Meet Co-Founders Karen and Megan Rye: Art 4 Shelter was founded by Former Board Members, Karen Rye and her daughter, Megan Rye. Karen served on the board of directors at Simpson from 2008 through 2013. From the moment Karen joined the board her mission was to raise funds for the shelter program. Working as a team, Karen and Megan, a nationally known artist, came up with a fundraising idea that would directly connect artists and collectors to Simpson’s shelter. Donated original artwork would sell for $35, roughly the cost to house a shelter guest for one night.
Each year, Art 4 Shelter’s dedicated committee members secure over 1,000 pieces of artwork. “Artists have the biggest hearts of anyone I know. I remember one artist who told me, I could never write a check for $1,000, but if I make 33 small paintings, I can donate that much to the shelter,” says Megan.
“Art 4 Shelter is an expression of the passion and social justice that exists within the artists’ community. It is wonderful to be able to educate the community about homelessness in Minneapolis and provide an opportunity for people to buy art,” says Karen. Karen and Megan’s vision has raised a total of $300,000 in the first five years and provided over 10,000 nights of shelter to people who need a safe and warm place to spend the night.
Thank you to Karen, Megan, the entire Art 4 Shelter committee, and the many talented artists for their commitment!