Vintage cigarette machine now dispensing art

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DENVER -- Nicole Vanston, 22, was born with a learning disability. In today's world, her financial prospects are not so good.

Nicole was also born with a talent for art.

And of all things to help her sell her art is a 50-year-old cigarette machine.

It has given her a voice.

"It’s also given her the confidence to view herself as an artist instead of just a young person with a disability." says VSA Executive Director Damon Mcleese, who's nonprofit helps folks, like Nicole, with learning disabilities learn basic life skills.

The cigarette machine, now called the Art-O-Matic, now sells hand size pieces of original art made by local, aspiring artists who happen to have a learning challenge.

The machine sells art from 22 separate artists $5 a piece making a profit of $450 a month.

It may not sound like a lot of cash, but for recent Denver High School graduate A.J. Kiel, his art sales gives him high hopes of earning money and traveling.

Instead of dispensing dorals, this old cigarette machine is now dispensing dreams.

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