Here’s a great concept: an entrepreneurial arts program in which self-taught adult artists with developmental, intellectual, or mental disabilities create "outsider" art while developing artistic and life skills, gaining confidence, achieving self-expression, and earning income from the sale of their work. The only program of its kind in the region, Art Enables provides participants with the opportunity, materials, environment, and marketing support to succeed as professional artists. The finished artwork is exhibited locally (in the studio and at local and regional galleries), and nationally and internationally via AE online, where each artist also has his or her own web page. Participants receive 60% of the proceeds from their art, and design fees for cards and merchandise: for many, this is their first and only source of income. Great results? You bet! Last year artists welcomed more than 5,000 visitors to the gallery and sold over $84,000 of artwork. Art Enables gives artists the opportunity to tell their stories through art – and share them with the public. Truly a win-win. Won’t you be part of this beautiful picture?

Headquarters: DC-Ward 5

Where They Operate: DC-Citywide; MD-Montgomery County; MD-Prince George's County; VA-Statewide; Woodridge

Age Groups Served: Adult (25-49); Seniors (50+)

Ethnic Groups Served: African American; Asian American; Caucasian; Latino/Hispanic

Population(s) Served: Disabled; Low- to Moderate-Income Community Members

  • Retention Rate of Artists:   90%

Awards & Recognition

Mayor's Arts Award 2012


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Budget (FY2013)

  • $3 million or higher
  • $1 million to $3 million
  • $500k to $1 million
  • The current budget for Art Enables is: Less than $500k

Catalogue charities range in size from $100,000 to $3 million. This graphic indicates the budget range of the organization featured here. If you see an organizational budget above the $3 million mark, that is because the featured charity has grown in size since it first appeared in the Catalogue. We proudly present on our website the work of these "growth" charities.

About the Catalogue for Philanthropy

Each year 120 expert reviewers evaluate applicants for distinction, merit, and impact. Each featured charity has been successfully site visited and its financials given the thumbs up. The Catalogue for Philanthropy charges no fees and raises funds separately to support its work. Since 2003, it has raised over $40 million for charities across the Greater Washington region.

The Catalogue for Philanthropy looks to friends like you to keep our services independent and entirely free of charge. Consider a small contribution to the Catalogue to cap off your gift and help the causes you care about get the full support they deserve!

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