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Everything I know as an educator I learned from my students — especially the 10 to 15-year olds. Teaching critical thinking, artistry, and communications leads to awakenings. It amplifies existing abilities and creates new breakthroughs.

Open Space Education is supported, in part, by generous grants from the Virginia Commission for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts, NextUp RVA, The City of Richmond, CultureWorks, Virginia Outdoors Foundation, and the Community Foundation.

In our classes, students cultivate connections between art, nature, and community. Senses are heightened. Skills are learned and sharpened. We prepare students for enhanced success in any endeavor or challenge ahead.

Open Space collaborates with teaching artists to co-develop programs that connect young people to the natural world through creativity. Classes meet year round and explore open spaces throughout the city of Richmond VA.

With gratitude and curiosity,


Director | Open Space Education |


Why Artistry?

Elliot W. Eisner argues that artistry — the cognitive processes so important in the arts — are critically important in all walks of life (Scandinavian Journal of Educational Research, Volume 47, Issue 3: 2003). He recommends that artistry serve as an important remedy to homogenized and mechanized forms of education. When we examine education on the worldwide stage, it’s easy to see the focus on technical skills and production proficiency. Our classes cultivate the American tenets of adaptability and innovation. We value emotional intelligence as well as IQ. Classes explore inquiry, reflection, debate, and craftsmanship — culminating in an online exhibition. Class size is limited to 9 students for ample attention.

Why Outside?

Open Space recognizes the advantages of open air classes. Being outdoors makes us more observant and aware. We develop a deeper connection to the world around us. Students enjoy the freedom and flexibility to roam. They easily engage in active learning experiences. In addition to more hands-on opportunities, learning in the great outdoors ensures fresh air and the health benefits associated with increased access to nature.

The Mayo Clinic has prescribed safe outdoor activities during the COVID-19 pandemic. The virus spreads readily through respiratory droplets released into the air. When we’re outdoors, the air is constantly moving and dispersing the virus. We’re less likely to breathe in enough of the respiratory droplets to become infected. Face masks and social distancing provide additional protection. Being outdoors offers other benefits, too. It provides an emotional boost and can help us feel less stressed, angry, or depressed. Sunlight delivers healthy vitamin D.

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