Since our founding in 2016 we have offered free community silk screen printing workshops at local community centers, schools and festivals. With the joining of Artesana we now have Artesana Art Studio were we elevate our roots as a mission-driven business dedicated to creating a space for us by us in Holyoke that can double as a platform for economic and creative opportunities for youth. Leveraging business as an opportunity-creating force has been part of our model from the start, and now we're working towards growing into a more robust social enterprise model with a mission to empower youth through entrepreneurship and creativity.
Proudly a grantee of MassDevelopment TDI Creative Catalyst Initiative, we offered a hands-on remote work opportunity to seven Holyoke high schoolers in July and August 2020 thanks to a partnership with MassHire Holyoke YouthWorks. This work and training opportunity at our business culminated in youth-designed products for sale in our online store, with proceeds from sales going directly to the young designer behind each product. Click here to check out their products and learn more! During the 2020-2021 school year we are partnering with LightHouse Holyoke, an alternative high school in downtown Holyoke, to pilot an Entrepreneurship and Design program that engages with the building blocks of entrepreneurship education and uses our business as a laboratory for students to put their learning to work in real time.
We further center social justice in our business by supporting fundraising efforts for important local work. Most recently we fundraised for racial justice organizers through sales of original Black Lives Matter apparel. Click here to learn more about recent fundraising at Paper City Clothing Co.