ArtReach Project (HendersonJAAr)

The Wayne C. Henderson School of Appalachian Arts has a mission to preserve, promote and provide a learning experience that has its roots in the culture and heritage of our Southern Appalachian Mountains.  The Henderson works with students as a part of our Appalachian Youth Programs, which include Junior Appalachian Musicians (JAM), Junior Appalachian Artisans (JAAr), Summer Art Camps and Outreach activities.

The Henderson received an Artist in Education Grant through the Virginia Commission for the Arts to offer an after school arts/craft based program that partners with Artisan Mentors of Holston Mountain Artisans (HMA) for middle school students of Smyth County. With the current challenge of COVID19, we have redirected these funds to “The Henderson Artreach Project”

To sponsor a student safely and securely through Pay Pal, just click on the icon below.

What is The Henderson “Artreach” Project?

The Henderson received funding from the VCA Artist in Education Grant for our after school art initiative: Junior Appalachian Artisans: HendersonJAAr. We are grateful for the award, however it has been a bit daunting with the current climate to provide any experiences for our intended middle school students. We have been seeking out viable alternatives that can be carried out with CDC Guidelines and still honor the intention of the program.

We believe we have come up with a solution that enables Chad Johnson, an elementary art teacher for Smyth County schools, to work with his students and promote our Junior Appalachian Artisan program for the 2021/22 school year.

With Chad’s help, we are going provide each fifth grade Smyth County student with their own “art project box” which will have all the supplies for one semester of art projects. To coincide with the contents/supplies provided in the boxes, Chad will provide (via the secure school web platforms) actual face time with students to guide them through projects.

Working with Chad, we will also produce online tutorials for ALL students to follow. They can be available for anyone that has access to supplies, including homeschoolers, students in other districts, as well as other grade levels. website and Henderson YouTube channel (Mountain Craft and Music) will provide tutorial access for students beyond the set teaching times provided by the school system and provide us with future content for future projects.

The projects provided in the kit are based on Virginia’s Department of Education guidelines for fifth grade. We have worked out the cost of the project box to be $15.00 per student, with approximately 325 fifth grade students in Smyth County schools: a total of $4,875.00. Please think about sponsoring a fifth grader for $15.00. If we raise enough money, we can supply students with a project ket for second semester as well. 

Projects for the semester:

Sketch Diary (Throughout the semester)

Printmaking Project

Watercolor (including color mixing exercises)


Flipbook/Animation (drawing and motion)

Tin Punch

Contents for each box will include:



Glue Stick





Flip Book Blank

Drawing Pencils

Sketch Book

Canning Lids

Paper Plates

Please share through Facebook, and ask individuals to sponsor a student’s project box at $15.00. This will allow us to fill in the deficit and perhaps allow us to continue the project through second semester. You can donate through our secure PayPal site by clicking below.

Junior Appalachian Artisans (JAAr) is an after school program for Smyth County middle school students. JAAr seeks to preserve our unique folk art mountain heritage through activities through the guided work of artisan mentors. This program will allow students access to working craftsmen and artisans who gather at The Henderson as well as introduce them to specific tools, materials, and studio space.

Junior Appalachian Artisans is supported in part by the Virginia Commission for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts, Friends of Mount Rogers, Holston Mountain Artisans, Town of Marion and The Wayne C. Henderson School of Appalachian Arts.