Information and support from the Virginia Commission for the Arts has helped Art for the Journey improve its organizational processes and implement and grow several of its key mission programs. The relationships with Commission staff and Commissioners have helped us connect to other resources and art organizations around Virginia. Because of the Commission’s financial support we were able to expand our art instruction program for women incarcerated at the Virginia Correctional Center for Women in Goochland from a twice per month program to a weekly class, expanding the number of women benefitting from our non-profit work.
Art for the Journey has been able to exhibit and share our mission and program participant art work in the community. One such way is through an annual exhibit at the Richmond SunTrust downtown by invitation from Delegate Kaye Kory to exhibit art by people who have special needs with invited guests members of the Virginia General Assembly. This year AFJ exhibited art and writing by incarcerated women, art by veterans living with PTSD, and art by people living with dementia. This and other community exhibits are made possible through the support of the Virginia Commission for the Arts and organizations such as Culture Works, along with the generosity of individual donors.
For the second year in a row we have received an operating grant that can be used for any of our programs or to help support operations. This and other ongoing support has enabled our organization to sustain as we entered a time of pandemic and social isolation. With this flexible support we were able to shift in methods to deliver our services, and maintain our mission to overcome barriers and transform lives through art.
In 2019 Executive Director Cindy Paullin and President Mark Hierholzer were invited to participate in ArtWorks for Virginia, the Annual Conference of the Commission. They were panelists for Pathways for Healing Through the Arts, where they presented the mission of Art for the Journey and talked about how our programs address issues of social isolation resulting from disabilities (Veterans with service related disabilities and PTSD), institutional limitations (prison), progressive disease (dementia, Alzheimer’s and Juvenile Diabetes) and economic/social limitations (underserved and at-risk children).
Mark Hierholzer is a member of the Teaching Artist Roster in Visual Arts for the Commission. The Roster is comprised of professional artists who have been selected by a panel of arts leaders to represent outstanding representatives of dance, music, theatre, visual arts, design arts, crafts, media arts and literature. The Commission offers special opportunities to members of the Artist Roster.
Art for the Journey has benefitted in many ways from its relationship with the Virginia Commission for the Arts and encourages other arts organizations and artists to explore what possibilities might present themselves with a similar relationship. We are extremely grateful for this support and for all that the VCA is doing for our and other arts and culture organizations across the Commonwealth. The National Endowment for the Arts lends a stimulus to the arts in collaboration with the VCA, and this year celebrates it's 50 year anniversary! Visit this page to see a video about NEA and Virginia!
Art for the Journey is grateful to both the Virginia Commission for the Arts and the National Endowment of the Arts for the support of our organization and all that is made possible through Arts and Culture throughout the USA.