From the streets to art, Rick Cross has given incalculable love and over 3,378 volunteer hours to those at Art From The Streets
A passion for art and a heart to connect with others drew Rick Cross to Art From The Streets 12 years ago. Rick, a designer, left Dallas for Austin and dove right into volunteering. He volunteered in a few different areas at first, but nothing seemed to fit until a friend mentioned Art From The Streets. Rick decided to try volunteering with ATFS and he never left. Art From The Streets offers a free Open Studio for persons experiencing homelessness, at risk, or in transition through its Open Studio program. The studio offers art supplies for persons to paint and create. Throughout the year AFTS offers opportunities to help them sell their work for a modest income.
Rick began volunteering in Open Studio every week giving positive support, setting up art supplies for artists to create, and enjoying the friendships created with the artists and volunteers, and is now the Open Studio lead. As AFTS has grown and evolved, Rick has been there to help make it happen. He is tireless and known for jumping in to help wherever he is needed and always wanting to do more happily with a quick smile and amazing laugh!
He’s passionate about AFTS’s artists and making sure AFTS’s community art shows are a success as these shows provide vital income to the artists who participate in them. For the last 8 years, Rick has managed the OutSide Show Installation. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, you could find him hauling artwork, setting up shows, and making sure everything looked just perfect for art sales. However, during the past years’ struggle, the in-person art sales ended and instead went online. That didn’t stop Rick from making sure everything was organized and ready to go. He collected artwork via “drive through” from the artists and made sure everyone had the most updated communication and that all the art pieces were organized as they were turned in. He set up and spent 4 days working with photographers to capture the art. Once the art was uploaded online, Rick learned everything about shipping art and then taught others. Rick was in the middle of each piece of the art show. The online art show was a success and raised over $60,000 for the Art From the Streets’ program artists.
“Rick has an amazing sense for our artists. He is heartfelt for each one.” Says Kelly Worden, Director of Art From The Streets
Rick makes sure to have personal connections with everyone at Art From The Streets, from the staff, the 35 artists, and his fellow volunteers. He takes time out to learn something special about everyone and averages 75 meetings with artists a year.
To learn more about Art From The Streets and how to join Rick in making a difference visit: https://artfromthestreets.org/