Nicole Brandt Minyard is the Founder and Executive Director of Poverty and the Arts (POVA). She is an entrepreneur, advocate, animal-lover, and social artist. Nicole graduated from Belmont University in May 2014. During her sophomore year of college, she began programs for POVA through a work-studio job, and as a Junior she began the steps to file for 501(c)3 nonprofit status. Her senior year of college, Nicole interned at the Arts and Business Council and under the art therapist at Room in the Inn. POVA received official 501(c)3 nonprofit status in July 2014 and has since received numerous grants and awards including the Nashville Scene’s “2015 Best Up-and-Coming Nonprofit” award and funding from Metro Nashville Arts Commission, Tennessee Arts Commission, and St. George’s Episcopal Church’s $25,000 Social Enterprise grant.
Nicole started building relationships with people impacted by homelessness her senior year of high school in 2009 in Louisville, Kentucky. She has always been inspired by the creativity of those living on the streets and hopes to find ways to bridge the gap between the rich and the poor. When she’s not dreaming and planning for Poverty and the Arts, Nicole likes traveling, Indian food, going on adventures with her husband Josh and their rescue dog Max, and listening to the stories in her community.