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2020 Top-Rated Nonprofit

IPaintMyMind

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Arts & Culture, Arts Education, Arts Services, Cultural & Ethnic Awareness, Visual Arts

Mission: Our mission is to make art accessible to everyone.

Results: Over 700 artists featured online, over 30 art shows, over 20 art exhibitions in communities, hundreds of thousands of page views.

Target demographics: Artists and the Public

Direct beneficiaries per year: Thousands of Chicagoans - artist, students, the public

Geographic areas served: Chicago

Programs: IPaintMyMind is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) arts organization & our mission is to transform people & spaces through the power of art. An online arts publication, an organization offering programs & services, & a gallery: we’re all of those things. We work to provide the virtual and physical spaces that enable public art awareness. We specialize in affordable & emerging visual art, with a focus on illustration, collage, mixed media, & photography screen prints & giclees. We take pride in supporting artists, communities, and businesses in their efforts to make art a viable avenue for engagement & collaboration. – – – – – Shared Walls™ is our hallmark arts program in which we transform spaces both for businesses and the public through temporary art exhibitions that focus on emerging & affordable artwork. Revenue from private exhibitions fund FREE exhibitions at parks, libraries, schools, and community centers; spaces that have the need for art but don’t have the budget.

Community Stories

59 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Matt H.3

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

IPaintMyMind and the shared walls program is truly an amazing, community driven initiative, centered around the equality, beauty, and excitement that art brings to life. IPMM cares about community, and understands the importance of community identity and unity, both in their community, and every community they visit and work with, any where in the world. They get it, and bring spaces and programs to life with bright colors.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

If only ipaintmymind was around when I was in chicago public schools! What a special and truly unique model to provide artwork and programming to schools that would otherwise not have access to it. Bravo IPaintMyMind! We are your biggest fan!

Client Served

Rating: 5

IPaintMyMind is the best!! I love the work they are doing. The team displayed delightful artwork. Evan LaRuffa the founder is truly a great and friendly person. He is a champion of the arts.

Client Served

Rating: 5

What a great group! They helped beautify our school with artwork created by local artists. It certainly created some great conversations with students, and we've been really thankful to continue to work with them beyond the first year. Their art guide, their artwork, and their access to artists is truly a great resource for teachers and students.

Previous Stories

Client Served

Rating: 5

I’ve worked with them at two different schools, and love how their artwork beautifies schools and inspires children!!

visualarts100

Client Served

Rating: 5

IPaintMyMind far exceeded my original expectations when our Prek-8th grade school was first paired with this nonprofit. My assumption was that IPMM would lend us artwork for our hallways through the year, and it would beautify our hallway space. I was wrong, as the staff delivered much more than just an installation. Not only did the artwork brighten our hallway space and bring smiles, but it became a conversation piece for students and community members. I often would catch students having conversations in pairs about the artwork, or drawing scenes from the artwork during their free time. IPMM even arranged to have one of the artists come in for a Q&A with my students, explain their process, and teach a mini lesson. My students refer to this artist and their work to this day. IPMM sent curriculum materials and high resolution images that other staff members at our school could connect the artwork to corresponding units within their curriculum. An added benefit are the lovely staff members. IPMM is so easy to work with, and they are extremely professional in everything that they do. I highly recommend IPaintMyMind and will continue to do so.

Lillie T.

Advisor

Rating: 5

As a CPS graduate and recent college graduate with a BA in Art History working with IPaintMyMind has been truly amazing! IPMM believes that art education is critical and has to be constantly evolving. They bring high-quality arts education to communities all over the city of Chicago, stressing representation and engagement.
I wish that my art education had been better funded and more complete when I was a CPS student and I know that the team at IPMM is doing all they can to make that wish a reality for students going through CPS now. And even beyond their permanent programs, I am constantly wowed by the pivoting that IPMM has done to adapt to the COVID-19 pandemic, rising to the occasion and providing resources to students and teachers all over the city and the country.

Advisor

Rating: 5

As an advisor, I am intimately involved in reviewing the financials of this organization. I can assure you that Evan, the founder, and his team squeeze the most value possible out of every dollar spent in support of their mission. Of the many organizations I have reviewed, none runs a tighter, efficient operation. It is inspiring to see the amazing spirit and dedication of the staff and volunteers. I have also had the opportunity to volunteer in supporting the Shared Walls program, installing artwork in Chicago's schools. Even in the few hours at the school, I could see the impact on the young students reflected in their eyes as they admired the newly installed pieces in their hallway. I encourage all to support IPaintMyMind!

Wendy B.8

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Every child deserves an Arts education, creativity can be the catalyst for so much and kids should experience that from an early age. IPaintmyMind is paving the way for creative arts programs and helping to fund fantastic Art Programs in underfunded public schools. Their creative approach enables corporate organisations to also benefit from their work by renting art for the office or commissioning a mural, whilst at the same time funding these great art programs in local schools. Outstanding service and a wonderful initiative with true impact.

Client Served

Rating: 5

IPaintMyMind is an amazing nonprofit with a very necessary mission. They purchase art from creatives like me and work to get their design in public spaces. I had a great experience with this org and I really appreciate all the work they’re doing

Client Served

Rating: 5

I applaud the work that IPaintMyMind is doing for the Chicago community, students, teachers, artists, and companies such as my own. For over a year, art from IPaintMyMind's Shared Walls Programs has graced the walls of our office in the Chicago loop. We've had two installations featuring graphic prints and illustrations by Chicago artists. The art enlivens our work space and perfectly reflects our creative, thoughtful culture.

Our company, CityBase, creates software for the next generation of civic leaders who want to take the frustration out of managing local government. IPMM reflects and amplifies this focus because they too are focused on making cities better places to live by supporting artists and bringing arts to public spaces, public schools, and the young people in our city who may not otherwise have exposure to such beautiful work and creative expression.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I was looking for something that students can see them reflected in the art for our building and that would help create a beautiful environment in our building. I paint My Mind came up t a conference and I figured why not try it as soon as the pictures went up in our cafeteria adults both teachers and parents wanted to know more about the images. My Drama class is in the process of developing Character profiles based off of those pictures.It is an amazing organization doing amazing work.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Evan and everyone I've encountered through IPMM has been extremely enthusiastic and dedicated to art education. Their art collection is of the highest quality and provides a unique learning opportunity for students!

Client Served

Rating: 5

Evan and the IPMM team have been so wonderful to work with. They have made partnering painless and fun and I am so excited to have them working with Kelly this year. It's such a wonderful opportunity to transform our school into an art gallery! It really engages students, teachers, staff and families into connecting more deeply with the art world as well as bringing us all together! I am so grateful for all their amazing work!

Client Served

Rating: 5

As a Visual Arts Teacher, I am excited to be able to share contemporary art, made by local artists, with my students and the entire staff here at Sandoval Elementary School. The hallways have been transformed into an Art Gallery, which means we can take a "field trip" anytime to admire, discuss, and be inspired by the carefully curated artwork. Working with IPMM and Evan has been a wonderful experience!

Writer

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I love the work IPMM is doing - I’ve been a supporter from the beginning and it has been a pleasure to watch this organization grow stronger and stronger! They do a great job of implementing their sustainable financial business model in order to bring art to schools. And not only that, but it’s art that is relevant to the communities it is displayed in. I can only fathom how excited little minds get to create when they see exciting art made by people that look like them and who are succeeding in a career in the arts! Not to mention the wonderful pop of color added to spaces that would certainly be less vibrant without IPMM.

Previous Stories

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

IPMM puts on some great community art events that appeal to a wide range of folks. I'm constantly delighted by both the art and the people I've met in attendance at these events. Evan and Brian seem like they maximize their connections to the community, particularly with their goal to put up a free Shared Walls exhibit in every Chicago ward. Can't wait to see it happen. Good music at their events too! :)

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Love that Portage Park Fine and Performing Arts Magnet School has been blessed with this exhibit. My kids love it!

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

What an opportunity to have our own mini museum at Kelly College Prep! We’ve had a fabulous experience with I Paint My Mind, and I wish we’d know about them sooner. Evan has been so kind, informative and energetic throughout the whole process. IPMM has offered our students an opportunity to admire and be inspired in their learning environment. In such a short time we’ve not only had our space beautified, but also informed. In our experience, the works have brought about our students curiosity, engagement and discourse. The artworks have also brought about many positive comments from students, staff, parents and even our visitors. Many thanks to IPMM for making us look good!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I've been following IPaintMyMind since the beginning of their journey and they remain true to their mission & values. Their sustainable financial business model is innovative makes so much practical sense. The FREE art programs they offer to underserved schools, libraries, and youth centers look outstanding. It's also clear that they really care about making spaces beautiful and inspiring to the clients, teacher, staff, and students where they install the art. Really cool work.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

IPMM is an incredible organization that is bringing ART to children across Chicago. As a teacher who has worked with IPMM for 3 years I am always so impressed with how well the art they bring to each school fits within its school culture. IPMM is truly demonstrating to our students in Chicago Public Schools that their school is a gallery and they deserve arts education.

katyjoy01

Client Served

Rating: 5

George Washington High School partnered up with IPaintMyMind this year, and we couldn't be more thrilled! Evan's positivity and love for the Chicago community is contagious. This nonprofit not only beautifies space and helps to educate our youth, but it also gives back to local artists. My only regret is not having partnered with them earlier on in my teaching career! Love everything about them.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Evan and the IPaintMyMind crew came in and hung their artwork in our school - Dever Elementary School - to really showcase it to the students. It is awesome for the students to see interesting and captivating artwork on their walls that can spark their curiosity and imagination.

Client Served

Rating: 5

The enthusiasm brought by the I Paint my Mind team was infectious and they left a beautiful display at our school.

1 Alex W.6

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Fantastic experience with IPaint My Mind. Evan is great at communicating, being very profession and making himself available at anytime to your school. Teachers and staff have enough to do and Evan made the process of brightening up our school with quality artwork, easy and fun! I cannot wait to start teaching with the prints that are hanging in our school.

Board Member

Rating: 5

IPMM turns art into impact using a model that provides mutual benefit to all involved: artists, businesses and, most importantly, the communities they serve.

Client Served

Rating: 5

"I absolutely love how the pieces came out! Thank you so much for partnering with Mozart Elementary, I've gotten so many compliments on the wall and the art work. I really think it's cool to see people like you and IPaintMyMind doing things like this for communities that are in dire need of it. I can't wait for our open house next week so parents can see the exhibition as well. Once again I thank you. Continue the dope work your doing, we need more people like you in our communities!" -DuWayne -Mozart Dual Language School

1 Cory S.2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

IPaintMyMind has transformed the way in which I interact with art and the community and the way in which I see others doing the same. Artists and consumers have traditionally existed in separate spaces, each of which have been inaccessible to the people who arguably need art the most. What's more, any attempts to bridge that gap have seemingly left one part feeling unfulfilled--financially or otherwise. IPMM has created the perfect synergy between artist, consumer, and community, ensuring that all take ownership of their role in creative spaces and are appreciated for said roles accordingly. -C. Sims

1 Kaitlyn R.2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I joined the IPaintMyMind family just over a year ago and I’m SO happy I did. IPMM sets out each day to change the lives of CPS students and their communities through art and it’s so rewarding to be a part of this team. The impact IPMM has made in Chicago’s neighborhoods is crazy, it’s spread like wildfire and will continue to grow as more volunteers, teachers, artists and businesses join in. It’s truly been an honor to be a part of this organization; if you’re looking to give back, this is the place to do it!

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I enjoyed working with I Paint My Mind because of their larger vision of making art accessible to everyone. As a public artist, working on projects with lots of entities involved, it’s important to me that the work I do is not only appropriately facilitated and executed, but that the end result can be shared by anyone. IPMM’s mission stands out to me ethically unmatched in regards to making art accessible to all.

Michael F.5

Client Served

Rating: 5

Love this nonprofit! They help the artist community and serve underprivileged areas by giving them some much needed inspiration. Evan has a great eye for art too. His displays are very fun and creative.

2

Board Member

Rating: 5

I've worked closely with IPMM for going on ten years now. Its been the easiest ten years of volunteer time to give away. I believe heavily in IPMM's mission, and the ability of all involved to serve that mission with creativity, empathy, and a general sense of giving a sheit. IPaintMyMind is the most unique NFP I've ever been involved with and for that I am grateful. I've gotten back far more than I've given.

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

We have had the pleasure of working side by side with IPMM and they are one of the most innovative nonprofits out there. The leadership team is dynamic and progressive, and their vision is truly inspiring. Ethical, transparent and genuinely passionate about making art truly accessible. It's nonprofit organisations like this that are an absolute credit to the sector.

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

Partnering with IPAINTMYMIND allows me to have more positive impact in the world without ever leaving the business that I'm busy running! They are giving young people an opportunity to experience a version of the world that many miss out on because of their identity and social position. When I try to actually imagine a life without art, it makes it a no brainer to support the work of IPAINTMYMIND, because they are erasing that reality and instead painting the picture of a world where everyone benefits from artistic expression.

Not only that, but they're inspiring to work with! As a Founder, Evan LaRuffa brings a contagious energy and optimism to all his work. You will leave conversations with Evan with four new ideas to work on!

I will keep coming back to this partnership because of their professionalism and impact.

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

IPMM brings local art and illustration into Chicago schools, demonstrating to students that creativity can be found anywhere and everywhere in daily life.

2 Linda M F.

Donor

Rating: 5

IPMM is a nonprofit that is unashamed to wears its heart on the sleeve. It’s philosophy is a win-win-win for everyone. Local up and coming artists earn income from their works. Businesses get to brighten up their workspace in an affordable way while splicing community outreach into their own mission statements. Schools, libraries, and community centers get free art displays, workshops and inservice for their students by the local artists. Evan LaRuffa, IPMM founder, gets hugs and misty eyed and everyone feels good, enriched and uplifted...because art doesn’t only belong in museums!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The obvious and undeniable factor that makes IPMM so effective is the joy that drives all of their work. Their mission to make art accessible to all and to spread the benefits of creativity is so clearly expressed in every event, every partnership, and every opportunity they have to engage with the public. Every member of the IPMM team is open, enthusiastic, and eager to share the joy they clearly experience by being a part of this organization. They lead every project with delight, whether they are working with school kids, artists, corporate partners, or donors, and that passion and pride is contagious!

Michael S.8

Volunteer

Rating: 5

There is nothing out there quite like IPaintMyMind. The real magic is their Shared Walls program where businesses buy rotating art exhibits of local artwork right in their office space. The proceeds then fund art education and free exhibitions in underfunded communities. Having followed and participated in the organization from a chance Airbnb stay with the founder as fate would have it, I am continuously energized by the spirit and mission of this non-profit and it’s relentless founder, Evan. Evan’s creative and entrepreneurial spirit make him an effective business partner who understands both sides of the equation: how businesses AND the local community can benefit and be better off together through art. Every year I see the impact of IPaintMyMind grow in their annual impact report and cannot wait to see them contInue to grow across the country. I’m definitely pitching the Shared Walls program to my new company.

Client Served

Rating: 5

IPaintMyMind is such a wonderful organization that brings works of art typically done by local artists into the forefront. One of my favorite pieces was purchased at one of there events and it is so unique and different from anything I've seen before.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I have had an extremely pleasant experience in working with iPaintMyMind. Evan and Maria recently installed artwork at my school's junior high campus and I couldn't imagine working with a more professional organization. They were clear and straightforward in their communication, flexible with their scheduling, and punctual in our few encounters. The artwork is displayed with museum-quality and was thoughtfully curated to cater to our school environment. I hope to maintain our school's partnership with iPaintMyMind for many years to come.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Our hallways are now filled with beautiful artwork. Our school is so thankful for the shared walls program- which allows us to have contemporary artwork, professionally framed and hung in our school. Evan is wonderful to work with, picked out relevant art that intrigued the minds of our students and the turn around time was quick. We can't wait to have more art next year!

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Libraries aren't just for books anymore! Chicago Public Library has been working with the IPMM team for about 6 months now to bring works of art and inspiration to branch libraries throughout Chicago. I have been amazed at the quality of the art, how accommodating Evan and the IPMM team are in working with library staff to select just the right pieces for our communities, and how seamless the installations have been. It’s been such a pleasure to see our library spaces come alive and I’m looking forward to working with the team to bring art to more libraries!

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

This is my kind of town, Chicago!I I can't tell you how many people have stopped and complimented us on the artwork on display! I knew a buzz would be generated, but it has truly captured the attention of everyone, students included! We are so honored to have this artwork on loan. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

My school had such a seamless, positive experience working with IPaintMyMind. Everything from the initial meeting to the installation to the resources provided was efficient and professional. The students, teachers, and community love the addition to our school and kids are often inspired in their own art projects. Even was wonderful to work with and I would highly recommend to any school.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Evan and the IPMM SharedWalls program are amazing! An absolute joy to work with and Evan's positive energy is infectious.

I am so excited to make contemporary art, from Chicago, accessible to the students, parents and teachers in our school. The artwork brings life to our building and I know the work will be enjoyed and appreciated.

I cant recommend Evan and IPaintMyMind enough.

Ross Roadruck
Visual Art Teacher, Northwest Middle School
CPS Network 3 Lead Arts Liaison

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

SO MUCH FUN!
From start to finish, IPaintMyMind was a pleasure to work with. Our school now has an amazing and fun installation, and the connection we made with Evan La Ruffa was really wonderful. He brings such energy to the process, and it is just what our school needs!
THANK YOU for making Northwest Middle School's walls interesting and a warmer place for all of our students. We look forward to more opportunities to partner with IPaintMyMind in the future.
Margaret Byrne
Principal
Northwest Middle School

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

Evan from IPMM transformed creatively many walls from our old school building into an amazing Art Gallery. The idea of sharing walls has brought to our school a new connection with the arts and local artist from Logan Square and surrounding neighborhoods. We got many complements and positive feedback from visitors and stakeholders from Darwin School community. The most creative aspect of the process of sharing walls with IPMM is that Evan came multiple times to our school to just walk through the building the get a sense of the right art pieces to display on our walls. Thru the Art exhibit from IPMM Darwin School was able to enhance not just the beauty of our building but also the message of teamwork, leadership, and collaboration.

Mr. Mauricio Segovia
Darwin School, Principal

2 Adam60

Client Served

Rating: 5

IPMM has completely changed the dynamic of one of our school's hallways from bare and lonely to vibrant and provocative! Evan and his team curated a show for us last year that dealt with the themes of community, culture, and leadership- and they completely nailed it! Our students were in awe from the time when the set of framed prints were installed and are still intrigued by the work to this day. Evan La Ruffa is one of the most talented, thoughtful, intuitive, and creative individuals I know. I highly recommend IPMM, what a great concept they bring to every and ANY situation!!!

2 Dan_87

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I love IPMM. I think they take a really innovative approach to being a NFP, combining their purpose (making art accessible for all) with a genuine business model (which obviously helps drive the purpose!) Evan does a really nice job of curating a community around emerging art in the Chicago area, and looks after artists, art lovers & those 'new to art' (such as the public schools IPMM hangs art in) with a care & sincerity which is admirable.

1 Jane106

Former staff

Rating: 5

IPMM is awesome. They are all about art and the artists. I have discovered myriads of new things through them and they have big plans in mind for the future. Very honored to have been able to contribute even a little to this great endeavor.

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Evan is a champion of the arts. I’ve seen how he has grown IPaintMyMind from an idea into such a great organization and an amazing resource for artists and the art community. I am so proud to know him and to be able to contribute to IPMM’s Print Project and Shared Walls.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Ipaintmymind brought delightful artwork to our school and displayed it in a beautiful way. Students and adults have enjoyed interacting with the art - it's a conversation piece at the entryway. We love being part of ipaintmymind's program and highly recommend them to any other school.

1 Evan R.

Board Member

Rating: 5

Dedicated, & driven in their effort to achieve sustainability and work for social justice through art!

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Evan & IPMM were a great addition to our school - very professional, supported our schools need, matched resources and very quickly did an install. Our students and families love the new artwork in our building! We are appreciative of IPMM and look forward to continuing our partnership.

Client Served

Rating: 5

We get many positive comments on the installation from IPMM. Evan worked with our school to find art that would connect our original building with our new annex, younger students with older, and provide a sense of international mindedness per our school mission and vision. We could not be more delighted with our A-Z international foods art! Thank you!
Wildwood IB World Magnet
Dr. Mary Beth Cunat
Principal

Client Served

Rating: 5

Evan proposed the idea to bring in photos of exotic foods to place along the wall outside our cafeteria. Our school community loved the idea. The installers were wonderful and helpful with ideas. The installment took quite a long time as a great deal of attention was placed to fine details.
It looks amazing. The paintings cover the alphabet with exotic foods - not your basic apples and hamburgers and pizza. For example, our "B" is not "Bread" or Buns". It's "Bone marrow! Yum!

What 's incredible is that this was installed free of charge; the mounting was free of charge. It has been up on our walls for months at no cost to us. IPMM provides an amazing service to schools.

1 Annette30

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

This is a great example of having a great idea and seeing it actually come to life. IPMM has made art accessible to everyone, and has given everyone the opportunity to support great social causes at the same time! What could be better than that.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Evan La Ruffa & IPaintMyMind are great contributors to the local art scene. Looking forward to their continued efforts to make our world a whole lot more interesting!

1 Henock K.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Great organization with incredibly creative organizers and artists. Gives local talented Chicago artists the opportunity to share their work in a cool and fun gallery space without the fear of breaking the bank. If I could give it 10 stars I would, no question...