Who We Are

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Dedicated to creating beauty and changing lives, The Alpha Workshops is the nation’s first nonprofit organization providing decorative arts education and employment to adults with visible or invisible disabilities and/or other vulnerabilities. It was founded in 1995 in the Chelsea area of Manhattan and modeled on the famed Omega Workshops, the Wiener Werkstätte, the Bauhaus, and the American Arts & Crafts movement. The multi-faceted organization encompasses The Alpha Workshops Studio School (AWSS), a vocational school licensed by the New York State Department of Education, and The Alpha Workshops Studios, an award-winning professional design and decorative arts atelier staffed exclusively by AWSS graduates.

The Studios offer a full spectrum of decorative arts services to interior designers and architects, including traditional custom decorative paint and plaster finishes, gilding, and on-site art installations. Alpha’s staff artisans also produce unique hand-painted wallpapers, custom hand-finished case-goods, hand-finished lamps, and other fine interior products made to specification and available through select showrooms. All sales proceeds support the organization’s educational and employment programs.

In accordance with its original mission “to provide a new model of economic development for people living with HIV+/AIDS or other disabilities,” The Alpha Workshops is part of a growing movement to establish unique ways of working, teaching, and doing business with benefits for all: a do-no-harm approach to education and enterprise.