Local Boise artists Sasha Barrett and Shay Woodhouse, originally from Ukraine, started an “Artists for Ukraine” fundraiser and ended up raising $43,000 for the Ukraine war effort.
Barrett and Woodhouse started this fundraiser with the idea that art can make a difference.
“Specifically this fundraiser was very personal and close to home. When you feel like there’s nothing you can do for something that’s completely out of your control,” Woodhouse said. “On the level of using your art to make a difference, that’s something we can do.”
The two artists started the fundraiser assuming artist and participant donations would stay local and be limited to their inner circle of fellow artists, friends and family.
“We had such a response from the art community. What we thought would be maybe 20 of our artist friends donating some ceramics ended up being 250 artists from all over the world sending us images of their artwork,” Woodhouse said.
Artist donations included a variety of art pieces including ceramics, paintings, jewelry, drawings and even some handmade clothing pieces.
Barrett and Woodhouse had 1,419 donations and raised $43,032 in total. The artists shared that, although the fundraiser is now closed, they still have people reaching out to donate.
Participants donated to specific art pieces they would get a chance to receive at the end of the fundraiser, and each piece of art went to one of these donating participants after the fundraiser closed in March.
Woodhouse shared that the money will be given to UNICEF. The two artists emphasized that they chose UNICEF because of the aid the organization is providing inside warzones in Ukraine.
“Our main goal was to get the money into the conflict zones and support humanitarian causes,” Woodhouse said.
The artists revealed that there was a great local turnout, and, if another fundraiser were to be organized in the future, it would be local and hopefully include an event to show the art pieces.