Empowering young lives through art

Lafayette Hill, PA   |


Fresh Artists amplifies the voice of vulnerable children by promoting their access to the transformative process of art making, validating their talent and providing opportunities to express their selfless concern for the well being of others.

Ruling year info



Barbara C Allen

Main address

4115 Hain Dr.

Lafayette Hill, PA 19444 USA

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NTEE code info

Visual Arts Organizations (A40)

Arts Education/Schools (A25)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Fresh Artists was founded in 2008 in response to draconian slashes in art education funding in the Philadelphia School District. When schools are faced with a budget crisis, visual art programs are usually the first to be sacrificed, they are seen as a luxury. We believe this could not be further from the truth. Art is necessary. Art has the unique teaching ability to reach all children, both the straight-A, highly engaged student, and the disenfranchised, disinterested child with little else compelling their attendance each day. It is a powerful tool for teaching children with learning disabilities, and for English Language Learner (ELL) students. Art is a universal language, and we work to make sure all children have access to it. Quality art supplies make better artwork, show children they are supported and that their community deeply cares about their education.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Fresh Artists Mini-Masterpieces

An innovative in-school program introducing inner city kids to local, world-class fine art institutions and their treasured masterpieces.  Beginning with a visit to the institution led by a trained Fresh Artists teacher, a class of Fresh Artists kids and their school art teacher learn about the many artworks, select their favorites and spend several sessions back at their school interpreting their chosen masterpiece in acrylic paint or oil pastels, making it their own. The children often have the opportunity to revisit the museum to compare their work with the original. In some cases, an exhibition of the completed children's mini masterpieces will be held by the hosting institution.  Some of the works made may become part of the Fresh Artists collection. All art work originals are returned to the children, in keeping with the core model of Fresh Artists. We are now opening this program up to all schools throughout the country by posting all curricular materials on our website for a free download. We offer changing collections of "greatest hits" from major international museums for the children's study and interpretation.

Population(s) Served

INTERNSHIPS: Teen interns will learn all aspects of Fresh Artists art-based printing business rooted in social entrepreneurship. Fresh Artists creates opportunities for urban youth to learn real life, marketable job skills while exploring their creativity through art-making and digital printing. Interns will learn media arts software, database collections management, art packing, preparation and installation, and professional digital printing. Through real life, hands-on business experience, Fresh Artists prepares kids for higher education, the job market, and the world outside of their communities. Portfolio coaching is available to teens and each intern will have the opportunity to print their own large-format pieces.  Interns help staff printing all large-format digital reproductions for our corporate art program as well as for other small "no-budget-for-art" nonprofits and receive training on state-of-the-art digital equipment donated by industry leader such as HP, Epson, Mutoh, and Neschen.
BIG ART: a hands-on workshop taking kids from original art to large format print by scanning, color-correction, sending through RIP software to printing on a latex, ink--jet or direct-to-substrate wide format digital printer. These four-hour demonstration workshops showcase the entire process. Kids go home with huge digital prints of their own work.

Population(s) Served

A grass-roots program encouraging child-based philanthropy and creativity where any child or groups of children can make art, hold a simple Clothesline Art Sale in their backyard, school, faith-based organization or scout troop and donate the money raised to Fresh Artists which will purchase and deliver art supplies to a needy school in their name. This program was designed specifically to open Fresh Artists up to all children, for example suburban and private school kids, who are excluded from being part of our core model that focuses on engaging disadvantaged children and teens in public schools. All materials for planning and holding a "Clothesline" are available free of charge as a download on our website, including an illustrated children's storybook/workbook with guidelines, lesson plans and printed materials for branding your Clothesline Art Sale. We offer a free kit to any art teacher in a qualifying (70% FRL+) school that contains all printed materials plus a class pack of Cray-pas, sponsored by our friends at Sakura of America. Registration is on our website.

Population(s) Served

Palates to Palettes, the brainchild of a Philadelphia art teacher and incubated in Fresh Artists Greenhouse, is an award-winning program connecting fine art masterpieces from world-class museums to masterpieces in culinary arts from world famous restaurants. The project is run over five-months and has middle-schoolers involved studying classical food-themed still lifes, food styling, cooking, restaurant design and careers in the culinary industry. The program culminates in a double celebration hosted for them by one of the restaurants and then an evening of fine dining and cooking lessons. Our art collection contains many examples from this groundbreaking program. You can see an Emmy-award winning PBS program called The Art of Food on the WHYY-TV website.

Population(s) Served

Chip Art, another idea hatched by an extraordinary art teacher and amplified in partnership with Fresh Artists, takes obsolete paint color sample chips one finds in paint departments and transforms them into luminous paper mosaic artwork. After seeing the artwork of her elementary school children, we joined forces with Behr Paint to repurpose 100% of the chips that would end up in landfills when colors, collections and numbers were changed every few years. We now offer free Chip Art Kits to any qualifying art teacher (70%+ FRL) that include enough color chips for 200 kids, a lesson plan, and supplies.

Population(s) Served

Artful All-Calls are fun and purposeful art-making challenges designed around special themes. If selected, the artwork may become part of a new product that raises funds for our programs - such as a calendar, a Fresh Artists Memory Game or simply to become part of the Fresh Artists Collection that goes to work to raise funds to support art in public schools. 600 kids responded to an All-Call to interpret floral masterpieces from famous art museums for exhibition at the 2014 Philadelphia Flower Show. All of the entries were exhibited at SEPTA's Market East Train Station as well as gracing the inside and outside of a city bus, the Fresh Artists Mobile Museum of Mini-Masterpieces, traveling the city streets for a year! A similar rendition of this program was run for the 2019 Philadelphia Flower Show. The children heeded the call for "portraits of my most memorable dog", which became a wall calendar in 2013 called "TheDog Ate My Homework", raising funds given to no-kill animal shelters. This calendar was an example of our core value to "take your art off the fridge and put it to work" to help others. All-Calls engage children in schools throughout the country. In 2020 Fresh Artists is running Fresh Fur, Fin, & Feathers Zany Zoo all call in celebration of the 50th anniversary of Earth Day.

Population(s) Served

Art teachers in cash-strapped public schools turn to Fresh Artists to freshen up their empty sheaves through our annual distribution of kits of free high-quality art supplies. Grants made to art teachers enable them to give their students access to fresh watercolors sets, brightly hued tempera paints, quality brushes and craft supplies - all materials needed for kids to experience a sense of their own creative potential. We give grants in three main ways: Annual Art Kit Grants, Discretionary Angel Art Grants, and "Surprise Supplies" pop-up distributions usually in partnership with big gifts from national and local product manufacturers. Any qualifying art teacher may sign up on our website to learn about these generous offerings throughout the year. Go to the Art Educator portal.

Population(s) Served

The Corporate Art Program is the centerpiece of Fresh Artists work and most explicitly conveys our mission of "Lateral Philanthropy". Reproductions of the children's artwork "goes to work" to help other children. Funds donated by companies of large-scale installations in exchange for children's artwork support the delivery of supplies and art programs to under-resourced schools. Fresh Artists magic sauce is contained in this simple, paradigm-shifting formula. Employees thrive from daily exposure to the children's refreshing, bold, and vibrant work, while young people know that donating the use of digital reproductions of their artwork generates funds to help other kids receive free art supplies and innovative art programming for their schools. It's a win, win, win…

Population(s) Served

Greenhouse is an innovative thank-tank and incubator that sows and grows art teachers' entrepreneurial ideas to help them bring much-needed resources to their classrooms. Many art teachers have great ideas for seeking donations of goods and services but lack the time or fundraising experience to achieve the results they need. Fresh Artists invites selected art teachers into the Studio to provide one-on-one coaching and brainstorming, helping them flesh out their ideas, develop a plan for implementation and mentor them through the course of their project. We also can identify potential collaborators and provide assistance with contacts and collateral materials. We offer low-cost printing services to "no-budget-for-printing" nonprofits and teachers, utilizing the power of our digital print studio to print posters, banners and special product projects that are developed in Greenhouse.

Population(s) Served

Design Camp is a two-day brainstorming/workshop in design for elementary and high school Fresh Artists kids working withindustrial, fashion, graphic and interior design mentors from institutions such as Pratt Institute, Fashion Institute of Technology, School of Visual Arts, Philadelphia University, Tyler School of Art and University of the Arts. Young designers learn from leaders with experience in the design industry like Rhode Island School of Design, Knoll Furniture, Haworth, Urban Outfitters, and DENY Designs. In this focused- one-day or weekend workshop, youngsters create images and patterns that could ultimately become products such as home goods, wall coverings, gift wrap, and shower curtains - with the hope that they can become "great art doing good" to help others. They are introduced to the actual design process and real life challenges in product design. Several designs created during Design Camp have become real products in the DENY Designs Fresh Artists Collection, Crate & Kids line of home goods, and a carrying case for Stick-lets rubber connectors.

Population(s) Served

We believe that “some people cross your path and change your whole direction.” This is the inspiration behind Cool Jobs, a program we started in 2016 after learning of the near 50% drop out rate in Philadelphia after 8th grade.
Our annual three-day event buses 600 local 7th graders to the Moulin event space in East Falls, Philadelphia to blow their minds. Our aim is to keep the city’s most vulnerable children in school by putting interesting, successful people in their path. goal is to transport them, to change their perspective, to pull them out of the world they know and show them the immense and endless possibilities of where their life can go. Pastry Chefs, Architects, Vehicle wrappers, Professional prop and puppet designers for TV and movies, muralists. Most of these fabulous careers are in and around Philadelphia. When many of these children think of a job they think of nurse, cleaning person, store clerk, service industry, all respectable and honorable jobs that the world needs. But what about the people who approach and think about the world a little differently. The world needs creative minds and we cannot afford to let them wither and fail because of a lack of access to a full education, role models and mentors, and exposure to the vast amount of jobs in the creative economy.
Each year we are working to make the program more impactful for the young students attending. Part theatre, part job fair, part please touch museum, part TEDTalk. We want the children to be transfixed by the presenters while still having an interactive experience. Something to kick start their ambition and provide a map to guide them from the first step and on to arriving and designing their own exciting life by having a dream and pursuing it with purpose.

Population(s) Served

Where we work


Purpose Prize Winner 2010

Civic Venture

Presenter/Speaker 2011


Great Friends to Kids 2011

Please Touch Museum

Segment 2013

TODAY Show - Life Reimagined

Segment 2013

WHYY Friday Arts

Finalist - Award for Nonprofit Innovation 2012

The Drucker Institute

Finalist - Award for Nonprofit Innovation 2013

The Drucker Institute

Purpose Prize Fellow 2009

Civic Venture

Show Your Impact Winner 2008

Adobe Systems Incorporated

Community Champion 2019

Philadelphia 76ers

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

To empower young lives through art by:

PHILANTHROPY – Creating a unique circle of giving by introducing vulnerable children to the concept of philanthropy, generating tangible opportunities for them to act as philanthropists and inviting them to use their talent and bold generosity.

PUBLIC ADVOCACY – Making invisible children visible by placing their art in prominent, unexpected places. Their artwork eloquently reminds us that every child has the right to a quality public education and every child has promise. We believe that this amplification of children's voices will attract, engage and inspire people to take bold, individual action to solve challenges facing public education.

SUPPORTING SCHOOLS – Delivering much-needed, quality art supplies and innovative art programs to severely under-funded public schools.

Our first 13 years identified the mission, methodology, created a world-class collection of more than 2300 pieces of artwork donated by 1987 children in 46 states. We built the infrastructure and established the core program, a turnkey corporate art consultancy with a 100% unique product – strong, vibrant and meaningful artwork made and donated by K-12 kids in some of the poorest schools in the country. And designed and implemented 14 innovative, free art programs directly serving vulnerable children in severely underfunded public schools.

Our strategy is to be connectors and conveners. Fresh Artist began when Barbara Allen, a career museum administrator, was asked to design an installation of children’s art for the Philadelphia School District’s new headquarters at 440 N. Broad. She had a radical new idea: select the most colorful and vibrant pieces, capture them digitally, and have them printed at five to ten times their original size. As these stunning, scaled up reproductions went up, staff and visitors took notice and wanted to purchase this art for their homes and businesses. A big idea was born! Start a nonprofit to keep art alive in public schools. Fresh Artists would curate a national collection of the children’s art work with a purpose. Businesses would make financial donations and receive reproductions of children’s artwork for their offices as a thank-you gift to their donors. Fresh Artists uses that money to purchase art supplies for under-resourced schools. It’s a win-win-win, a true circle of giving providing a revenue stream to fund art making and groundbreaking art programs for young people who need it most. Think of it as a not-for-profit corporate art consultancy with the sole purpose of supporting art education and career exploration in severely stressed schools. This wholly inclusive model engages children as philanthropists and puts their art to work to help others. Since 2008 Fresh Artists has installed thousands of reproductions of children’s incredible artwork in commercial, nonprofit and corporate buildings throughout America; enabling the delivery of more than $2.5M in art supplies and art programming into the hands of low-income children and schools. Empowering children through art is the core of all our work. When a child donates their art to Fresh Artists, they become philanthropists - catalytic partners in a quest to level educational inequality. They are empowered by seeing their creations create change in public education.

We are proud of our unique partnership model of enabling the private sector to engage in meaningful and practical solutions for the challenges in public education. Fresh Artists connects and supports veteran and newly-minted teachers on the front lines of some of our most severely challenged public schools. These alliances, through our unique Greenhouse program, an incubator of entrepreneurial ideas to bring resources to disadvantaged classrooms, continues to have gratifying success. Chip Art Lesson Plan Kits, Annual Art Kit grants, and Re-Fresh, our program to transform depressing school exteriors with weather-proof galleries of vibrant artwork made from the students within are shining examples of our innovative placemaking strategies.

Fresh Artists has developed many important and prominent partners in the printing industry – Canon, Mutoh America, HP, Foster, Sawgrass, all of them donating printing, cutting and finishing equipment valued at hundreds of thousands of dollars to our mission in the form of printing & cutting equipment, media, materials, software, and training. This allowed Fresh Artists to build its own print studio/maker space, which not only saves money on printing costs but enables us opportunities to run programs focused on the printing industry for local children. Fresh Artists runs Design Camps and a Teen Internship Program teaching local kids how to take an idea from their imagination and turn it into a real life product they can hold in their hand, while learning valuable real life skills.
Additional partnerships with manufacturers of art materials like Sakura of America, ColArt, Mayco Ceramics, Sax and School Specialty greatly increases the amount of supplies Fresh Artists is able to deliver to schools in need annually. Art supplies are purchased at an extremely deep discount or donated in-Kind to Fresh Artists by the pallet-load for our Surprise Supplies Pop-Up Give-Aways!
Our capabilities are strengthened by our engagement and inclusion of the children we serve by inviting them to be donors: the philanthropists and catalytic partners in making our communities better places to grow up. We are stronger because of our partnerships with teachers, schools, corporate sponsors, and local industry. We promote education that teaches critical thinking and problem solving, and practice what we preach. The fact that we are a small organization allows us to be agile, finding timely and unique ways of reaching underserved youth in our area. Fresh Artists believes in dreaming big and inventing fresh solutions to old problems, while staying conscious of the realities of everyday life for children in our country’s most impoverished communities. We are an unusual creative organization made up of individuals with backgrounds in art, design, museum curation, logistics, and organization. We use our experience to experiment and find DIY low-cost methods, allowing us to use more of our precious funding directly on programming. The generous gifts of equipment and supplies from our corporate partners is evidence of a powerful source of our strength: the shared belief that art has the ability to change lives, because it changed our lives, and the lives of our donors.

Delivered the value of more than $2.5M in quality art supplies and innovative art programs, impacting kids in high poverty school districts

Introduced over 2,400 children from underfunded schools to unique, joyful, and well-paying careers through incredible and successful artists making a living doing a job they love for life

Curated The Fresh Artists Collection of over 2300 pieces of children’s art donated by 1800 K-12 children in high-poverty school districts to “go to work to help schools-in-need.”

Expanded into a multi-use space including offices, a fully operational print studio with generous equipment donations from industry leaders, a collaborative space to host professional development for teachers and design camps for kids, and warehouse space from which we distribute art supplies to underfunded schools all across the country

Designed and piloted fifteen highly innovative art programs connecting low-income schools, children, and teachers with local and national private sector resources for their classrooms.

Fresh Artists continues to expand our Corporate Art Program to partner with more businesses throughout the country. We witness again and again the power of our children’s artwork, installed in unexpected places, to transform a traditional office building or uninspired public space from dull to brilliant, vibrant, playful and inspirational place to work or linger. It’s gratifying to watch how people are genuinely shocked when they discover a piece of Fresh Artists work, walk up to read the wall label and discover the art was made, AND DONATED by a second-grade child in a rough, inner city school!

Fresh Artists has seen the profound and immediate effect our pioneering Cool Jobs Expo has on its young participants. We want to be able to expand its reach not just to more students in our 5-county region, but kids all over the country. We have begun to build the new Cool Jobs Launch Pad, an online intuitive and interactive Cool Jobs resource with no geographical boundaries (or snowstorms or pandemics!). Stories from creative makers, bakers, and entrepreneurial industry shakers will be able to be accessed by young kids searching for a future they can be excited about, parents of these children seeking information and of course, art teachers, guidance counselors and administrators throughout the country. Video tours of studios, hands-on DIY creative projects, and short video bios of artists, designers, chefs, art therapists, fine art conservators, and medical illustrators telling their stories of their hard work, success, and some failures along their educational path to a dream job that pays them for doing what they love!

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

    Electronic surveys (by email, tablet, etc.), Paper surveys,

  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects,

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    Our staff, Our board, Our funders,

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?



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The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.


Connect with nonprofit leaders


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Connect with nonprofit leaders


Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.


Board of directors
as of 9/16/2020
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board co-chair

Barbara Chandler Allen

Founder & President of Fresh Artists

Term: 2008 -

Board co-chair

James Pinheiro

ANRO, Inc.

Barbara Chandler Allen

Founder & Executive Director of Fresh Artists

Rosemarie Fabien

Fabien Communications

Susan Yeager

Bright Solutions, Inc.

Jim Pinheiro

Anro Printing Company

John Pauciulo

Eckert Seamans Cherin & Mellott, LLC

Kimberly Sedmak

AARP's Policy, Reseach and International Division (PRI)

Jason James


Keisha Hudson

Montgomery Cty. Public Defender

Jerria Williams

FBI, retired

Lyn Godley

Jefferson/Philadelphia University

Ted Borowsky


Adam Aquino

BEHR Paint

Caralyn Spector

William Penn Foundation

Christine Kochiever

CKS Staffing

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? No
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? No
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 03/19/2020

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.


The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity


Sexual orientation


Equity strategies

Last updated: 11/01/2019

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

  • We review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.
Policies and processes
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.