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. As you scroll through the entries and time advances, you can easily see our phenomenal growth and chart a growing number of children coming to understand the value of their wildlife.

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, 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 its inception to its 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 to 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, ARTS FOR ANIMALS has grown and prospered far more than we would have predicted. Each year brings us closer to our goal of protecting our planet's endangered wildlife for future generations. Today, after 10 years of effort and with the help of our partners around the planet, thousands of children each year are exposed to creative thinking and are being taught the value of protecting their wildlife.

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.


This coming year will mark our 10th anniversary working with ARTS FOR ANIMALS in Africa. We just completed an anniversary book documenting the formation and growth of ARTS FOR ANIMALS. WOW! We could not believe how much was accomplished in those 10 years. It certainly made us proud to see how much we've accomplished with the trust and support of our donors, Not to mention the numbers of children around the world that we have introduced to art and creativity as well as the importance of conserving their wildlife. This book is really a celebration of what our supporters and donors have helped us accomplish in just 10 years, saving wildlife and reaching thousands of young children by bringing the joy and magic of creativity into their lives.
Especially in light of the difficulty in getting to Africa to work with our programs this year.
Only four weeks before we left for Africa, hurricane Ida decimated our neighborhood and left us without electricity or communication for almost 3 weeks. Although it was touch and go for a while dealing with COVID related restrictions and closures, in the end everything turned out wonderful- and we had an incredibly productive and successful visit to our partners and the ARTS FOR ANIMALS wildlife Center.
With the difficulties we experienced getting to Africa this year, the uncertainty of the future, and raising costs worrying us as well, on this trip to Africa we brought enough supplies, materials, artwork and wristbands to last our partners several years. We are trying to arrange our programs so that our partners and the wildlife Center can function successfully without our annual visits.
In the past, we combined our ARTS FOR ANIMALS work with tours with friends and visits to the African bush to sketch wildlife for our art business. However, after COVID costs in Africa mushroomed and we can no longer afford to make those annual trips. We've always paid for these trips ourselves since ARTS FOR ANIMALS funds have never been adequate to pay for trans-Atlantic international travel or permanent staff. We can only hope that ,as time goes on ,our donors will continue to support us and we can, after a couple of years of savings, afford to go back to Africa in person to train new teachers, and expand our programs into new partnerships reaching more children. At this point it is in the hands of those generous folks who understand the value of teaching African children's to become active stewards of African wildlife and help us. The future of Earth's wildlife is in the hands of our children! Please Help them!
Our 10 year Anniversary

As always, Children in the Wilderness staff have been the key to our success in Africa

Another class of "Wildlife Potectors "and art students

There is really nothing like the smile of a child proud of his artwork

In 2022, we added several hundred "Wildlife Protectors" to our army of young conservationists

Little Lamisha, the baby left in the Bush and supported by ARTS FOR ANIMALS and Sarah Mogk is getting big.

One of our joys is always working with local teachers.

Timbavati's Bush school pivoted to offering programs to local schools due to COVID

Brittney Dumo, our Rangers scholarship girl is doing well

artwork from three of our ARTS FOR ANIMALS students were chosen to be exhibited in the Sketch for Survival exhibit in London

Tich's for survival entry was a beautiful piece of art.

Young Thembulino Is using his art talents to make conservation posters for his high school

"Pride" is mentoring children at the wildlife Center and developing his own art style

It's amazing how creative these children can be once given the opportunity

Hopefully, our partnership with the southern African wildlife College will enable us to send young Zimbabwean there for training

This is what ARTS FOR ANIMALS is really all about- connecting creativity with conservation

Our friend Dominic was with PAINTED DOG CONSERVATION is now enjoying his new job with Children in the Wilderness

both Pride and Descent are developing as young wildlife artists

2022 will be a year of new partners and new programs

During Anne and Jim's 2021 ARTS FOR ANIMALS program tour, the outreach educators at Timbavati foundation brought us to a wonderful, new community development program called NOURISH. NOURISH occupies about 4 acres of land near Kruger national Park and is dedicated to involving local communities and helping them with much-needed educational, agricultural, and conservation oriented programs. They desperately need support , conservation programs ,and educational materials to help local South Africans to come healthier, better educated, and more conservation aware and ARTS FOR ANIMALS will help provide some of those materials and support in 2022.

2021 was a year of challenges, innovation, and new ideas!

All of us at ARTS FOR ANIMALS want to thank our friends for their continued commitment and support. Thanks to their help, ARTS FOR ANIMALS is able to continue its efforts to help thousands of African children understand the value of their wildlife, by connecting creativity with conservation.
2021 has been a year unlike any other and ARTS FOR ANIMALS had to adapt to new challenges and new approaches to pursue our goals of saving the Earth's wildlife by motivating and educating children. Most of our conservation partners had to suspend their usual educational operations due to COVID, so we pivoted with them to new ideas and goals.
For instance, our ARTS FOR ANIMALS wildlife art education center in Zimbabwe became a meeting place for hundreds of local villagers to learn more about fighting COVID, and getting vaccinations.
Although closed themselves, PAINTED DOG CONSERVATION bush camp , Children in the Wilderness in Zimbabwe, and Timbavati Foundation in South Africa began educational outreach programs as soon as schools reopened. We modified teaching plans, art materials, and interactive educational techniques to help outreach educators continue their ARTS FOR ANIMALS conservation education sessions in surrounding schools.
Thanks to your support, ARTS FOR ANIMALS was able to provide food packages to our scholarship students and wildlife Center staff while everyone was on lock down last year. This was critical support for them at a time when they desperately needed it for their families to survive. That help enabled them to continue their own support and involvement in our conservation programs and scholarship programs, so that we did not lose the valuable time and efforts we had invested in them.
As tourism died and people lost income, animal poaching for" bushmeat", became a huge problem in wildlife parks and sanctuaries.The wire snares those poachers use can maim or kill any animal, including Elephants. Young members of our Wildlife Protector Program helped local park rangers and wildlife managers by reporting poachers and snare locations.
In October and November, during our annual ARTS FOR ANIMALS educational program tour in Africa, Anne and I were able to mentor several new conservation outreach teachers and visit new schools and community centers.
One of the high points of our trip was meeting the Zimbabwe Minister of Education while he was awarding special recognition to Mosi Oa Tunya high school for their conservation and agricultural education programs. The ARTS FOR ANIMALS wildlife art room we renovated in 2019 played a large part in earning that award. We were also incredibly proud to hear that, our ARTS FOR ANIMALS wildlife Center and high school creativity programs continue to play an active role model for Zimbabwe's national school system.
Here are some photographs and highlights of ARTS FOR ANIMALS 2021 programs and achievements....
After a year of lockdown, ARTS FOR ANIMALS Wildlife Center students were eager for an art lesson from ANNE

ARTS FOR ANIMALS was again awarded guide stars highest nonprofit rating

As children return to school, ARTS FOR ANIMALS programs were restarted

Students at painted dog Bush camp were happy to learn more about wildlife conservation through art

ARTS FOR ANIMALS teaching posters are being expanded to cover more lesson plans

Thanks to ARTS FOR ANIMALS, several of our young artists were chosen for the international sketch for survival exhibition in London

One of our first scholarship recipients, Descent Chizbee had his art chosen for the 2021 international art show in London.

Thousands of artists all over the world competed for an opportunity to help raise funds for conservation projects through Sketch for Survival. It's an international exhibition and auction, based in the UK, that helps raise money for global conservation.

One of our students at Victoria Falls high school showing off his latest artwork

At Mosi oa tunya (Smoke that thunders) high school students display their artwork and posters.

ARTS FOR ANIMALS lessons,cover conservation subjects while teaching the children how to draw. At the end of the session, they get to draw their own animals in a space on the poster, which they bring home to display .

ARTS FOR ANIMALS Mentors help develop artistic talent and guide young artists and rangers.

The art room is also dedicated to conservation presentations like this one with PAINTED DOG CONSERVATION.

This young artist uses artistic skills to make his own anti-poaching poster.

This is exactly the direction we want our young artists to develop. Using their artistic talents to encourage wildlife conservation among their peers is what will change the future.

One of the classes that Anne and Jim taught on their 2021 program tour.

Thembelino wants to dedicate his talents to working with national parks and sanctuaries.

This outstanding 15-year-old young man is already using his talents to help other students understand the value of their wildlife. He is certainly a candidate for one of our future scholarships if we can find the funds.

2020 was a difficult year for everyone on the planet Earth!

This has certainly been one of the most unique and difficult entries we have written ! The Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays are supposed to be a time of reflection, gratitude and connecting with the people we love.

Today, our reflections are rife with concerns about America’s future, our own personal future and the future of our planet. It’s a very difficult time to focus on gratitude for our blessings, and even more difficult to connect with the people we love.

All Anne and I can say is that our holiday message remains unchanged. Simply said – “We are grateful for all our blessings- as Americans, as your friend, or as part of your family”. Our kids in Africa echo that message!

A few years ago, our holiday message aptly mentioned, “your role as an important character in the biography of these children's lives and the color you have brought to their story”. I said, “Someday those children will look back at the help you shared with wonder and gratitude. I even said,” it is those shared experiences we all value most.”

We could not have foreseen the formidable nature of the “adventure” we all share today, but it is a “shared experience” and certainly one those children will look back on with “wonder and gratitude”. Like many adventures, it is full challenges, heartaches, sacrifice and victories -large and small! We know you have the strength to deal with the challenges of this “adventure”, an sharing that strength with these children is something you and your children will value and be proud of.

For people the world over, the greatest challenge is finding peace and happiness again and we hope you can find the paths to those critical life elements successfully.
Helping others is a proven "shortcut" to feeling better about the world and your part in it. We look forward to the day when we have clinched this adventure and we can move on - reconnected with these kids, and our dearly missed friends and family!

We wish you a peaceful, safe and fun Holiday Season!
Christmas cheers from Zimbabwe!

Happy Holidays from Jim and I with wishes for a great 2021!


AFC to Recognize Anne London with Top Conservation Award

Vancouver, BC CANADA – Sept 8, 2020 - In 2020, internationally acclaimed American artist, Anne London will be recognized for he rconservation leadership and artistic achievement with Artists for Conservation’s (AFC's) top honor: the Simon Combes Conservation Artist Award. AFC bestows the award annually to individuals for exemplifying the achievements and dedication of the award's namesake.
“Anne's story is an inspiring one of a highly accomplished and talented artist who has made it her life's calling to inform, inspire and educate youth in Africa about the importance of appreciating and conserving wildlife" explains AFC President and Founder, Jeff Whiting. Whiting adds "Her vision and dedication in establishing a learning center in Zimbabwe and an international network of partners supporting youth education in the conservation space, is truly inspiring." Anne joins a who’s-who roster of international recipients chosen for their artistic excellence and lifetime of extraordinary support of conservation, including David Shepherd, Robert Bateman, John Banovich, and Robert Glen.
Each year for the past 40 years, Anne has exhibited her extraordinary work and built strong ties with the zoo and conservation community, supporting wildlife conservation organizations. Using her acclaim as an artist, she has been actively involved with many causes, including Explorers Against Extinction, The International Rhino Foundation, The Ruaha Carnivore project, Painted Dog Conservation, Timbavati Foundation, The South African Wildlife College, The Giraffe Conservation Foundation, Children in the Wilderness and the Cheetah Conservation Foundation, often providing financial support, artwork, logos and poster development. Anne serves on the board of The Project Hope Foundation,and has raised well over $1,000,000 for conservation projects, programs, and organizations worldwide.
For decades, Anne has been travelling to Africa, basing her work on her real-life experiences in the African bush. In 2014, she and her famed oceanographer/photographer husband, Jim Hart, formed a non-profit named Arts for Animals, with the goal of connecting conservation with creativity. With the help of their partner, Children in the Wilderness, they started the Arts for Animals Wildlife Arts Center, giving local children a place to be exposed to, and learn about, art and wildlife stewardship.
Arts For Animals has since grown into an international organization inspiring thousands of children as future stewards of wildlife habitat, through drawing kits, activity posters, inspirational art and classroom teaching aids to partner conservation organizations and schools in four African countries and across the globe. It also organizes mentoring by teachers and local artists and offers scholarships to future artists, rangers and park administrators.
AFC’s Simon Combes Conservation Award was established in 2006 is the highest honour AFC presents to an artist member. The annual award has become the world's most prestigious conservation award for visual artists. The award's namesake, Simon Combes was a prominent member of AFC until his tragic passing in 2004, when he was killed in an encounter with a Cape Buffalo near his home.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, tentative plans are to present Anne with the award at a formal ceremony in early 2021 at the James Museum of Western and Wildlife Art in St. Petersburg, Florida. Details TBA.
Learn more about Anne through her AFC website at
Artists for Conservation
Artists for Conservation (AFC) is the world's leading group of artists supporting the environment. Founded in 1997, the non-profit organization comprises a membership of 500 of the world's most gifted nature artists from 27 countries, across five continents.
Winning this award was a huge honor for me, but it certainly could not done it without the help and support of Jim

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