Please join us as Rosalyn D. Elder AIA, LEED AP, Chair of the Placemaking Network facilitates a discussion with the leadership of Artists for Humanity, AFH, Susan Rodgerson, Jason Talbot, Richard Frank, and Courtney Ford, in an exploration of how this innovative, mission driven arts organization achieves such high levels of success. AFH empowers local youth to gain self-sufficiency through paid employment in art and design. AFH's portfolio includes public art installations such as art projections on prominent Boston buildings, interior and exterior public art murals, environmental graphics, wayfinding graphics, public art sculptures, and street furniture. AFH teens were the graphic designers for the logo of the BSA's Race and Architecture Network.
AFH began in the early 1990s with Susan Rodgerson, and a few students in an after-school program with an imperative - to address the lack of arts experiences within the Boston Public School system - and with an ambitious, unconventional idea - that young people can, through their innate talent and vision, provide creative services to the business community. Two of those initial students, Rob Gibbs and Jason Talbot, joined with Rodgerson to develop AFH into a program that today employs over 325 Boston teens annually in paid apprenticeships in the visual arts and creative industries. An additional 500 plus youth are provided with immersive arts exploration experiences through Visual Arts Residencies.
In 2004, AFH moved into its own building at 100 West Second St. in south Boston, the EpiCenter. This was Boston's first LEED Platinum Certified building. The EpiCenter is a space where the creation of art is celebrated as a necessary part of our democracy. AFH not only provides a vehicle for youth to engage in artistic expression, it helps to create citizens who will develop into leaders because they have been provided with the tools to become creative problem solvers.