Programs

Creating & Inspiring

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

Our Programs

From young students to seniors, we have programs for everyone. Our programs, classes and events are designed to make participants feel calm and comfortable in creating art as individuals. We supply all the art supplies needed for expression, but we also bring our empathy and work to make sure everyone is having a positive experience.

Full List of Programs

Medical school is hard, but according to VCU professors, the most harrowing passage is the third year. This is why Art for the Journey offers VCU third-year medical students the first-hand benefit of putting paint to canvas.

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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.

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Every week when school is in session, the cafeteria transforms into a pop-up art studio, complete with French easels, paints, canvases, drawing paper and charcoal. Middle schoolers flock to find a spot and get creating. On special dates, we also get to deliver special art sessions after school for grades K-5, integrating art and literature for inspired results.

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During the school year and some summer dates, two packed buses leave the inner city and arrive at Independence Golf Club’s Frable Art Studio, where the green surroundings become a kind of retreat for the primary grade children. They each create their own an inspired art project, using paints or collage materials. Aside from the delight of making a little mess, they leave with a new knowledge of art terms, a joyful sense of accomplishment and a painting they take pride in. These children receive the support of the community as they join together, create art, and a provided the opportunity to learn and express their creativity! COVID RESPONSE: During the pandemic, Art for the Journey continued to reach out and provide support to these students through the delivery of Art Kits. In April 2021, Art for the Journey will provide out door art activities by bringing the Art Bus to the Youth Life Foundation building and having tables and art activities outside!

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Each June a day camp is hosted by Children’s Hospital of Richmond for school age children suffering from type I or type II diabetes. Under the supervision of medical staff, this setting allows children to make friends with others who understand the challenges of the disease. Art for the Journey partners with VCU Medical School to bring an enriching art experience to the approximately fifty children who attend this camp.

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Residents with limited resources, space, and recreational outlets come together as a community to share a creative experience. These fun opportunities combat social isolation—a detriment to good health—and they help restore autonomy and self-worth through artistic independence. These seniors beam when they show off their living spaces, which now double as galleries for their original work.

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Art for the Journey was born in a studio: people simply enjoying the camaraderie, creative energy, and the respite it provided. We believe everyone benefits from making art, which is why we provide quality art classes for anyone seeking to try something new, improve their skills, or perhaps find some therapy of their own. All instructors are professional artists, experts in their media and deeply vested in the personal and artistic success of their students, regardless their level.

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OMA is expertly designed and resourced to be replicated by anyone seeking to bring its life-changing impacts to a senior care facility in their own community. Certified OMA facilitators receive in-depth training on neurocognitive disorders and abstract art processes, along with administrative and fundraising guidance specific to OMA implementation. The easy but thorough course with its materials was developed by Dr. Lokon, who combined her undergraduate education in fine arts with her graduate studies in education and gerontology. In Richmond, VA, Art for the Journey offers a convenient place to attend the in-person practicum. Also, Art for the Journey partners with Dr. Elizabeth Lokon to mentor trainees over the 15 hour online course prior to the OMA Facilitator practicum. *In partnership with VCU student volunteers, Dr. Dianne Simons, Faculty Emeriti, and the OT department, OMA continues to engage and inspire the next generation to embrace elders living in AL or nursing homes and engage directly, and learn that they too receive well-being through OMA! ***Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Art for the Journey developed capacity for the 100% virtual certification course also in partnership with the Founder, Dr. Lokon. This virtual certification requires trainees to participate in a three part training which provides the online course, all the materials, notebooks, thumb drives, and supplies, several live meetings by zoom with observation and debrief designed to fully prepare certified Facilitators to implement the OMA program as soon as they receive certification. Activities directors who take the OMA Facilitator training receive continuing education hours.

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Developed by Dr. Elizabeth Lokon at the Scripps Gerontology Center - Miami University, Ohio, Opening Minds through Art (OMA) is an award-winning, evidence-based, intergenerational art-making program for people with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of neurocognitive disorders. Its failure-free program provides opportunities for creative self-expression and social engagement for people with dementia. OMA also provides volunteers with opportunities to improve their attitudes toward aging through the weekly interaction with OMA program participants. To learn more about OMA, please visit: https://www.scrippsoma.org.

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At Virginia Correctional Center for Women, art classes have restored a sense of humanity and hope. In an otherwise harsh environment, the atmosphere of the art studio is characterized by person-centered engagement, positive support and awareness of the deeper emotional and psychological benefits of creativity. Through professional art instruction, our hope is to give these women a way to experience well-being through creative expression and to better prepare them for life beyond incarceration.

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Our veterans are truly special people. There are not many places in our society where individuals declare their willingness to sacrifice their lives for others. Many of them bring wounds home, some of which never heal. These individuals’ active service extends to the rest of their lives and, for some, the pain is so unbearable they struggle to stay alive. We all know the statistics.

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Postcards help us stay connected when we’re not together. In this tender time, while we care for each other by staying apart, Art for the Journey invites our community (that’s you!) to connect and unite by creating bite-sized artwork from home, and sending it to us as a postcard! Anyone, anywhere can submit a postcard — after all, we believe that everyone is an artist — and anything goes: use your favorite medium, or explore something new! If you can make it and mail it, we’re excited to receive it. Mail your 4"x6" artwork to: Art for the Journey PO Box 17948 Richmond, VA 23226 Postage is 35 cents — no envelope necessary!

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With a new public television series hosted by Lauren Paullin, Art for the Journey and VPM engage children in elementary through high school — along with adults — in interactive, hands-on art experiences. Each episode of The Creative Corner explores fresh topics through the lens of the visual and performing arts, with step-by-step instructions for activities designed to enhance learning in core subjects and align with Virginia's Standards of Learning.

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Programs