We have plenty of evidence, found in an organization that is our role model: Artists for Humanity, established in 1991, hires up to 250 Boston area creative teens for projects such as designing cool new Reebok tennis shoes or a recycled paper flower installation for a major bank. About 85 of its teens are paid to paint and create art in an oversize studio during the summer.
Artists for Humanity sold or leased more than $1.5 million in fine art, design services and other creative products, and the average teen earned $2,153 in wages and or commissions in 2014. AFH senior leadership serve as Mint advisors and mentors, and have already helped four other similar organizations establish themselves.
In Detroit, Mint is creating strong partnerships with local and regional nonprofit organizations including Junior Achievement, Downtown Boxing Gym, the Sphinx Organization and the Ruth Ellis Center. And in only 18 months, we track several successful Mint alumni who are using the lessons and relationships developed Mint to thrive.
Our other hope for success comes from the diversity and commitment of our co-founders, who bring artistic, business and community building skills to Mint.