We use creativity to build equity.

Our Mission

Artists For Humanity (AFH) harnesses the power of mentorship and paid professional experiences to inspire teens to build their future.

AFH provides a safe and supportive environment where teens are employed to explore their voice and forge their unique path to success. Our teens transcend economic, racial and social divisions to transform communities through creative expression.

During their time at AFH, teens share their voice in public art, where their creativity is valued. With corporate partnerships, AFH teens provide creative services to the business community, in collaboration with studio mentors, while developing an understanding of business and entrepreneurship for potential career pathways. Through mentorship, the next generation of artists and leaders gain confidence in their own abilities.

  • Jobs With Wages

  • Opportunities to create fine art and design

  • Intensive mentorship

  • Intro­ducing exciting career possibilities

  • 1:1 tutoring, professional development and college/career readiness

  • Experiential arts and stem learning

  • Fun and productive place to spend time after school

Our History

AFH began with an imperative—to address the lack of arts and entrepreneurial experiences for Boston teens—and with an ambitious, unconventional idea – young people can provide, through their innate talent and vision, contemporary creative services to the business community. Training and employing teens offers them a key solution to economic disenfranchisement and has a resounding effect on their lives, their families, and their communities. AFH employs 325+ Boston teens annually in paid apprenticeship in the visual arts and creative industries.

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 and a successful enterprise, serving our youth apprentices and the greater community as a learning laboratory in creative industries. This has inspired us to formalize interdisciplinary arts and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) learning – or STEAM! – in our studios.

We continue to pioneer opportunities for youth to utilize creativity, industry and innovation toward an overarching goal of preparing them for emerging workforce and educational pathways.

A group of teenagers standing close together posing for the camera

Being [at AFH] was a complete game changer for me and my life.

Jamilyah Waldron, AFH Alumna

We are a social enterprise that uses creativity and design as vehicles for social change

AFH is one of the largest on-site employers of Boston young people, with hundreds of teens employed as artists and designers each year during critical out-of-school hours. Recently we launched our long awaited program in New York City. With a uniquely diverse perspective and an unparalleled community of artists, designers, innovators, business, commerce in the most populated city in this country, the opportunities and possibilities are unlimited for AFH NYC and the real impact we can have on youth and the city, as we have been doing in Boston for over 32 years!

Having a job at AFH enhances a teen’s future earning potential, employability and inspires advanced education and training.

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 after school, a culture of respect, responsibility, and engaged mentorship and an opportunity to learn and conduct business in the creative economy.

Beyond the job, AFH offers academic support, including after-work tutoring and comprehensive college readiness.

These combined experiences cultivate social change by equipping young people with the skills needed for careers and entrepreneurship in 21st century creative and technology driven industries, opening doors to successful, self-sufficient futures.

Everyday is a miracle [here] cause you draw something today that you couldn’t do yesterday. You say wow! I couldn’t do that yesterday, what could I possibly do tomorrow. I can do anything. It’s an incredible metaphor for what’s possible!

Susan Rodgerson, Founder, Artists For Humanity

Success Stories

Teen artists give voice to their experience working and learning at Artists For Humanity.

In 2022
Teens employed
Studio mentors who are program alumni
Total teen hours worked creating art and design
$1.4 million+
Total teen wages & commissions earned
$1.2 Million+
revenue earned from creative services
AFH teens who graduated high school
Percentage of seniors who applied to college
AFH Seniors who applied, accepted to college
Total college scholarships received

Opportunities after studio work

AFH reinforces teens' work and experiential learning with robust academic support to assist teens with graduating high school, entering college, earning a degree, or successfully defining pathways to success.


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 helps youth develop individualized plans for post-secondary education, tour colleges, complete applications, and secure financing and scholarships.


AFH links program alumni enrolled in post-secondary education with financial and human resources, and provides them with ongoing employment opportunities and leadership training.


AFH introduces teens to industry professionals in the context of their employment, potential internships and alternative pathways to success.

Meet Our Team

  • Moses Ajou

    Accounting & Finance Manager

  • Phyliss Aleman

    Events Coordinator

  • Kelsey Arbona

    Design Director

  • Claire Bellanger

    Registrar & Exhibitions Coordinator

  • John Brewer


  • Taevaughn Bruno

    Assistant Mentor/Artist/Painter

  • Sommer Byers

    Recruitment Coordinator

  • Aleister Caro

    Recruitment Assistant

  • Gary Chen

    Painting Director

  • Emma Davis

    College Advisor, AmeriCorps Massachusetts Promise Fellow

  • Jamie De Los Santos

    Assistant Mentor, Web Developer

  • Madeline De Michele

    Social Media Coordinator

  • Handy Dorceus

    Director of Creative Technology

  • Nicole Dubov

    Fellowship and Alumni Coordinator

  • Jeff Ellse


  • Hannah Fallon

    Project Director/NYC

  • Tatyana Figueira

    Client Services, Technical Project Manager

  • Mattaya Fitts


  • Courtney Ford

    Director of Individual Giving, Engagement and Events

  • Amril Foster


  • Rich Frank

    Director of Business Development

  • Anna Fubini

    Client Services Project Manager

  • Maya Grevatt

    Director of Operations

  • Michael Guadarrama

    Mentor, Lead Graphic Designer

  • Chris Hope

    Mentor/AFH Artists Fellowship

  • Nikki Hornedo


  • Sion Hur

    Foundation Tech Mentor

  • Susie Jane Wilson

    Grant Assistant

  • Lorraine Johnson

    Director of Marketing and Branding

  • Lesley Kantlehner

    Grants Researcher

  • Mushen Kieta

    Director of Video Production

  • Xanthe Knife

    Exhibition & Curation Assistant 

  • Brenda Leong

    Director of Curatorial Affairs

  • Eir Lindstrom-Holmy

    Director of Institutional Fundraising and Advancement

  • Jesse MacDonald

    Grant Writer & Administrator

  • Janna Mach


  • Ryo Matsuki

    3D Design Director

  • Lizzy Mayer

    AFH Co-Lab Director/Grants Manager

  • Yolanda Mazzoni

    Managing Director, Client Services

  • Dion McKinley

    Assistant Mentor/Artist/Painter

  • Dominique Nelson

    Foundations Studio Director

  • Jordan Nelson

    Mentor/Graphic Designer

  • Mary Nguyen

    Director of Photography

  • Tina Nguyen

    Assistant Mentor/Animator

  • Amanda Pelrine

    Education Director

  • Jameel Radcliffe


  • Joe Ramirez

    IT/Print Production Specialist

  • Lulu Ramirez

    Tutoring Coordinator

  • José Saravia

    Visual Designer

  • Nate Swain

    Facilities/Wood Shop/Artist

  • Jason Talbot

    AFH Co-Founder/Managing Director of Programs

  • Janet Tan

    Assistant Mentor/3D Designer

  • Jonathan Tejeda (Pineapple)

    Mentor/Graphic Designer

  • Luis Urena


  • Trevor Ward

    Animation Director

  • Phoebe Warner


  • Mike Washington

    Director of Finance

  • Dan White

    Mentor/3D Designer

  • Yanyin Wu

    Assistant Mentor/Photographer

  • Tamara Yampolsky

    Assistant Mentor/Graphic Designer

  • Anna Yu

    Executive Director

Board of Directors

  • Kate Agarwal

    Board Chair

    Independent Professional

  • Vickie Alani AIA

    CBT Architects, Senior Principal

  • Rustom A. Cowasjee

    Tishman Speyer, Managing Director

  • Claudia de Piante Vicin

    Dana-Farber Cancer Institute Creative Director, Development Communications

  • Valerie Francis

    Knowhere Art Gallery,
    Global Head of Knowledge

  • Howard Galligan

    Fidelity Investments

  • Sheila Galligan

    Sheila Galligan Design

  • Lee Ann Gilligan

    Financial Consultant

  • David Jegen

    F-Prime Capital, Managing Partner, Tech Fund

  • Jake Lemle, CFA

    Morgan Stanley
    Managing Director, Head of Loan Trading and Capital Markets

  • Dayron J. Miles

    American Repertory Theater at Harvard University, Associate Artistic Director

  • Asha Smith

    GIC, Americas Head of Learning and Development/Employee Engagement

  • Jason Talbot

    AFH Co-Founder/Managing Director of Programs

Board of Advisors

  • Adele Fleet Bacow

  • Lawrence S. Bacow

  • Alexander Caron

  • Renessa Ciampa *

  • Susan Culman

  • Amy d'Ablemont Burnes

  • Ethan d'Ablemont Burnes

  • Amy Fitzgibbons

  • Mathieu Gaulin

  • Rob Gibbs

  • Amanda Goodwin

  • Hodan Hashi

  • Lauren Hasson

  • Deborah Hawkins

  • Tim Houde

  • Jeremy Kay

  • Nicole Kelley

  • Mel King †

  • Misia Landau

  • Lisa S. Lenon

  • Helene Lieb

  • Dr. Audrey N. Lopez

  • Rodline Louijeune

  • Karen McConarty

  • David Nagahiro

  • Nina Nicolosi

  • Abigail Ogilvy

  • Yaro Pan

  • Genesis Perez-Melara *

  • Robert Pittinger

  • Chris Rifkin

  • Lucy Rosenburgh

  • Robert Sachs

  • Alejandra Spruill, Esq.

  • William Stanton

  • Caroline Taggart

  • Lannhi Tran

  • Lisa Van Oossanen

  • Clara Wainwright

  • David Walek

  • Scott Walker

  • Robert Weintraub

  • Bob Wiggins

  • Rom Wilson

  • Kristen Worley

In honorarium

Jill Slosburg-Ackerman Honorary Advisor

Artists For Humanity gave me a voice when no one else would give me a thought.

Damon Butler, Co-Founder, AFH Alumni and Artist/Entrepreneur

Thank you to our supporters, including:

The Lynch Foundation
National Endowment for the Arts
Sustaining Grants - Cummings Foundation - Cummings Foundation
State Street
John Hancock - MLK Scholars
Stavros Niarchos Foundation
Mass Cultural Council
The Wilson Sheehan Foundation
Wellington Management
Liberty Mutual Insurance
Ann Theodore Foundation
edvestors - Driving Change in Urban Schools