The Ink People

The Ink People has been changing people’s lives since 1979 by connecting the community with resources for cultural development. We encourage people to exercise their humanity, build civic discourse, and engage their creative potential. We have a long time presence in Humboldt County and California as a community-based, grassroots, artist-run, arts and culture organization.

We are organized on community access principles and the belief that art, in all its forms, is essential to the human spirit and well being. We base our activities in a philosophy of sharing and community building. We think it is important to listen to people’s hopes and dreams, and to help realize them, but not do it for them. We feel that arts and culture should be an integral and conscious part of everyone’s life, so we set about weaving the arts back into the fabric of our community. We know that young people are the future and are incredibly challenged by today’s world, so we try to give them tools to build successful and fulfilling lives.

The Ink People was co-founded by two printmakers who wanted to create a peer support structure for artists, educate the community about the value of the arts, and use art to effect change. A small, but passionate staff run day to day operations with help from over 200 volunteers and independent contractors.  With over 600 subscribers, we are nurturing culture through the education and engagement of artists and communities.

The DreamMaker Program supports over 100 self-directed projects created by people who want to make their community a better place through arts and culture. We offer administrative support, management, and capacity building training. Other ongoing programs include exhibitions, performances, educational opportunities for all ages, a monthly newsletter, Public Art projects, KIPE-FM Radio Bilingue & Indigenous radio, Artists in the Schools and the Juvenile Justice System, and the MARZ Project, which provides at-risk youth with tools to create positive change in their lives and communities.

What is the DreamMaker Program?

When Libby Maynard and Brenda Tuxford first started TIP, they spent a lot of time and

energy learning about how to incorporate a nonprofit, how to gain IRS tax exempt status,

and all the other things you need to know about administration, record keeping,

fundraising, and management. As the years progressed, people came to them to find out

how to start their own groups or run projects. It was out of that need, The Ink People

developed a system of fostering, training and support to make people’s dreams a reality:

hence, DreamMakers. This system gives people the structure and knowledge to decide

whether they want to create a separate organization, remain in association with TIP, or

close down their project gracefully without going through the legal agony of


The DreamMaker relationship is not a strict fiscal receivership nor is the Ink People an

umbrella. The Project becomes a full-fledged project of TIP, just like the Brenda Tuxford

Gallery, the MARZ after school studio, or artist residencies. The Project then receives

extensive technical assistance, support and benefits from The Ink People’s reputation.

TIP provides complete financial record keeping, liability insurance coverage, meeting

rooms, use of the office computers/internet access, and centralized mail and phone

message facilities, Along with these pragmatic benefits, the DreamMaker leaders enjoy

help and support with grantwriting, general fundraising, business planning, problem

solving, and morale support.

In exchange for inclusion in the corporation, and back office functions, each project has

responsibilities, including a 15% administrative fee on all incoming funds and regular reports. All grant applications and fundraising appeals need to be approved by the Ink People board or Executive Director, and key members of the DreamMaker need to join the Ink People as members.