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, and medical students at VCU call the third year one of the most challenging. Art for the Journey provides an opportunity for these students to experience first-hand the therapeutic 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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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.

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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 innovative and outstanding 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.

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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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Programs