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Justice Resource Institute: Full Circle Arts

Full Circle ARTS is a social enterprise comprising two studios and retail stores and a web shop on Etsy that sell handcrafted products made by artists and crafters with I/DD. What started as a small arts and crafts activity in our Employment Services program blossomed into two full retail operations and employment training programs. JRI had the support of the MCHSP “What a Great Idea” contest and a consultative partnership with the Boston University Graduate School of Management to develop a business plan in 2012. The first store opened in 2013 and the second in 2015.

Full Circle ARTS teaches arts and crafts skills; sells handmade gifts, accessories and artwork on consignment; provides employment for retail employees; is an outlet for sales of arts and crafts from both people served by JRI and people with I/DD throughout Mass.; and is part of our larger job-training services.

Developing Abilities Employment Services have always had a social enterprise focus, starting with the Willow Tree gift basket business in 1992 and including the Hot Diggity Dog food truck and the Lunch Express Café and Catering business. When the Lunch Express premises were destroyed in 2008, we regrouped and engaged the individuals we serve and other stakeholders in designing our next enterprise.

Full Circle ARTS benefits JRI, the people employed, the artists and crafters who consign with us and the local communities where we create and sell goods. It is a showcase for JRI’s creativity and capacity to support adults with significant behavioral health and other needs. It provides skills, income and personal satisfaction to the artists and crafters who participate and the trainees who work in retail operations. Through our involvement in local arts’ councils, Chambers of Commerce, regular farmer’s markets and craft fairs; and retail and web sales it enables people with I/DD to engage with and make valued contributions to the life of their communities.

You can visit the two locations at the addresses below.

Full Circle ARTS, 9 Middlesex Ave., Natick.
Full Circle ARTS, 276 Turnpike Rd. (Rte. 9 East) Westboro.

Practice Area

People with intellectual disabilities
People who are homeless
People with physical disabilities

Measure of Success

Improves client services

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