Our Founder

The “Artist the Artist” Foundation was established in memory of my beloved son Artis James (AJ) who was an aspiring visual artist.  After his passing (2/20/12), I was in distress over such a promising career that would not come to fruition because his talent was silenced.  While searching for answers, I was prompted to purchase the domain name “Artis the Artist.com”.  In May 2012, the first $500 scholarship was awarded to a graduating senior from AJ’s high school.  It was a year later that the Foundation was officially formed.  

Our goal for May of 2020 (the 8th year), is to award five $2,000 scholarships to graduating seniors who plan to study in “The Arts” (Visual, Preforming Literary, Music, etc.). 

I have leveraged my business acumen to effectively manage the Foundation with a bachelor’s degree in Accounting (former CPA), a master’s degree in General Business, and a Certification in Lean Six Sigma processes. Employed for many years as a Senior Manager for a National Software Company in the DFW Area, my career in corporate America continues to be very rewarding, however, The Artis the Artist Foundation is my passion and my joy!

In addition to serving my community through the Foundation, other endeavors include being a Group Leader for Bible Study Fellowship International, a liaison with Meet Me at The Cross Ministries, Teaching Youth/ Mentoring Young Women through various community organizations, and a member of the Fort Worth Chapter of the Links, Incorporated. 

My first book “Flashes in the Fog” was published in 2014, which is a candid walk through grief and loss.  My second book, “Danielle In the Lion’s Den – A Devotional for Women in The Workplace,” was published in 2017 and provides insight for career women.  I write with hope that others will be encouraged and challenged to live life to the fullest.  Both books are available on Amazon.com.

“All of the love and energy that I would have poured into my son AJ, I now pour into this Foundation and other young artists. “   ~Arlener Steels-Poydras, AJ’s Mom

Contact:  arlener.poydras@gmail.com