Chicago nonprofit grows peace in classrooms through art education

ByAngela Chen & Jordan Arseneau Localish logo
Friday, June 21, 2024
Chicago nonprofit grows peace in classrooms through art education
The Simple Good CEO Priya Shah said deep reflection work through art helps kids recall meaningful things in their lives and how they impact others.

CHICAGO -- The Simple Good is a Chicago-based arts nonprofit that provides social and emotional learning arts programs to students K-12 to support youth mental health.

Founder Priya Shah said being born with a limb difference and a passion for art has helped fuel the work she does through her organization.

"Growing up, I never saw a brown woman with one hand, let alone a woman with one hand," Shah said. "It was very early on that I realized it wasn't me that was creating the obstacles, it was people's assumptions of me."

In addition to being CEO, Shah models in hopes she can inspire kids who look like her to feel seen while also promoting the work of the organization.

"I'm doing this because I want to elevate The Simple Good," Shah said. "It's to create that representation in the modeling world."

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Besides the runway, Shah's face can be found on a large mural in Chicago's West Loop neighborhood. It was painted by muralist Nicole Salgar, after an artist in the community suggested Shah be the subject.

"Sometimes you're doing this work and you're not feeling seen, but it's like these moments where people are seeing," Shah said. "All kids that are written off like me need to know their Simple Good."

The Simple Good is hosting its annual "Hunt for Good" fundraiser on June 29. The fundraiser helps fund free art-based social-emotional learning programs for 400 students around Chicago's South and West Side neighborhoods.

For more information on The Simple Good, visit