Today we’d like to introduce you to Liz Powers.
Liz Powers, ArtLifting’s co-founder and Chief Happiness Spreader worked as a social worker running art therapy groups, 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. She started ArtLifting to give these artists a platform to show their talents. A common refrain she heard while working in these groups was “Liz, I want opportunity, not a handout.” By allowing these artists to showcase their talent to a national audience, ArtLifting gives them the opportunity to be successful on their own merit.
“I’ve worked in homeless shelters and disability centers for over 10 years, when I got the idea to start art groups to alleviate the loneliness. With that, I realized there were already existing art groups all across the country, about 1,000 of them, and that quality, salable art was being produced every day in these groups! The issue was that the art wasn’t going anywhere after. Instead it would just collect dust or be thrown out. This is where I realized the need for something like ArtLifting. ArtLifting gives these artists a previously nonexistent platform to sell their artwork.”
ArtLifting was founded in November 2013, by two Boston siblings, Liz and Spencer Powers as a public benefit corporation. They started with just 4 local Boston artists. Now ArtLifting has grown to over 110 artists nationwide and adding.
“My ultimate goal is to create a movement celebrating strengths. There are countless hidden talents out there, and our goal is to inspire people to notice them,” says Liz.
Has it been a smooth road?
We started ArtLifting with the $4,000 savings my brother and I had, and four artists who were all from Boston. Three years later, we have over 100 artists nationwide and growing. Focus has been one challenge. We have 3 sales channels, so it was hard in the early days to test out ideas before having a full team.
So, as you know, we’re impressed with ArtLifting – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
ArtLifting is an organization that empowers artists facing homelessness and disability through the sale and celebration of their artwork. We partner with art programs in existing disability centers and homeless shelters and curate the top artwork our artists produce.
ArtLifting is about creating opportunity, empowerment, and validation. We offer our artists the chance to secure their own income through the sale of original paintings, prints, and products. By showcasing and selling artwork via ArtLifting.com, our 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.
ArtLifting has three revenue streams. We offer original art, merchandise, and licensing deals. Merchandise, such as prints, greeting cards, or totes, as well as licensing deals allow reoccurring income for our artists. All of our artists submit an application, go through a curation process, and then are able to sell their work on our website. Unlike other galleries, artists make a majority of the sale price. We open a market to them that was previously closed, allowing them the opportunity to secure their own income.
Some ways to explain what ArtLifting is:
ArtLifting is a marketplace for artists facing homelessness and disability.
ArtLifting is making invisible talents visible.
ArtLifting is a Public Benefit Corporation, which allows the company to operate as a business, while also maintaining a social mission.
Let’s touch on your thoughts about our city – what do you like the most and least?
The Charles River is my favorite part about Boston! The social divisions within the city is something I like least.
- Original artworks from around $400 to $4000
- Prints starting at $75
- Merchandise such as phone cases, tote bags, notebooks, and more starting at $20
- Website: artlifting.com
- Phone: 1-304-TALK-ART (1-304-825-5278)
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org