In September 2018, we released the John Cowart line of boards, shirts and mugs for Arts of Life in Chicago. Over the next few months, we were incredibly humbled by the outpouring of support, and thrilled to be selling merch through our webstore or in person within our respective cities. All the while, we nourished a strong relationship with the staff and artists in residence at Arts of Life- and gained some insight as to how our donation may benefit their mission. Arts of Life advances the creative arts community by providing artists with intellectual and developmental disabilities a collective space to expand their practice and strengthen their leadership.
From our first release with John Cowart, we were able to donate over $1,200.00 to Arts of Life. When artists are brought into the studio, they are given a stipend with which they can purchase the materials needed to produce their work. Over the course of the year, Arts of Life hosts a series of shows and exhibitions, public displays that allow artists to showcase and ultimately sell their work. This gives artists the opportunity to independently pay off their stipend by practicing their craft in a constructive setting. The proceeds we were able to give to the Arts of life are helping to maintain the studio space, staff, tools and other essentials required in running such a program.