November 2022

in the news

An American Repertory Theater Commission Transcends

Not your average teen job!

AFH - 'Not your Average Teen Job'

Imagine a high-schooler being paid to design and create a piece of art for a prestigious institution, focused on racial and gender equity, to be shared on a national stage. This is not unusual for a teen artist or designer working at AFH!  

Harvard University’s American Repertory Theater (A.R.T.) commissioned us to paint a large-scale backdrop for their musical – 1776 – the retelling of the signing of the Declaration of Independence by the founding fathers - this time around, to include those who were not in the room.  

AFH alumnus turned mentor, Ananda Toulon, took on the challenge beautifully with a team of teens, including teen leader, Nora Mohomed, to produce a mesmerizing large-scale painting. 

AFH's A.R.T. Commissioned Painting for the performance 1776

From start to finish, the process was seamless and A.R.T.’s Senior Advisor for Civic Engagement and Strategic Partnerships, Dayron J. Miles, said this of their experience working with AFH on this important project.

A.R.T. Dayron Miles comments on an AFH commission

Surpassing their expectations, A.R.T. decided to feature the painting for future runs of the musical. The painting will travel around the country in 2023 to catalyze conversations with Americans. That’s a powerful experience for teen artist Nora Mohamed. 

AFH Mentor Ananda Toulon comments on A.R.T. commission
AFH Teen Artist Nora Mohomed

With over 270 clients also receiving creative services so far in 2022 - from logo designs to public murals to projections - an AFH job provides more than a paycheck, 21st century job training, and educational support. It provides a seat at the table, promoting socially responsible and innovative solutions. Unlike most after-school jobs, AFH teens have a voice and are influencing Boston businesses, organizations, communities and beyond.

After her first 90 days as Artists For Humanity’s new Executive Director, Anna Yu was impressed, “As a fan for years, I have been inspired by AFH’s incredibly unique mission and model. I have been amazed by the quality of art and design my teen colleagues produce under the mentorship of our talented mentors and for a range of clients, including Fortune 500 companies and critical community organizations.” 

As the largest employer of teens in Boston, AFH offers job opportunities unlike any other available to youth in the city. 

As we close out the year, please consider making a gift to support AFH, and teens like Nora, to ensure more meaningful work and a pathway for careers for our young people - preparing and propelling them to successful futures.

"Not your average teen job!"

Thank you to our supporters, including:

The Lynch Foundation
National Endowment for the Arts
Sustaining Grants - Cummings Foundation - Cummings Foundation
State Street
John Hancock - MLK Scholars
Stavros Niarchos Foundation
Mass Cultural Council
The Wilson Sheehan Foundation
Wellington Management
Liberty Mutual Insurance
Ann Theodore Foundation
edvestors - Driving Change in Urban Schools