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The Origins of Artists For Impact

The origins of Artists For Impact trace back to 2017, when two high school best friends — Dasha Boswell and Ris Igrec — realized spaces for young artists to share their work in their community were scarce.  While their area held a few galleries and the occasional live show, opportunities for their classmates were nowhere to be found. After several excited conversations, they decided to take action and create what was missing. They aimed to provide a platform for their friends who made music in their basements, the kids who wrote poetry in their English classes, and their own artwork. This platform would give a safe space to young artists and provide opportunities to obtain exposure around the community.

The two then decided to find a way to give back to the community through their idea. Thus, at the beginning of their junior year, Artists For Impact came to life. They decided AFI would hold events comprised of musical performances, spoken word, and artwork, with all proceeds going to a local charity. Dasha and Ris found the perfect venue in MADE: My Art and Design Experience, an art studio that graciously agreed to host the events.

Months of planning, advertising, nerves, and excitement culminated in Artists for Impact’s first event. The success of this event prompted Dasha and Ris to plan more shows, and in just five events, Artists for Impact raised a total of $2473.00 for Futbol For Kids (November 2017), The LOFT: LGBT Community Center in White Plains, New York (May 2018, June 2019), Sad Girls Club (November 2018), Girls Rock! DC (February 2019), and Dwell DC (February 2019).

In July of 2019, Artists for Impact became a 501(c)3 nonprofit. Plans were made for expansion, with more events in New York City, New Haven, and Washington, DC on the horizon. However, the COVID-19 pandemic put a halt to these plans. Despite this, AFI will be returning to live shows in August of 2021 and is planning for a bright future!

Follow Artists for Impact on Instagram @artistsforimpact to keep up with future events and opportunities.