Previously Funded Projects

2017-2018 Recipients

VCU Sculpture Outreach Program

Community Partner: Art 180
VCU Partners: Department of Sculpture + Extended Media; Institute for Contemporary Art

All students should have the opportunity to realize their greatest potential through creative expression. While there are art programs serving teens in Richmond, few are accessible to families with low-income. The Sculpture Outreach Program will provide local high schoolers with free Saturday art classes focused on three-dimensional making. Teens will experience a hands-on studio, museum visits, lectures and portfolio workshops, as well as materials, methods and ways of thinking that introduce creative work as a viable educational choice and expand teens’ potential for future success.

Building Interactive Environments for Older Adults with Autism that Promote Stress Management and Engagement

Community Partner: A Grace Place Adult Day Care Center
VCU Partners: Departments of Gerontology and Interior Design; Rehabilitation Research and Training Center

Autism is a lifelong disorder; however, little is understood about older adults with autism. In 2016, A Grace Place Adult Day Care Center shared a specific need – older adults with autism require specialized supports and services. This transdisciplinary team will design supports for stress reduction and active engagement in learning and leisure through creation of individualized adult sensory profiles, a muti-paneled interactive wall and interactive sensory boxes. Resulting academic materials will be disseminated through a community of scholars in order to develop a service environment better equipped to meet the needs of adults with autism.

An Interprofessional Intervention with Behavioral Health and Pharmacy Trainees to Reduce Smoking Rates in the Latino Population of a Free Health Clinic in Richmond

Community Partner: CrossOver Healthcare Ministry
VCU Partners: Departments of Pharmacotherapy & Outcome Sciences and Psychology

Tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable disease and death in the United States. Of those who smoke in the United States over 480,000 will die prematurely each year, with the Latino population impacted disproportionately. This project aims to improve the smoking cessation rates in the Latino population at CrossOver, providing a foundation for collaborative research and establishing an intervention model for underserved communities.

Touching the Past: Enhancing Accessibility for Richmond’s Visually Impaired Community and Others to Virginia’s Heritage through 3D Printing

Community Partners: Department for the Blind & Vision Impaired; Virginia Historical Society (VHS)
VCU Partners: Leadership for Empowerment and Abuse Prevention; Schools of Education and World Studies

Over 500 objects in an exhibit at VHS highlight Virginia’s 16,000 year history in a visually stunning and richly textured manner. Yet, “The Story of Virginia” is not available for visually impaired visitors to explore and is limited to those who can travel to the museum. This project will scan, create and develop 3D printed replicas of Virginia’s heritage using unique items from VHS. These items will be made available for on-site “touch tours,” in-school teaching with accompanying lesson plans and available on a global level through publicly accessible digital models that can be studied through any internet browser and 3D printed on demand.

Asset-Based Community Development: A Model for Community Strengthening

Community Partners: City of Richmond Office of Sustainability; Embrace Richmond; Engaging Richmond
VCU Partners: Center of Society and Health; Department of Urban & Regional Studies & Planning

In the field of community development, scholars, practitioners and residents tend to focus on “needs” and how policies or programs might address deficient local urban neighborhoods. The challenge with needs-based strategies in that they ignore capacities of local residents to enact positive change. Asset-Based Community Development (ABCD) is a strategy for community building that locates and mobilizes community assets and capacities. This grant will empower partnering organizations to develop an ABCD theoretical model, adapt it to be appropriate for Richmond communities and create a more holistic strategy to serve as a pilot for expanding civic engagement across the region.

Building on Sacred Ground: The Art of Remembrance

Community Partner: Shockoe Bottom Center for Historic Reclamation (SBCHR)
VCU Partners: Departments of African American Studies, Art Education and History

The SBCHR builds on activism in the Richmond community around developing an inclusive process for engaging black Richmonders in the process and plans for memorialization of the Lumpkins Jail and African Burial ground site in Shockoe Bottom. This partnership will foster discourse around the history of black people in the city and shaping university-community relations that are respectful and collaborative. The partnership team will develop research questions and subsequent projects that emanate from shared interest in slavery, memory and the built environment in order to consider how the overlooked history of the city can help to remember the past and imagine the future.

Community Forestry Project

Community Partners: Carver Area Civic Improvement League (CACIL); Capital Trees; Richmond Tree Stewards
VCU Partners: Center for Environmental Studies; Office of Sustainability

Urban tree cover (UTC) is an environmental, social and human health asset; however, it is often unequally distributed across urban landscapes. This partnership between CACIL, Capital Trees and Richmond Tree Stewards and the VCU Center for Environmental Studies and Office of Sustainability will investigate spatial distribution of UTC in relation to socioeconomic and environmental factors, as well as policies to address inequities in UTC ecosystem services.

All Previously Funded Projects

Download the complete list of Community Engagement Grant recipients. (PDF)

Impact and Sponsored Scholarship

Since 2007, over 199 scholarly products have been developed with the support of community engagement grants. Students involved in these experiences have also advanced their own scholarship through activities such as dissertation research, website development and conference presentations. For every dollar of seed funding invested, the community engagement grants have generated $3.00 from external funding sources to sustain projects and support partnerships. 

For more information on grant leverage and impact, download the Community Engagement Grants 2007-17 Snapshot (PDF).

Community Engagement Grant Sponsored Scholarship