Art From The Streets is an all-volunteer program located in Austin, Texas that was established in 1991, originating from the idea that providing a safe and nurturing environment for transient people to produce art could be a helpful strategy for impacting the homeless population in a positive and productive way. Art From the Streets (AFTS) offers a location for homeless and at-risk artists to express their creativity and share their love of art with one another. The organization gives these artists a chance to cultivate their artistic skills and grow in their expressiveness while developing a greater sense of stability.
The mission of Art From the Streets is to provide a safe and encouraging environment in which the positive spirit and creativity for those experiencing homelessness are nurtured through their own artistic expression.
These artistic endeavors form a pathway to self-determination by means of the sense of achievement, social connections, and income generated through the pursuit of their art.
AFTS successfully launched a Large Gifts Campaign to expand the arts program it offers. The first step the organization wanted to take was to secure a permanent location. In September 2021, AFTS attained 70% of a $600,000 three-year funding goal and was able to use those funds to lease an ideal space. The new home of AFTS is within the Canopy community of creatives in East Austin.
The AFTS space is a 2,000 square foot studio with room for artists to work and host creative community collaborations and events. There, AFTS joins professional artists who maintain studios at Canopy, amongst creative office spaces, art galleries, communal courtyards, and even a café. In addition to being surrounded by nature, the new space also allows AFTS artists to be surrounded by a community of imaginative, innovative, inspiring visionaries. AFTS is now more easily accessible than ever before, with convenient parking and bus line access. Since AFTS now has its own dedicated space, the organization will be able to increase the number of art sessions it can offer to Austin’s transient artists. Further, it eventually will be able to expand the variety of artistic mediums it can support, beyond painting.
Original works created by AFTS artists are for sale online year-round, and at scheduled art shows at their new home and throughout the Austin, Texas area. The artists receive a percentage of sales, positively impacting their lives and encouraging them to continue creating.
Art From the Streets is an Austin-based 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that was established in 1991 to give transient people a way to develop as artists and to use their creativity to climb out of homelessness. Purchasing artwork supports the artists directly. Donating to our program helps us to offer a free Open Studio for the homeless and at risk.