Chip Hunter is the founder and executive director of Art Share Los Angeles, an organization that serves as an arts incubator. Located in downtown Los Angeles' artists' district, Art Share is a 30,000 square foot space dedicated to the performing and visual arts. Art Share is Hunter's vehicle for linking the arts and artists with the local people and businesses to create a stronger, more effective and creative community.
Hunter started Art Share Los Angeles (ASLA) by investing his entire personal savings and working 12 hour days 7 days a week for the last 18 months. He has personally supported three employees with those savings and is now starting them on salary even before receiving any grants or foundation support. He, however, continues to work without a salary until such time as income allows without adversely affecting the organization.
Art Share's outreach programs, educational courses, community programs, beautification projects, theater productions, gallery exhibits and other events have served more than 5,000 people during its first year of operation. Volunteer hours in support of Art Share's mission are estimated in excess of 6,000 hours over the first year and the present year's population served is expected to double.
Utilizing a background in the manufacturing industry, national retail sales and nonprofit social service management, Hunter has managed to: obtain a full mortgage to purchase the new site, acquire in excess of $1 million for renovation of low-income housing to support the artist in residence program and lay a secure foundation through board development, marketing and sheer persistence.
But with all that has been accomplished to date, Chip Hunter is not planning on resting anytime soon. Art Share is intended to be more than a Point of Light in the Los Angeles community. Art Share is being developed as a model for nonprofits of the next millennium. With the interest and support mounting from individual and corporate potential funders, Hunter is working to develop Art Share incubators throughout the country.