Within a few days of launching the Artists for Humans Instagram page in mid-March, Hannah Beerman started getting the first wave of pieces from a bunch of her “art heroes,” and then came tons of messages from potential buyers.
New York had just basically shut down as the pandemic took hold, and she was gripped with a desire to somehow support the community. With everything closed, she couldn’t volunteer anywhere in person, but she realized she could help by raising money.
Through social media and her connection to the New York art world, the 27-year-old created the Instagram page where artists donate their works and connect with buyers, who give the purchase amount to the charity of the artist’s choice. “Instead of paying the gallery for a piece of work, [buyers] donate online to the organization that the artist chooses,” Beerman says. “And then I handle the transactions between the two and make sure the receipts check out.”
The account received hundreds of messages in just the first few days.
“I think part of why the project took off was we were all stuck at home and kind of addicted to our screens even more than usual,” Beerman says. “Artists from all over the world and buyers from all over the world are able to connect and work together because of the power of the internet.”
The initiative has raised more than $130,000 so far for charities including New York Coalition for the Homeless, Black Lives Matter, Justice for Breonna Taylor, and the Clean Environmental Act.
“It makes me feel really good about humankind, especially in a time that felt really isolating,” Beerman says.