Arts and Culture

Tattoos for Good: All Sacred Foundation Makes Its Mark by Raising Money for Charity

The All Sacred Foundation has been making its mark with a monthly charity event, Tattoos for Good, when you can get a tattoo and 100 percent of the proceeds go to non-traditional local nonprofits. While All Sacred has been hosting these events for the past three years, last spring it opened All Sacred Tattoo Shop at 5846 West 25th Avenue in Edgewater, where it will host its next Tattoos for Good on Saturday, December 3.

The shop has an impressive roster of tattoo artists on deck, including All Sacred founder and eighteen-year veteran tattoo artist Aries Rhysing, as well as shop artists Jayce Wallingford and Graham Niles — all of whom focus on black ink, sacred geometry and ornamental work.

These artists are doing good work to make a difference, Rhysing says, "trying to disrupt the view people have of tattoo shops." And quite the difference they've made: by donating their work one day a month, All Sacred artists have raised nearly $40,000 for causes they believe in.
What three charities will benefit from your tattoo tomorrow? First, Phoenix Multisport, a company that helps addicts in recovery with health-conscious activities such as CrossFit, yoga, boxing, mountain climbing and creative avenues for non-traditional recovery. "They’re more invested with the community of health and wellness as opposed to a twelve-step program or a treatment program," explains Rhysing. "As we know, people have had their whole life affected by addiction. The biggest problem is they need something different to do. That’s all they know. They get to do all kinds of hard-core activities, and it gives them something to do with others who are on the same page. It's nice: You can go to the gym and actually see the money we donate being used. Seeing it in action is really rewarding."

The second nonprofit is Little Old Dog Sanctuary, a family-run hospice for old animals that might otherwise be euthanized. The sanctuary currently houses 38 animals including a pig, several turkeys and goats, in addition to cats and dogs. "We really love to work with animals in need because there has to be a voice for the voiceless," Rhysing says. "We feel particularly touched by old dogs. All these animals are cared for and housed in these peoples' home. They're basically pets who get to live out their last days with the love and care of this family."   Last but not least, All Sacred also donates to Art From Ashes, a twenty-year-old program that gives high-risk youth an opportunity to be leaders in their communities through art, poetry and self-expression. “Those kids are the future,” says Rhysing. “Since getting involved, we’ve been able to support programming for hundreds of youth. We pay their rent. They lost their grants, so we are the only foundation left supporting them.

"We like the non-conventional models," Rhysing continues. "We feel like the high-risk youth, sure, you can put them in treatment programs, lock them up, put them on medication and in the system, but none of it works. With Art From Ashes, they get to do poetry and art workshops. They can redefine what they see their potential is."

The youth poets get on the mic and share their poems at the Tattoos for Good monthly events. "They lay heavy stuff," says Rhysing. "They put it out there in such an act of courage not only to get that community support, but they've already started taking their story to share it to help others; they understand the reciprocal nature. These kids take what would normally be a statistical nightmare — Fs in school, pregnancy, dropping out — and they turn it around."
The philanthropy doesn't stop there. All Sacred was able to use $2,650 from its last fundraiser for supplies for Standing Rock: ten sleeping bags and a water-filtration system to equip a small encampment of people through the winter.

Before the foundation opened its own shop, Rhysing had been tattooing at artist/owner Josh Wrede's 'Til Death Tattoo Shop for a year; he considers 'Til Death a brother shop, while Ritual Tattoo Gallery would be the sister shop. His partner, Missy Rhysing, tattooed there and was a former owner. Today she owns Ritualcravt, a shop whose witchy blessings are sprinkled throughout All Sacred Tattoo Studio. The trio of shops collaborates on charity events throughout the city.

"I’m not trying to own the concept," says Rhysing. "It’s just planting the seeds to have more shops do the same thing in the city."

Artists who will be tattooing at the December 3 Tattoos for Good include Aries Rhysing, Jayce Wallingford, Graham Niles, Sal Tino, Evan Lorenzan and David Robinson. The event runs from 2 to 10 p.m. at All Sacred Tattoo, 5846 West 25th Avenue in Edgewater. Find out more on the All Sacred website.
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Lindsey Bartlett is a writer, photographer, artist, Denver native and weed-snob. Her work has been published in Vanity Fair, High Times and Leafly, to name a few.
Contact: Lindsey Bartlett