Beyond teaching art techniques and supplying craft materials, we offer safe creative space for individuals to learn and express themselves.

Once a week, Art for the Journey animates the art room at Anna Julia Cooper School. A beacon amidst Richmond's East End housing projects, AJC seeks to "develop the self-confidence, strength of character, academic skills and sense of hope needed to open the door to a promising future" for their 4th - 8th grade students. Art for the Journey is privileged to help forge those futures through rich and diverse art lessons. Students learn visual literacy, media techniques, and creative expression, all within a context of nurturing engagement.

Throughout the school year the children explore the artwork of influential artists and cultures, along with literature connections and museum experiences. The students respond through drawing, painting, pastel, paper collage, weaving, masks, clay, jewelry, and mixed media work. With a small student-to-teacher ratio, the children are guided in critical thinking, design process, and self-reflection, with an overarching focus on joyful expression.

Our hope is that these practices become tools they can use, not just to navigate their own formative life circumstances, but to reinforce the emotional intelligence and creative resilience they need to grow into flourishing community leaders.

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Art for the Journey is grateful to partner with guest instructor, S. Ross Browne, for the 2018-2019 school year. A professional studio artist with over 23 years experience, he has exhibited domestically and internationally in over 70 gallery and museum exhibitions and is in multifarious private and public collections including the permanent collection of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (

COVID RESPONSE: During the pandemic, Art for the Journey volunteers designed and packed art activities to be delivered to the students by staff of AJCES. When in person classes resumed, social spacing became a part of the change as art instruction was being conducted by zoom at the same time as live instruction to space students 6 feet apart with PPE. Art was delivered to all classrooms by cart and instruction was supported by to mail AFJ staff educators Lauren Paullin and Stephanie Shanks. Work study staff supported by helping with preparation back at the AFJ studio. The students remain well supported and also have direct access to the host of the TV show - "The Creative Corner" which is used in instructional support containing SOL's, vocabulary words and cross-curricular education through the introduction of arts and culture.