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Orga­ni­za­tions doing good work in their communities

ACE Mentor­ship — Founded in 1995 as an inno­v­a­tive way of attract­ing students, partic­u­larly students of color, women and low-income popu­la­tions into careers in the archi­tec­ture, construc­tion and engi­neer­ing indus­try. ACE’s mission is to inform and excite high school students about career oppor­tu­ni­ties in archi­tec­ture, construc­tion and engi­neer­ing; encour­age students to pursue secondary and post-secondary educa­tion that will prepare them for careers in the inte­grated construc­tion indus­try; and support the devel­op­ment of basic and tech­ni­cal skills through mentoring relationships.

A Work­shop of Our Own — WOO’s mission is to create a profes­sional wood­work­ing envi­ron­ment which culti­vates and promotes the careers of women and gender non-conform­ing crafts­peo­ple in our field. 

BeLoved Asheville — Provid­ing oppor­tu­ni­ties for people from diverse back­grounds to use their voices, skills and unique gifts to trans­form their lives and commu­ni­ties. They are dedi­cated to provid­ing orga­nized mutual aid for our neigh­bors – espe­cially those most at risk: elders, people on the streets and living in poverty and the African Amer­i­can and Latinx communities.

Craft­ing the Future — Part­ner­ing with Youth Arts Orga­ni­za­tions across the country to provide their students with schol­ar­ships to renowned Craft schools and pre-college programs. Not only to create path­ways into the field for BIPOC artists, but offer contin­ued support once these artists have arrived. This means connect­ing people with profes­sional oppor­tu­ni­ties like intern­ships and commis­sions that will help estab­lish their networks and plant roots in the community. 

Girls Garage — A nonprofit design and build­ing program and dedi­cated work­space for girls and female-iden­ti­fy­ing youth ages 9 – 18. Founded in 2013, Girls Garage is the first-ever design and build­ing work­shop for female youth in the United States.

Made in Engle­wood — An inter­dis­ci­pli­nary design studio on the south side of Chicago that creates objects that are cultur­ally-rela­tive and driven by the narra­tives of the commu­nity in which it resides. Through commu­nity outreach, they strive to provide local resi­dents access to their knowl­edge and skill set and provide oppor­tu­ni­ties for them to learn, grow and be inspired with the ulti­mate goal of encour­ag­ing entre­pre­neur­ship within the community.

Project Rowhouses — Based in Houston’s Historic Third Ward, PRH is a commu­nity plat­form that enriches lives through art with an empha­sis on cultural iden­tity and its impact on the urban land­scape. We engage neigh­bors, artists, and enter­prises in collec­tive creative action to help mate­ri­al­ize sustain­able oppor­tu­ni­ties in margin­al­ized commu­ni­ties. Their mission is to empower people and enrich commu­ni­ties through engage­ment, art, & direct action.

ReFoundry — Co-founders and furni­ture makers Cisco Pinedo and Tommy Safian created a mission driven orga­ni­za­tion in LA & NY to provide formerly incar­cer­ated people with skills and oppor­tu­ni­ties to achieve finan­cial inde­pen­dence and become leaders and job creators in their commu­ni­ties.

TinyWPA — Their mission is to grow and empower an army of talented commu­nity-design leaders — Build­ing Heroes — that will make Philadel­phia the national model for how to engage people of all ages in the design of their cities and help lay the foun­da­tion of an incom­pa­ra­ble future for commu­nity-gener­ated civic inno­va­tion. Its Build­ing Hero Project provides youth and adults from diverse social and economic back­grounds with inno­v­a­tive, year-round train­ing in design, collab­o­ra­tion, lead­er­ship, fabri­ca­tion, and entrepreneurship.

Would Works — Provid­ing a work oppor­tu­nity for people who are home­less or living in poverty. Would Works creates and sells wood prod­ucts that are hand-crafted by indi­vid­u­als who have an imme­di­ate finan­cial need and are working towards a goal.

YaYa Inc — YAYA (Young Aspi­ra­tions Young Artists, Inc.) was founded in 1988 as a creative and entre­pre­neur­ial part­ner­ship between New Orleans artist Jana Napoli and art students from Rabouin High School (Inter­na­tional High School of New Orleans). The after-school enrich­ment program nurtured the creative talents of local high school students in ways that also strength­ened their acad­e­mic success, life skills, and profes­sional prepared­ness. With a focus on found objects and repur­posed mate­ri­als, early YAYA Artists (The Orig­i­nal 8) learned to turn their creative talents into career path­ways. The YAYAs” sold artworks through­out the CBD (Central Busi­ness District) of New Orleans, then in New York and other U.S. cities, and finally inter­na­tion­ally. In the process, YAYA’s guild program of youth devel­op­ment through art became a model for emerg­ing orga­ni­za­tions across the country.