Art Restart Blog

Stationery Sets Continue to Sell December 19, 2016 08:30 1 Comment

Holiday markets fill our evenings and weekends this time of the year. We had the honor of being a vendor at the Ellevate and Colorado Ivy+ Women’s Jingle & Mingle event. On Thursday, December 8, I packed up our stationery sets and headed to One Cheeseman Place. 

Immediately, I was welcomed into the space by the coordinators of the event. It was myself and a Carly Oduardo, a vendor with Threads Worldwide. With our displays set up, we chatted about social enterprise and how both of the business we represent give back to communities. The jewelry was just as beautiful as the mission of Threads Worldwide. I placed the cards on the table and throughout the night, I invited attendees to flip through the Colorado, Holiday and Transformation Collections. 

As the event started, I met women who are CEOs, business owners, and engineers. The room buzzed with conversation between women just beginning their careers and others who have worlds of experience.  

Each woman at the event made a point to stop at the vendor tables and ask us about our organizations. Most of them walked away with at least one stationery set. They were drawn to the table by the beautiful artwork, but to them, buying cards from Art Restart was more than the beautiful image--it was a way to support other women. 

Before the guests entered, I snapped a photo and posted it to the Art Restart Instagram. December 12, we saw my photo on the 5280 Get Involved page! Abbey White says, "Picking the perfect holiday card can be tough. But picking up a one-of-a-kind card that benefits a local nonprofit is easy." Abbey is absolutely right. Any time you're looking for a card, holiday or general greeting, you can benefit the artists that come to The Gathering Place. 

Need a last minute gift to take to a holiday party or family event? Swing by TGP during hours and pick up a stationery set, call Teresa (303) 996-9034, or email her for details. 

Our stationery sets are a regular product for Art Restart now, so consider buying them for your year-round greeting card needs! 

Impress Your Host with Gifts This Holiday December 05, 2016 08:04

The holidays are here. As holiday party invites flood your inbox, you're left wondering what you should bring the host. A bottle of wine or some chocolates is a good option, but I have new host gifts and stocking stuffers for this year: packs of cards from Art Restart! 

We've added three stationery sets to our Art Restart catalog. The Holiday Collection, the Colorado Collection and the Transformation Collection contain eight cards with four designs from various artists.

Stuffing stockings or bringing a host one of the packs is a unique gift they’ll be able to share with others. The joyous cards in the Holiday Collection deliver holiday cheer. Twin Snowmen and Gold Trees by EHS, Mountain Cornucopia by JJJ and Snow Storm by VEC brighten the mailboxes of those you know.

You can give them the Colorado Collection so they can send a piece of Colorado in the mail. This collection has four iconic Colorado scenes and includes Blue Two by SAM, A View of City Park by VEC, Buffalo by CLM and Aspen Sky by WA.

In the spirit of the approaching year, you could choose the Transformation Collection and transform lives with a greeting for every season. This collection includes Aspen Sky and Colorado Dreaming by WA, Spring Bouquet by CFF and Poolside by CLM.  

Whether you’re looking for holiday cards or something for every season, our greeting card collections have what you need.

To order a collection, contact Teresa or Ashley.

Teresa Densmore, Director of Art Restart



Ashley Waterman, Business Development & Marketing Associate for Art Restart

(303) 996-9024


Interested in putting together your own collection? We can arrange that as well!

The Holiday Giving Is Just Beginning November 28, 2016 07:30

Most of us begin thinking about the holidays the minute the leaves start to turn yellow, orange, and red. Holiday decorations often fill the shelves before Halloween. After we’ve had our fill of turkey on Thanksgiving, many people rush to the stores to get the best deals on holiday gifts, but each year, more and more people are opting to relax with their family and shop the online deals.

As we enjoy spending time with our loved ones, we often think about people who may not have anywhere to go for the holidays. I often find myself asking how I can help those in my community. For me, this often means going through the house and selecting gently used items that I can give up. Whether it’s writing a check for a charity you’ve noticed is impacting your community or going through your closet and donating clothes, every donation counts.

Here at The Gathering Place, we’re ready for you to bring in a variety of items. Our Top 5 Needs List gives you the top five items for our food pantry (Betsy’s Cupboard), the Family Program, Education and Jobs Readiness, the Resource Desk, the Arts Program, Housing Stabilization, Bridget’s Boutique (our clothing closet), and our Chore Cart (special thank you items for members who help keep our building beautiful). The programs at TGP are always updating their needs list. You can find specific requests for our programs on our donate goods and services page. If you’re planning on bringing in a donation, it’s a good idea to set up an appointment. You can call program specific advocates, or call the Welcome Desk—(303) 321-4198—and they’ll connect you with the right person.   

Another way to give back to your community this holiday season is to purchase greeting cards through Art Restart. Although we don’t offer any crazy deals for the holidays, your greeting card purchase provides a member at The Gathering Place with a source of income. Our holiday cards feature winter themes and snowmen as well as holiday specific designs. 

How Art Relieves Stress November 21, 2016 07:15 1 Comment

If you know any artists, or are an artist yourself, you’ve probably heard them explain that completing a project feels like a weight has been lifted off of their shoulders. For many people, creating art provides a release that can feel physical and emotional. 

The Journal of American Art Therapy Association recently published an article titled “Reduction of Cortisol Levels and Participants’ Responses Following Art Making.” The study discussed in the article found that even if you have little to no artistic talent or training, forty-five minutes spent creating art decreases stress. 

Four times a week, members of The Gathering Place have a creative space to hone their skills and decrease their stress. Walking into the art room, artists throw themselves into creating and are able to put everything else aside for a few hours. Steve Hartbauer, the Arts Program Manager, teaches techniques and manages the creative outlets at TGP.

Their cards and triptychs relieve their stress and TGP provides a place for them to sell their art. The walls display framed artwork created with water color, acrylic and every other medium you can think of.  Every time I walk into the art room, my stress is immediately relinquished. Being around the artists is calming.

I’m sure you’ve felt this when you’ve walked into a gallery showing, or spent the afternoon in an art museum. Appreciating others’ creativity is almost as relaxing as creating art yourself.

If viewing art in a gallery makes you feel at peace, creating a gallery wall in your home, or sending a piece of art in the mail, could have the same affect.

Today, the artwork that makes me feel at peace is Colorado Dreaming by WA. Displaying this card in my home or sending it to friends and family this holiday is a way to share creativity and promote stress-free moments. 

Why What We Do Matters: Inside Art Restart with Felicia Magliula November 15, 2016 08:18

Hello Reader! My name is Felicia Magliula and I currently have the honor of serving on the Board of Directors at The Gathering Place, Denver’s only daytime drop in center for women, children, and transgender individuals experiencing poverty and often homelessness. Joining the board at TGP was not something I ever imagined was in the cards for me. You see, many years ago I once was a client at an organization very similar to TGP, so the idea of evolving from client to board member seemed far-fetched. After overcoming many obstacles, I was fortunate enough to make my way to university where I fell in love with women’s studies and social justice. Finally, I had the words to understand the struggles that I had gone through as a child and teenager. My passion for working with women and children who are experiencing hardships was born, and I have spent the last five years doing so at multiple non-profit organizations across the country.

One of my first priorities after joining the board was to really dive into the work that The Gathering Place was doing which led me to the office of Teresa Densmore, the Director of Art Restart at The Gathering Place. Art Restart is a social enterprise which sells original art in the form of greeting cards created by the artists at The Gathering Place.

I love Art Restart because it offers a truly unique way to improve the lives of women experiencing poverty. When businesses or individuals purchase cards from Art Restart, the artist receives a royalty check. The more cards that are purchased, the larger the check becomes. It’s a pretty simple concept that when magnified on a large scale could potentially provide enough income for someone to no longer live in poverty. I know that this is a very extreme scenario that is unlikely, but I am a big picture kind of person so hear me out. I know firsthand that poverty is intersectional and layered with many complicated obstacles that can often feel designed for failure, but sometimes small flickers of hope such as a modest check are enough to give someone the strength to continue overcoming the obstacles.

One person may not be able to purchase enough cards to produce a check in the amount of a livable wage for a woman experiencing poverty, but one person can purchase a small pack of cards. One business can commit to ordering annual holiday cards or thank you cards. One family can encourage their friends to buy cards from Art Restart. Even something as simple as sharing this blog post with a few friends is a great way to help spread the word about Art Restart. If enough of us do our part, we can make a much larger impact, together. 

Thank you for reading my post and please check out the beautiful cards for sale before you leave.

Holiday Cards That Give November 07, 2016 07:30

Mountain Cabin by VEC

Mountain Cabin by VEC


What if your holiday card could do more than send a season’s greetings to your loved ones?

Growing up, holiday cards were hung on plastic card display strands in the doorway between the living room and the dining room in my parents’ house. Cards began trickling in the first week of November. Cornucopias, trees, snowmen—I admired them all. Each card with its simple season’s greetings or holiday wishes written on the inside was sent with love from friends and family.

The protocol in our house was if they sent us a card, we sent them a card. An envelope with return address labels torn from holiday cards past emerged from the junk drawer each year to ensure no one was forgotten. As cards rolled in, my mom handed them to me to open and hang. The doorway held the joy of connecting with friends and families near and far for the holidays

Most of the cards were ordered from companies that offered personalized messages and envelopes with return addresses. The sender had thousands of options for designs,and customization. Each card sent assured the recipient that they were thinking of you.

The greeting cards we sell offer the same options as the greeting card companies do, but our cards are greetings that give back. Each card is customizable and co-branded with company logos and personalized messages. 

Ordering your holiday cards from Art Restart gives artists at The Gathering Place a chance to transform their lives.    

Have you ordered your holiday cards yet? There’s still time!

Check out our holiday cards and send a card that gives more than just a holiday greeting.

Have you heard about Art Restart? October 31, 2016 09:02

Have you heard about Art Restart?

You may have heard about it through The Gathering Place, or maybe someone sent you a card that prompted you to look up the organization on the back. Regardless of how you got here, welcome!

For me, the new Business Development & Marketing Associate for Art Restart, the program came into my life through word of mouth. Living in Denver, there is art running through every neighborhood. Commissioned murals on the sides of buildings and monthly art walks make art part of our everyday lives.

But who are these artists? Many of them have no formal art training. Many of them make art on the side and work full-time. Many of them have experienced homelessness at some point in their lives, or are currently homeless.

Walking into the art studio at TGP for the first time, I felt welcomed. It was like I entered a café where artists occupied every space with their art materials strategically organized to create one-of-a-kind handmade pieces. The artists measured, cut, glued, painted, and drafted designs for The Card Project while they chatted and enjoyed the space.

One of the artists walked me through The Card Project process. Although separate from the cards sold through Art Restart, this is often where greeting card designs are created. Three times a week, artists can use the art studio to work on designs for cards to sell at TGP, through our vendors, and online with Art Restart. They’re given card stock with TGP’s logo on the back. Then, they create. Once they’re finished, each artist puts their cards in their box to display on the shelf. Some of the cards are unique designs that you’ll only see once, while others are recreated to make a set. Artists can choose to submit their card designs to Art Restart and have the opportunity for their art to be turned into traditional greeting cards.  

As I looked through the boxes of cards, I was astounded. The members at TGP are talented. There is a card for every occasion and then some. Whether you’re looking for a pressed flower design, Colorado scenery, or even Judge Judy, you’ll find it in the artists’ boxes.

Receiving mail and selecting a card with a beautiful design is uplifting. With Art Restart, sending mail is just as uplifting as receiving it.

Teresa, the Director of Art Restart, says, “Art Restart allows our artists to be who they are now and also provides a path to who they want to become.” The energy in the art studio embodies this.

If you haven’t heard about Art Restart, it’s time to check it out.   

Pumpkin Patch by EHS

Today's featured image is Pumpkin Patch by EHS

The Importance of Art Restart August 12, 2016 14:49

Hello! I’m Teresa, Director of Art Restart. You may have seen my press release from the 6/21/2016 blog posting. I’ve now been part of The Gathering Place team for two months and I am even more excited to be here than when I first started!

Over the past several weeks, I’ve met and talked with many of our artists who create the beautiful art for Art Restart cards. I’ve worked with an artist who was commissioned to create art for a Denver Office of Strategic Partnerships invitation, an artist whose art was selected to be displayed on the front cover of the July issue of Denver Urban Spectrum, and I’ve seen women receive royalty checks for their art they’ve created.

I’ve seen so many successes in these past weeks!

But underlying the successes, I’ve heard the stories of struggle and seen the tears of sadness of women trying to overcome their circumstances.

I’ve already learned so much in my time here. Most importantly, I’ve learned how important Art Restart is for our artists. Not only does it allow our artists to earn an income, but it provides an opportunity for them to engage in a creative outlet, to focus on creating beautiful art. It offers a chance for them to place their mark upon The Gathering Place, our customers and our hearts.

Art Restart allows our artists to be who they are now and also provides a path to who they want to become. 

Teresa Densmore, Director of Art Restart

Press Release: Teresa Densmore June 21, 2016 11:30

Contact:         Deb Radman
The Gathering Place Appoints Densmore to Head Art Restart
TGP’s Social Enterprise Features Original Art and Greeting Cards
DENVER, June 20 – The Gathering Place (TGP) has named Teresa Densmore as Director of its social enterprise, Art Restart.  Art Restart provides customizable greeting cards with unique art created by members of TGP who are experiencing homelessness and poverty.
Densmore has worked for over a decade in the nonprofit sector and knows firsthand the challenges that nonprofit organizations face. Having recognized how business concepts can be brought to bear on these challenges, she invested in an MBA, concentrating in Nonprofit Strategy and Operations. “I am eager to use my skills to continue building The Gathering Place’s social enterprise program,” says Densmore. “I’m passionate about working with our artists and supporting them as they use this opportunity to make a positive impact on their lives.”
According to many experts, most social enterprises and even small business start-ups struggle to reach immediate profitable growth.  Art Restart was profitable from the start, increasing net profit by 61 percent by the end of its second year of operation.  Even more important, says TGP President, Leslie Foster, “Participating artists not only earn income, but they also are learning how to produce commercially viable artwork.
“The social enterprise business model is helping us generate revenue and is demonstrating that non-profits can build a sustainable future,” she continued.  “At a time when accountability is severely-challenged, Art Restart proves that we can positively impact the lives of those we serve, help fund TGP’s mission, and be true partners with our sponsors and donors.  But that’s not all,” Foster says.  “We are also providing the public a simple way, through the use of socially responsible greeting cards and direct mail, to engage and support the homeless. “  
About The Gathering Place
TGP created Art Restart as a social enterprise to provide its members with opportunities to earn money and to build earned revenues.  For 30 years, TGP has offered essential resources and personal growth programs to women, children, and transgender individuals during the day.


Art Restart’s Success Story April 07, 2016 11:56

50% of small businesses and social enterprises struggle to remain viable after their first year, yet Art Restart, the social enterprise of The Gathering Place, has grown over 61% since inception.[1] Social enterprises are revolutionizing the way business is done and changing the way that nonprofit organizations approach sustainability. Moving beyond corporate social responsibility and community initiatives, social enterprises work with and for the community to address a common need, answer a problem, and create a stable funding stream for nonprofit organizations.

In the case of The Gathering Place TGP, we approached the creation of Art Restart as a social enterprise to help provide our members with opportunities, to stimulate attitude change in the community about homelessness, and to establish mission-supporting income from bulk greeting cards sales.

Art Restart Objectives and Outcomes:


  • Goal: Build gross revenues of $55,000 by second year of operation.
  • Outcome: Generated $70,000 in gross revenue in second year of operation.


  • Goal: Enable an online eCommerce platform (fulfillment, catalog of designs, bulk orders).
  • Outcome: Launched new website September 2015 with robust eCommerce platform, online fulfillment, full catalog of customizable designs, and bulk ordering availability.

Social Mission

  • Goal: Help members gain self-confidence and self-sufficiency.
  • Outcome: Participating artists not only earned income (five of our artists earned royalties exceeding $400 each), they also learned how to make commercially viable artwork.


  • Goal: Facilitate an alternative means for businesses to support the organization through marketing budgets.
  • Outcome: In less than two years, more than 60 businesses, individuals, and organizations have purchased cards from Art Restart.


  • Goal: Leverage TGPs assets (business relationships, talent of members, community reputation).
  • Outcome: Many of the organization’s stakeholders supported Art Restart - additionally, many new clients that had never previously supported TGP became donors, volunteers, or purchased tickets for fundraising events.

Art Restart, now going into its third year of operation, is a creative way for businesses to demonstrate a commitment to being socially responsible while directly helping women in need.





[1] The Limits of Social Enterprise: a Field Study and Case Analysis. Seedco Policy Center. June 2007.

Art Restart Holiday Cards Designed by Women in Need Still Available for Season’s Greetings December 14, 2015 12:53

Art Restart still has holiday cards available for companies and individuals to send season’s greetings to friends, families, clients and customers. The original art for these custom cards is created by women who are members of the Gathering Place and are experiencing poverty or homelessness.

L.A. Jennings, Director of Art Restart, says, “The Art Restart program gives homeless women the ability to use their talents to begin to rebuild and restart. As Art Restart artists, they receive royalties when their art is chosen by companies and individuals, while the rest of the proceeds from each sale go back to the Gathering Place to assist with the furthering of programs and services.” To place an order for cards this year, Jennings urges interested parties to contact her at or to order online at

Companies like RE/MAX are using Art Restart cards as a demonstration of their commitment to corporate social responsibility: “For the past several years, we have been honored to support The Gathering Place through the Art Restart Program by sharing the beautiful artwork of their members with thousands of our Associates around the world.  Our friends, family and co-workers appreciate the personal touch in each card and in knowing that we are helping our community.”

- Gail Liniger, Mike Reagan of RE/MAX, LLC.

Art Restart was conceived to develop new revenue streams to support the vitally needed services The Gathering Place provides. “It is a creative way for businesses to demonstrate a commitment to being socially responsible and directly help homeless women and children,” says Jennings. “Our portfolio of design is limitless and we make sure that our women artists can earn money to help them put their lives back together and get on solid ground financially and emotionally. “

Through Art Restart, The Gathering Place licenses artists’ designs and sells them for commercial applications and usage. Each artist who participates, receives a percentage of the profits from commercial sales. The benefits of this effort accrue to helping homeless women get back to a place of feeling self worth and economic stability.

Art Restart seasonal cards are available year-round including Valentine’s Day, Independence Day, birthdays, and even wedding packages. For more information, go to or





A visit to HCC August 31, 2015 09:20

On Wednesday, August 26th, a group of artists from The Gathering Place arrived at the History Colorado An AR artist sketchingCenter to view the exhibits and spend time in the fabulous Colorado museum. Armed with sketchbooks provided by Steve, our Arts Program Manager, the artists roamed the museum, which focuses on life in Colorado along with special rotating exhibits. In the Destination Colorado exhibit, one of artists, EHS, walked slowly through the reproduced kitchen of a Colorado home in 1910s while her two young daughters opened the wood stove door. Another artist sketched a delicate ceramic pot in the Living West exhibit, her fine pencil tracing the lines of a pot created by ancient Colorado residents. Many of our artists sat in reflection in the vast, four-story atrium, resting their feet and taking in the beauty of the architecture of the building.

This trip will be, we hope, the first of many partnerships with Denver agencies that allow our member artists to experience a popular facility and take in inspiration for their art. The HCC visit is, in fact, the beginning of a very beautiful partnership between Art Restart and the HCC gift shop, which will feature a line of cards inspired by Colorado and the museum starting in late September, just before the launch of the new exhibit on homelessness, opening November 2015.

These collaborations are a great way for our artists to visit places that they might not otherwise ever see. In addition to the price of admission, which is often far beyond the scope of anything our members might be able to afford, visiting a museum requires transportation, another costly consideration. For this visit to HCC, TGP provided our members with bus passes and a sack lunch.

History Colorado reveals the rigors that early Coloradoans needed to survive in harsh landscape. However, many of the women at The Gathering Place continue to experience hardships beyond the comprehension of many of us. The visit to HCC was not only pleasurable, it was informative, revealing that as our ability to live in this landscape improves, we must look not only to the past, but to those who are often marginalized and ignored, in order to make sure that beautiful Colorado is a safe place for everyone.

Why a Social Enterprise? How Art Restart benefits The Gathering Place August 24, 2015 12:41

Social Enterprise is the current buzzword in nonprofit land, most likely because the previous buzzword, ‘sustainability,’ called for a new way of thinking about funding. Traditionally, nonprofits receive funding via grants, donations, fundraising activities, and for some organizations, through the services they provide to clients. In our current economic climate, many organizations are looking for new ways to increase their income and make themselves more self-sufficient. While a social enterprise can take on many characteristics, Art Restart, the social enterprise that benefits The Gathering Place, is a program that functions like a business in order to generate revenue for the organization.

So what does that mean? For The Gathering Place, a day-time drop-in shelter that provides women, children, and transgender individuals experiencing poverty and/or homelessness with a safe place to spend their days, it means more money and thus, more programming. TGP relies on donations, foundation grants, and fundraising initiatives to supports its building, programming, and staff. However, in order to sustain our programming, which includes serving three meals a day to anywhere from 250 to 350 unique visitors each day, TGP needed to find additional revenue streams beyond the traditional nonprofit financial model. Thus, Art Restart was born!

In October 2014, Art Restart launched for the holiday season, and within three months, sold almost 35,000 cards and actually made money; $32,889 net profit, to be precise! Plus, Art Restart distributed almost $1,800 in royalties to the artists. Every artists at The Gathering Place has the opportunity to submit work to be featured in the Art Restart catalog. If her art is purchased, the member will receive royalties of the net sale. Industry standards for greeting card royalties are 1-5% and our artists are at the top of those figures with 5% royalties. Our artists love Art Restart, because a single piece of art has the potential to sell numerous times. Additionally, our artists feel happy to contribute to this program that actually makes money for The Gathering Place. “I consider this my way of giving back to The Gathering Place,” artist OUI states, “which has given me so much.”

How can Art Restart work for you? While our Card Project program is great for purchasing single cards, Art Restart provides those same unique, handmade cards in large quantities, which is perfect for businesses, schools, organizations, or individuals looking to send out cards in bulk. Cards can be purchased in quantities of 50, 100, 250, and up with significant price breaks starting at 1,000 units.

The front if the card features a specific work of art, chosen by the customer, and printed on high quality card stock. The back of the card includes information about Art Restart and The Gathering Place, letting your network know that this card demonstrates your dedication to support women and children in need. The back of the card also has space to put your company’s logo; a unique co-branding opportunity that connects your business to The Gathering Place!

Art Restart is a unique departure for The Gathering Place, but it has been successful, not only for the organization, but for the individual artists. We hope that you will help support our social enterprise and the numerous women, children, and transgender individuals in need who benefit from Art Restart's success!