Homeless Art Spotlighted Through POVA
Updated: May 10, 2021
Financial status has nothing to do with the creation of art, which is something that Nicole Minyard, founder of Poverty and the Arts (POVA), knows well.
This non-profit organization based in Nashville is dedicated to helping those impacted by homelessness find artistic and economic opportunities while highlighting their creative abilities.
Since 2011, Minyard has been passionate about helping the homeless community. She started hosting “Community Arts Days” at the homeless service nonprofit Room In The Inn.
Over the next several years, the event began to grow into something much larger: POVA.
Throughout the past decade, POVA has served 100+ artists and paid out more than $45,000 to those artists impacted by homelessness.
“When I was homeless, I had a fear of people. Some days I would just come to POVA to be with the other artists. They began to be my family. Art makes me comfortable about who I am inside,” said Gwendolyn Johnson, a POVA artist.
When making organizational decisions, POVA is guided by what they call their six core values: accessibility, collaboration, creativity, diversity, entrepreneurship, and integrity. Each of these beliefs are what the organization calls their “cultural cornerstones,” what they hold as the highest when moving forward.
“Artists imagine new ways of living and existing within the world and then share those ideas with society through art,” said Minyard in reference to her organization.