Meet our New Non-profit: The Giving Arts Foundation

giving arts foundationThroughout the weekend of the festival, you’ll be able to watch hundreds of artists creating and producing in real time. In addition to more than 150 tattoo artists, several muralists will join the movement. You can find them painting on large canvases outside throughout the weekend. They’ve come from around the world, just for the weekend. While they’re here, they’re making a difference. 

As a signature event of the Giving Arts Foundation (GAF), Live Art for Charity features artists who will transform canvases to be auctioned off online during and after the festival. Look for large signs with QR codes at the event. Take out your phone and scan to be taken to the mobile bidding site. You can also click here to bid until September 20. 

Funds raisied will be used to support the new and growing nonprofit. The mission of GAF is to unite the arts community to support urgent and meaningful causes locally and internationally.

The vision for the nonprofit is to connect and empower artists in localities around the country to positively impact the community at large. GAF will use art to raise awareness and funds for causes that are urgent and meaningful to its members. Artists from varying disciplines will unite for special events and campaigns to generate social and financial support to make an impact. With compassion and perseverance, GAF will ignite the skills of artists motivated to make a difference. Together, we’ll create a safer, healthier, and more beautiful community for us all. 

A few of the muralists creating for the Live Art event include Richmond-based Matt Lively, internationally recognized illustrator Sterling Hundley, surrealist and comic artist Esao Andrews and OG Abel known for his work for Sony, Coca-Cola and Converse. Pablo Fontagnieir,  known as “Hombre SUK” is coming from Germany to attend the event and create a piece of his signature graffiti inspired illustrations. 

This united collection of artists is an example of the ways GAF will ignite artists to make a difference in the community. Leading the way is President Jesse Smith of Loose Screw Tattoo, Vice President Kenny Brown of Jack Brown’s Tattoo Revival, Gabe Ripley of TattoNOW, and Amanda Stephen.

“I’ve spent 20 years building my career and now I want to give back,” Smith said. 

This weekend is not the first time the group has made a difference together. 

Live Art for Charity Richmond Tattoo and Arts FestivalRipley has organized Earth Day fundraisers that unite 80 tattoo shops for flash tattoo fundraisers. In Fredericksburg, Kenny Brown has raised more than $175,000 to support local causes. There’s a room named Jack Brown’s Room in the Rappahannock Council Against Sexual Assault’s facility. 

“At first we couldn’t believe their weren’t any tattooers doing that sort of thing,” Brown said. “Our mission was to inspire others to join in to do it, too.”

As a regular collaborator with Brown, Smith has helped move the vision forward. Here in Richmond, he’s organized events at Loose Screw to raise funds for Lime Disease treatment, for Art180, and for fellow tattoo artist Charles Berger when his shop burned down. 

Proceeds from this weekend’s Live Art for Charity event will support the growth of the Giving Arts Foundation and the causes it supports locally and nationally. You can bid on items here.