Arts for Animals Journal

This "Journal" is a record of the birth and history of ARTS FOR ANIMALS .It flows from the successes of today into the past and back to our humble beginnings.

Our path to starting Arts for Animals began many years ago, when Jim and I felt our first connections to wild animals. For me, it was the lions and elephants at Shambala Animal Sanctuary in California. For Jim, it was the aquatic wildlife surrounding him growing up in Louisiana. As the decades passed and those connections strengthened, it became apparent to both of us that preserving wildlife was in the marrow of our bones.

Throughout our lives, both Jim and I studied the science of the animals we loved, worked closely with conservationists and developed lives that are focused on the preservation of endangered wildlife, both on land and in the oceans.

When we each first visited Africa together, we discovered the majesty and beauty of Africa's wildlife -- and the sad truth that many creatures may be doomed to extinction. A great philosopher once said, "All it takes for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing."

Arts for Animals was born out of our personal desire to "do something" -- to make a difference, however small, in the future of African wildlife. We hoped to impact a few hundred children and enlist them in the fight to save the wonderful wildlife in their own backyards. We realized it is only with their help that animals like elephants, rhinos, cheetahs and painted dogs will remain on this Earth.

"Safari" is the Swahili word for "journey." And so this journal chronicles the safari of Arts for Animals from it's inception to it's accomplishments today.

Jim and I began in 2011,just as two earthlings who were willing to try to make a difference by using art to teach conservation for the children we met on our travels. Before long, we realized many others shared our concerns and also wanted to personally take some action to protect the future of our planet. To encourage and help those folks make a difference, we created this nonprofit, Arts for Animals Inc.

In 2012, we taught our first "formal" group of African children and helped them tie their creativity to conservation. It has been a journey filled with encouragement, the enthusiasm of children, and renewed hope for animals facing extinction.

As one of our supporters said, "Each spark of creativity ignited adds to the collective light of the world."

We have been fortunate enough to have friends,supporters and wildlife lovers who have supported us on this journey and ,without whom, few of these goals would've been accomplished. Far, far fewer children would be understanding the value of their wildlife and recognizing what art and creativity can bring into their lives. With their help and yours ,we are changing lives and the future of wildlife on our planet - one child at a time.

As the years progressed, we have grown and prospered far more than we would have predicted ,and each year brings us closer to fulfilling our goals.

We hope this "safari" will conclude only when animal poaching ends, with all wildlife prospering in their native habitats, and with the ongoing resurgence of artistic expression and creativity in Africa.


We just returned from a" bucket list" adventure to Vanuatu in the South Pacific for Jim's 70th birthday, Annie's 61st birthday, Christmas , New Year's and our anniversary. Although the trip was primarily recreational, we couldn't help but bring with us some art materials and supplies for the children of Vanuatu. The children there are quite poor and the country has a lot in common with Africa, in terms of limited classroom resources and conservation teaching tools. Like Tonga, which we visited two years ago, Vanuatu has serious environmental challenges and Marine conservation issues. We visited a local school and, although the children were out for Christmas holidays, we met with local teachers and activists and passed out art posters and materials and discussed ways we could help them connect creativity with conservation at their schools. The people of Vanuatu are very generous and warm ,and genuinely value their environment and marine life. We hope to establish a relationship with our friends there, furnishing many of the same art materials and conservation stewardship support that we do in Africa. Whether it's Elephants, Rhinos, Cheetahs, Turtles,Whales, or coral reefs, the Earth's wildlife is critical to the heritage, and future of the local people , as well as the overall health of our planet. For more information and photographs about our trip to Vanuatu check out the Anne London Facebook page, or our "Journal "on the web site.

Jim and Linda Bennie are both active in Vanuatu educational and developmental organizations

We dropped off much-needed art supplies and teaching aids needed to develop new art conservation programs.

Vanuatu's Schools focus primarily on basic educational skills and hygiene

ARTS FOR ANIMALS will provide art materials and teaching aids to include wildlife conservation in their curriculum.


Through our friend Matt Lindenberg we were introduced to Charles and Inga deVilliers , founders are of Timbavati Bush camp for kids near Kruger Park in South Africa. It is a state-of-the-art facility with accommodations for up to 40 children, staff and volunteers.
We are very excited about helping Timbavati to educate local children about the importance of their wildlife by connecting creativity with conservation. ARTS FOR ANIMALS will help create an environment that exposes the children to art and helps the staff at Timbavati connect conservation messages with art lessons.
Our "Wildlife Protector" program and Poster program will enable Timbavati conservation messages to follow the children into their homes and villages- dramatically increasing their effectiveness.
Timbavati is an incredible  Bush camp built by the DeVilliers family to help local children learn the value of their wildlife

Timbavati is composed of classrooms, kitchen facilities, accommodations for children and staff and recreational areas

Its goal is purely to bring children joy and give them the tools they will need to become conservationists themselves

Timbavati Foundation also assists local villages in obtaining water and building critical waste facilities for the villages

An incredible collection of skulls and mounts taken from animals that died in the Bush naturally or were hit by cars helps educate the children

This collection gives children a wonderful opportunity to get up close and personal with the beauty of these animals

The children also learn agriculture and, as shown here, grow trees to replace forests damaged by elephants

The entire facility is very low carbon footprint with most of its energy supplied by solar power

We presented the teachers with art pieces focusing on the plight of rhinos called," The Last Unicorn"

We got to know Charles and Inga the founders of Timbavati and France and Teresa -the directors

We had a lovely visit at their home, shared a beautiful dinner and got to discuss important local conservation issues.We also learned that Charles was one of the founders of the South African Ranger College ,a partner with us on Ranger scholarships

We wanted Charles and Inga to have a piece of Anne London artwork for their collection

It's rare to meet folks as dedicated to wildlife conservation and the education of children as this couple. We had many things in common and look forward to a growing friendship with them

While sitting around the campfire at the Boma, a white rhino and calf wandered close by

Charles and Inga live in a private nature reserve near Kruger Park with many endangered species living on the property


With the help of Markeeta Brown, ARTS FOR ANIMALS awarded Anita Ncube and Sebo Sibanda our first Ranger school scholarships. These two-year scholarships will pay for their accommodation , board, and training to become some of the first female Rangers in Africa.
Both women have known since an early age that they want to dedicate their lives to saving their wildlife. Interestingly, both these women first exposed to conservation stewardship at the painted dog conservation Bush camp and both women are currently working at schools that ARTS FOR ANIMALS has helped with computers and art materials near Hwange national Park.
We will follow the efforts of these two women closely and look forward to their graduation from Ranger College. In exchange for these scholarships, Anita and Sebo have agreed to become mentors for future scholarship recipients. ARTS FOR ANIMALS will also provide them with computers for the first time so that they can journal their progress. It should be very interesting to see on a week to week basis what their lives as ranger trainees will be like.
If you would like to be a part of this female Ranger program, you can dedicate donations specifically to help Zimbabwean girls break the mold of typical African women and pursue their dreams to protect wildlife. Each two-year scholarship to create a female Ranger cost $4500 and any funds donated are a huge help toward increasing the number of park rangers to protect wildlife , but also in demonstrating that African women can take on any role in life they set their sights on.
Sebo Sibanda and Anita Ncube first decided they wanted to become park rangers while attending the Painted Dog Conservation camp as children


ARTS FOR ANIMALS is working on expanding their programs into more areas in Zimbabwe and wildlife conservation orientedBush camps and other parts of Africa
We returned to Africa in October to work on expanding our programs to other schools, first  in Zimbabwe and to Timbavati Bush camp in South Africa

This year we focused on expanding our programs to other schools and children's conservation oriented Bush camps

At Painted Dog Conservation Bush camp, we continued programs we started four years ago

ARTS FOR ANIMALS programs reinforce conservation lessons and add an Art education dimension to the camp. For many of these kids it's their first exposure to art and creativity.

Most of the kids we teach live near Hwange, Zimbabwe's largest wildlife Park

The children at this Bush camp are from all over Zimbabwe and spend four days learning about their wildlife and the importance of conservation

Lions are also become endangered since their body parts are sold in China as" tiger body parts" for traditional medicine

Part of the curriculum there is enabling the kids to go on a bush drive and one of Zimbabwe's biggest game parks

Often these children live in small villages and rarely see their own wildlife

At these Bush camps, children learn the beauty and value of their wildlife and how important that wildlife is to their future. Learning about their wild animals often plants the seed to grow up to become wildlife park rangers.

We visited several schools near Hwange national Park and worked with the teachers to develop their lesson plans to include new art materials and conservation messages

Dipota School has several hundred students. By training the teachers and providing art materials, we can help them connect creativity with conservation.

The teachers at the school were a kick and full of personality. They were so grateful for the lesson plans and art materials we brought to them.

As we demonstrate drawing techniques, the teachers and principal looked on with great interest

One of the classes we worked with proudly displaying their Wildlife Protector wristbands and conservation posters

10 years ago Anita and Sebo realized they wanted to protect wildlife after attending the painted dog Bush camp as kids

For the past 10 years they have worked their way through all the educational prerequisites and attended the wildlife college in South Africa so they are ready to complete their coursework to become park rangers.

Anita and Sebo are now in their early 20s and have one ARTS FOR ANIMALS scholarships to become Zimbabwe's first female park rangers

We're looking forward to hearing from Anita and Sebo how they will progress through Ranger school

The ARTS FOR ANIMALS wildlife Center has developed into an important educational resource for children all around Victoria Falls

We were so proud of our ARTS FOR ANIMALS wildlife Center kids

These children contributed artwork to the Sketch for Survival exhibit in London and New York. It was an incredible opportunity for the children's artworks to be shown internationally

"PRIDE" and "BLESSING" -Two of our scholarship recipients

Pride is a natural artist and hopes to be able to use his art skills to help wildlife conservation. Blessing hopes to become park ranger someday.

Is up to us to teach local children the importance of these elephants to their future

One of the high points of these trips is working with children we have been teaching going on six years now

Times are hard in Zimbabwe and gasoline is in very short supply, making it difficult for students to make it out to the wildlife Center.

Our challenge is to make our Art/Conservation lessons available to as many students as possible.Tich,Our director, mentioned that one of the largest schools in Victoria Falls- Mosi oa Tunya High School, had an under utilized arts and crafts classroom.

ARTS FOR ANIMALS is building a second facility at the MOSI OA TUNYA ( smoke that thunders) high school in Victoria Falls

Transportation in Zimbabwe is very difficult due to gasoline shortages. Many students can't reach the wildlife Center near the Victoria Falls airport, So we are partnering with the largest school and Victoria Falls to an art conservation center there

ARTS FOR ANIMALS will convert the Mosi ou Tunya school room into a modern art conservation teaching facility

With 24 hour electricity .a wonderful on-site staff, and convenient location, the school ARTS FOR ANIMALS center will be able to reach many more children and adults

Giraffes are killed each day by snares and even terrorists wanting to sell their bones and meat

This is Lamesha, a baby who was abandoned in the bush five years ago

She was adopted by our friend Sarah and his growing up to be a healthy happy young child

Seeing Lamesha grow up has really been an incredible experience

Knowing that she will have opportunities to grow into a healthy, successful young lady is wonderful

This cheetah is being rehabilitated after being caught in a poacher snare for five days

After teaching in Zimbabwe, we headed back south to South Africa to introduce our programs to another Bush camp near Kruger Park called Timbavati

ARTS FOR ANIMALS artists exhibited internationally!

We are so proud of our kids from the art center participating in the Explorers Against Extinction Sketch For Survival event. The kids are quite excited about seeing their own artwork being exhibited all over the world online as well as at the galleries in the United States and England. They are already thinking of what conservation oriented artwork they are going to do for the 2019 sketch for survival.
Anne and Jim are heading back to Africa in a week to spend a few weeks working with the kids at the art center and at the Painted Dog Conservation Bush camp near Hwange national Park. They have also been invited to TIMBIVATI Bush camp for children near Kruger Park in South Africa. On this trip they hope to swear in the 4000th "Animal Protector". Hopefully in 2019, they will reach their goal of 5000 children who have learned about the importance of their wildlife and sworn to protect their wildlife.
ARTS FOR ANIMALS  child artists exhibited internationally!