AAVAA Youth Mentorship Program
You are encouraged to get involved in the arts by becoming an elite member of the African American Visual Arts Association. Membership is just $35 per year
The African American Visual Arts Association (AAVAA), a 501 c-3 non profit organization, promotes public awareness, youth enrichment, and enhanced representation of African American Art and Artists of all nationalities whose focus is to preserve African American History and the Diaspora through the use of visual arts
Glenda Boone is the Co-Founded the African American Visual Arts Association (AAVAA). A 501 c-3 Non Profit Organization. in 1998 after Glenda’s dear friend and caregiver to her children, Edoria Lee, read an article about America’s Promise and its push for Americans to be accountable to youth by volunteering. Edoria persuaded Glenda to use her company’s (Visual Arts Marketing Corporation) to assist her in stabling a community based mentoring initiative. Edoria’s biggest desire was to find an outlet for her then teenage son, Jason, who had a passion for painting. She felt that allowing him to be mentored by professional artists might divert his attention away from destructive behaviors. Glenda agreed and in September 1995, two girlfriends sitting at the kitchen table with no resources but a big vision birthed AAVAA and its mission statement:
“To address our youth with the challenge of excellence, encouraging them to turn to this form of expression as a viable outlet of energy and talent. We send a call to artists to support the community as the community supports the arts. We charge ourselves to offer enhanced representation to artist of all nationalities whose focus is to preserve African-American history. We hold to a standard of excellence, involvement and commitment that transcends all barriers and it is our hope and prayer to leave a legacy that creates a brighter future for generations to come.”
Since its birth, more than 9500 youth have received hands on mentoring and/or training from more than 70 artists nationwide. Additionally, more than 100 scholarships have been awarded of which 10 were collegiate. AAVAA is proud to acknowledge that their first AAVAA recipient, Jason Lee, is now a uniformed police officer for Baltimore City Police Department a husband and proud father. We are also sad to acknowledge that on December 3, 2002. Edoria Lee passed away after a long battle with Lupus and Breast Cancer. Since Edoria is passing, Glenda has relocated her home to Atlanta, GA, however she diligently and faithfully has maintained her responsibility’s as President of the African American Visual Arts Association and its Baltimore, Maryland location. “I will continue to keep Edoria’s dream alive, says Glenda, through volunteer resources, time and services in order to help divert youth from living destructive lives.
A 15 member volunteer executive board governs AAVAA. All board, staff and mentors serve in a volunteer capacity. Artist from all over the country support this effort because they believe in the cause and it helps them to reach out to the youth in their communities.
Programs: AAVAA’s “Art is the Key” youth development initiative is the organization’s primary focus.
AAVA offers a unique experience for youth between the ages of 13 – 25 that show an interest in the arts. Their participation is not dependent upon their previous experience, skill level, or artistic ability. The breadth and depth and overall quality of AAVAA’s “Art is the Key” program cannot be matched within the Maryland market. AAVA works with parents and guardians to add to the child is mentoring experience with internationally acclaimed professional artists. AAVA exists not only to create a positive role model for youth teaching artistic skills but discipline, entrepreneurship and self-confidence skills as well. The mentoring program begins in March of each year and ends in February of the following year with the youth exhibiting their works in a national show along with international acclaimed artist and their mentor. AAVA has been listed as a commitment maker with AMERICA’S PROMISE program since 1998 and its “Art is the Key” youth development initiative is currently being utilized as a role model for Americas Promise Communities of Promise Programs in other states. Further, AAVA offers several exhibitions and referral services to Museum curators, public relation firms, members of the media, manufacturers and publishers,
Scholarships:AAVAA offers both collegiate scholarships as well as exhibition scholarships to qualifying youth and aspiring artists currently residing in the Maryland/DC area.
Referral Services:AAVAA offers several referral services on behalf of its members to museum curators, public relation firms, members of the media, manufacturers and publishers. For its art collector members, AAVAA offers an artist and art supplier resource lists.