How the Arts Can Promote Equity for Underrepresented Populations

Happy Artober, everyone! In honor of Artober, I’ve partnered with my local community foundation to explore how the arts can be used to support all kinds of philanthropic causes through a short podcast mini-series. In Part 1, I highlight four organizations in my home base of Nashville, TN to discover how arts programs can help promote equity for underrepresented populations including people with disabilities, people impacted by homelessness, minority gender and sexuality groups, people experiencing mental illness, and people recovering from addiction.

Meet 4 Nashville based nonprofit organizations promoting equity through the arts:

☑️ Lori Kissinger from Borderless Arts

Borderless Arts is using the arts to help prepare people with disabilities for their careers, including one man who was able to perform with Josh Turner at the iconic Grand Ole Opry! Borderless Arts is celebrating the 100th anniversary of RCA at the Country Music Association (CMA) on October 17 with a free musical performance and hosting a free Halloween party for individuals with disabilities on October 23. Visit for more info.

☑️ Nicole Minyard from Poverty and the Arts (POVA)

POVA supports people experiencing homelessness who are looking for healing, financial stability, and an opportunity to break down stereotypes about homelessness. During Artober, you can view POVA exhibits at the Belcourt Theatre Gallery, The Well Coffeehouse Downtown, The Good Cup, Patterson Intellectual Property Law offices, and Center 615. Learn more at

☑️ Nettie Mae Kraft from Verge Theatre Company

Verge Theatre Company promotes women and LGBTQ artists to help audiences experience a different point of view. Nettie is working with Woven Theatre Company (another nonprofit theatre group prioritizing LGBTQ issues) to host “Tall Tales by AD Timms” in Artober at The Barbershop Theater. Visit for more tickets.

☑️ Lynece Benton-Stewart from Healing Arts Project Inc (HAPI)

HAPI is an organization using the arts to provide purpose for people impacted by mental illness and addiction. HAPI’s Artober exhibit will be on display at the Nashville Public Library Edgehill Branch through October 31. Visit for more info.

Don’t miss Part 2 of my Artober podcast mini series!

I also cover a wide range of topics related to nonprofit management on my podcast, including board development, program creation, and grant writing. Use the button below to subscribe and find previous episodes which may benefit your nonprofit work!