstanding, Artists For Humanity is more than a youth arts organization; we are a social change agent that fuses experiential arts education with career exploration, bolstered by significant academic supports, to steward under-resourced young people -- often first generation college goers -- toward college graduation. Our education to career trajectory speaks to AFH’s overarching mission to provide young people with the tools for self-sufficient futures.

    Under-resourced teens enter AFH because they need a job, because they want a safe place to go with their peers after school, because they want to be part of something productive. What they find is a culture of respect, responsibility, and engaged mentorship where their creativity is valued, their peers are their colleagues, and they have an opportunity to learn and develop advanced skills in creative-thinking, communications and problem solving that will assist them as they plan their futures. Pointedly, AFH is one of the largest employers of youth in the City of Boston, with ~250 youth employed annually during out-of-school hours.

    Having a job enhances a teen’s future employability, earning potential, and the likelihood of their graduating from high school, but “very high fractions of low income and minority teens are … jobless” (Sum, Andrew. Center for Labor Market Studies. Northeastern University. 2008.) This demographic is largely represented in AFH’s youth workforce. 83% of our youth employees are from low- and very-low income families. 56% live in the Boston neighborhoods most beset with violence; 44% live in single-parent households.

    These factors place our youth participants at higher risk for failing or dropping out of school and for significantly decreased employability. The AFH experience counteracts these risk factors, and sets young people on exciting pathways to success. By mastering self-discipline through arts practice, AFH youth apply greater focus to academics and future goals. This helps them become role models for each other and to other young people in their families and communities.

    The indicators of success are compelling:
    * 100% of AFH’s high school seniors graduate; 95% on time (compared with the Boston Public School’s 65.9% rate of graduating students in four years).
    * 95% of AFH’s program graduates annually go on to post-secondary education or advanced vocational training; 66% successfully earn a college degree (compared with the national average– 46% – of college goers obtaining a degree).
    * A 2014 alumni survey found 89% of sampled alumni either actively enrolled in school or in productive careers in the innovation economy.

    Working at AFH shifts the paradigm for under-resourced Boston teens by significantly increasing their future education, employability and earning potential, priming them for well-paying careers in the workforce of tomorrow.

    AFH is currently guided by a 10-member Board of Directors, which plays an active role in strategic planning, raising funds, organizational budgeting, program development, and establishment of policy. 26 full-time and 10 part-time staff execute day-to-day operations. Our board and staff reflect Boston’s multi-racial population; 11 staff members are bi-/multi-lingual.

    Participant ownership is at the crux of AFH. Our program perpetually cultivates young people’s leadership and personal growth through collaboration and self-governance. Two of the original cohort of six teens from our founding in 1991 now help lead the organization, direct its growth and develop its distinctive multi-layered mentorship structure. Each year, 15-20 program alumni are employed as mentors and assistant mentors in AFH’s summer program and special projects.

  • History:
  • In 1991, artist/entrepreneur Susan Rodgerson felt the need to address the lack of arts experiences for Boston's under-resourced youth. Her vision was to inspire a group of teens to engage in the creative process and participate in commerce. The intent was to communicate youth experiences to the larger world through the creation and marketing of their collaborative works, thereby empowering them and educating their community. Rodgerson found these young people hungry for the opportunity to have a voice and engage in the world, and this inspired her founding Artists For Humanity.

    “They came every day after school. In the summer, they were sitting on the steps outside my studio and I was driving them home at night.” Susan Rodgerson

    AFH began with what was then an ambitious and unconventional idea – young people can provide, through their innate talent and vision, contemporary creative services to the business community. Training and employing urban teens offers them a key solution to economic disenfranchisement and has a resounding effect on their lives, their families, and their communities.

    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, a successful enterprise, and a center for economic and environmental sustainability. The EpiCenter serves our youth apprentices and the greater community as a learning laboratory in creative industries, environmental sciences and renewable technologies. It 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 trends in workforce and educational pathways.

    In the past 24 years, AFH has received many awards, gained national recognition, and been studied extensively as an exemplar of program excellence, community arts, college access and readiness, effective mentorship and youth empowerment.

    Our model has been disseminated internationally to organizations that utilize our framework of respect, relationships, and responsibility to empower young people in their communities. But don’t take our word for it; consider what some of our young people have to say:

    “I love the fact that this place actually exists. Everybody should have the opportunity to be involved in this. AFH has made it very clear that it is hard to get somewhere without a college education. They have given me the skills and responsibility to be able to manage my time and be able to get things done.” Amanda Pelrine

    “AFH has given me some background knowledge of what it takes to get into college, and I now have many resources to help me on my way to a future for design.” Thornton Nguyen

    “The greatest thing about AFH is that it helps students in different academic areas. I met my SAT mentor there and she helped me through the summer to prepare me for the test. And I actually made a big improvement. AFH not only creates great opportunity for me to develop my interest in art, but also helps me look further in my future.” Jingwen Long

  • Year established:1991
  • Endowment:Unknown


  • Executive / Trustee board size:10
  • Advisory board size:55
  • Staff size:36


  • Organization type:Grantseeker
  • Country of registration:United States
  • Tax Determination Letter:Received Determination Letter
  • IRS Section:501(c)(3)
  • 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:2/21/2018 9:12:59 am

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.