"About Art for the Journey", as described by staff and community partners is a 25 minute video that explains the origin of the organization, the mission, and why Art for the Journey engages people in the arts to help others, with a special focus on those who are isolated or marginalized.
Beginning with the inspiration for Art for the Journey's formation, this video describes the ways that our volunteer-driven, person-centered organization impacts different marginalized populations. Board members Dr. William Jack Frable, Nan Pascal, Beverly Perdue Jennings, and Nannette Bailey all describe first hand experiences from volunteering with Art for the Journey. Dr. Erin Marie Brown, and Dr. Dianne Simons discuss the ways that AFJ promotes positive mental health, arts engagement, personal growth, empowerment through art-making, intergenerational connections, volunteer service, OMA, and VCU's ASPiRE Program and engaging the community at large.
"I think art is one of the great healers and the great gifts because it think it's innate in our DNA. I've seen the cave drawings in Spain and France that are 40,000 years old and they're still there. Art is as important to the human soul as eating is, as music is. When people are creating, they're in their own special zone. If you're really in that zone, time disappears your problems disappear. For myself personally, it's been very healing."
"Art-making tends to reach parts of us in a special way that maybe we can't reach any other way, and art-making can be a healing process."
"She [a participant in the Women in Prison program] said to me that in the past when she was at home and would get bored she would turn to drugs, specifically heroin, and she was excited for the fact that when she got home she knew something else she could do that would relieve her boredom. She said 'The first thing I'm going to do is go to Michael's and buy art supplies, and when I get bored I'm going to paint.'"
- Jamie Wigginton
"It is said that life is the art of drawing without the eraser. We now know that the process of creating art can take our life's drawings and add new beauty, peace, and even a new arrangement of otherwise crooked lines. AFJ brings art-making and personal engagement to vulnerable individuals and groups where that creative expression brings solace, well-being, and even healing."
"With art as the medium, Art for the Journey programs bring people together all ages, all races, all stages... Art for the Journey programs are a beautiful thing to witness." ~Cindy Paullin
We are lucky to have so many people engaged with our programs through our staff leaders, board members, community partners, and of course our incredible volunteers. Our programs are powered by this ecosystem of empathetic people who connect with our inspiring participants from many different backgrounds. As Sydney White, VCU art student and AFJ Executive Assistant said, at Art for the Journey, "one day you might work with someone that's five and the next day with someone 102"! Access to art, community, and well-being - for all.