EAC has had many partnerships and collaborations with schools and nonprofits over the years and continues to value these relationships.

Current collaborations

Summer Mural Program

In partnership with Valley Works Career Center, EAC transforms blighted spaces in the community into inspiring works of art.  For more information CLICK HERE


CLASS, Inc. is a day program for adults with a variety of physical and mental disabilities, varying in degree (some use wheelchairs).  They have been coming to EAC since 2001, once a week for 1 hour working in a variety of mediums. 

Community Day Charter School

Community Day Charter School has been partnering with EAC since 2005. It started with a mentoring program for 2 years funded by Jenjo Foundation with a group of 6 students. Since 2008 that partnership has grown into 14 students traveling in the van and engaging in the after school art program.

Si Se Puede

Si Se Puede (SSP) is an after school program for students living in the Essex Street housing projects in Lawrence. Since January 2003 Essex Art Center has been providing transportation from SSP to EAC for 14 students to attend our after-school programs and then transportation from EAC back to SSP. The students range in age from 6-16 and participate in our fall, winter and spring classes. 

Lawrence Senior Center

What started as a collaboration to help us with our mailings has become an opportunity for seniors to sit for our portrait classes, take classes and participate in the larger community.

Spark Academy

Spark Academy is a fifth grade academy within South Lawrence East School.  Beginning Fall 2012, Essex Art Center offers weekly intentional instruction to self-selected students of Spark Academy and provides opportunities for students to experience diverse media, reflect on personal process and projects, provide opportunities for students to interact through group discussion, offering and receiving feedback, and developing self and social awareness.

Tarbox School

Tarbox School is a K-5th grade school. Tarbox School has joined EAC in the afterschool program since 2012. On Wednesdays 14 students are transported by the van and integrated in the classes. Amy Salafia, the Tarbox Art Teacher, organizes the partnership at the school and believes the opportunity is a special and  worthwhile experience for the students.

General school/program fieldtrips

Scout troops, Lawrence schools, Mother/child groups, and other groups of adults or children visit EAC on field trips that are generally 2 hours in length. Field trips give students, who might otherwise not have a regular art-making experience, a chance to see what EAC is all about.

Past Collaborations

Esperanza Academy

Esperanza Academy is a middle school located in Lawrence. It is an all-girls school that focuses on small classroom settings. In September 2006, when Esperanza Academy opened, EAC created weekly art classes for their students. The 70 girls are 5th, 6th, 7th, and 8th graders who walk to the art center every Tuesday  or Thursday to attend their weekly art classes from 1:30-3:15 p.m.

Haverhill High Alternative Night School

Students have been coming since 2002 one night a month for 2 hours to work in a variety of mediums including screen-printing, clay, photography, painting, mixed media, etc.  The students are in the Alternative Night School due to circumstances that prevent them from being in a regular day school program, including: childcare, jobs, various learning or discipline challenges, etc.

Opportunities for the homeless

Through our SOAP (Structured Out Patient Addiction Program) program and a collaboration with photographer, Robert Walker, we provide art instruction and art-making opportunities to Lawrence’ homeless population.  SOAP, part of the Greater Lawrence Mental Health Center, brings adults to EAC once each month for art-making.  The collaboration with Robert Walker, brings about five homeless men and women to EAC several times a month to use our black and white darkroom for photo film developing and printing.

St. Mary of the Assumption Grammar School

Students have been coming since 2000 once a month for their 8th graders for 1 1/2 hours during the school year. They bring approximately 20 students each visit.  They work in a variety of mediums.

Youth Environmental Justice/Violence Prevention Media Lab Project

With funding support from Department of Public Health/Youth Violence Prevention fund and the Puffin Foundation, this program trains high school youth in digital media skills, and eventually will pair these young people with middle school students for a mentoring program in which the teens train the middle schoolers in the digital media skills they’ve acquired.  Through engaging in positive meaningful community-based work, Essex Art Center will nurture long-term relationships with these young people, while promoting violence prevention.  The Department of Public Health has commended this dual approach of increasing young people’s feeling of connectedness to their community and their future, as the preferred model for youth violence prevention work.

Volunteer opportunities

We reach many additional people who might otherwise not have access to viewing professional artists’ work, or to having art instruction, through our volunteer opportunities.  For nearly four years, a young man with disabilities from Seven Hills Foundation has volunteered weekly to help out with various tasks at EAC.  Often, adult and young adult students who cannot afford to pay the full amount of a class, will volunteer in exchange for waiving of partial class tuition.