'Artists for Humanity' Blend Art and Economics

When it comes to the art world, 17-year-old Kershner Williams feels right at home. He strives to take his world of art to everyone else's world. Kershner's works are prominently featured at a Boston gallery, and they've also shown up in a few other high-profile places.

As CBS News correspondent Michelle Miller reports, his talent may have gone undiscovered, if not for Artists for Humanity.

Nineteen years ago, artist Susan Rodgerson created the after-school and summer program to teach art - and the art of the deal. The kids are encouraged to sell what they make.

"These are kids from across Boston who come from underserved families and neighborhoods in crisis," Rodgerson said. "We're really engaging them in real work-for-hire to support them."

Their art pieces range from $100 to $5,000. One project earned a $65,000 commission. Last year alone, the teens raked in $500,000. On average, kids get half of the profits - the rest of the profits are poured back into the program and the community.

The bike racks they designedare all over Boston. Other artwork has landed at Logan Airport.

From here, many careers have taken off. Alumni Stan Stanton is now a graphic designer for the sportswear giant Reebok. "I didn't know people get paid to paint or do art," he said.

Rodgerson began with just five students. All told, Artists for Humanity has produced 6,500 art entrepreneurs.

"It exposed me to making paintings which I hadn't done before," said Toni Jonas. "It exposed me to different kinds of people."

Kershner Williams found beauty and practicality in manipulating old magazines. So far his pieces have earned him around $18,000.

"Art is always going to be a part of me," Williams added.
  • Michelle Miller

    Michelle Miller is an award-winning CBS News correspondent based in New York, reporting for all CBS News broadcasts and platforms. Her work regularly appears on the "CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley", "CBS This Morning" and "CBS Sunday Morning with Charles Osgood". She joined CBS News in 2004.

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