IMG_5056  Wharton School, MBA Program in Health Care Management, August ’16


Drawing for Reluctant Beginners!

Email  branchoutproject@gmail.com

 to find out about ongoing workshops!

Working with Teens- since 2003!

Villanova Initiative for Engaging Women (VIEW)

Young high school women participated in a summer-long self-portrait program offered by the Branch Out Project on Villanova University’s campus.  Please visit VIEW Self Portraits 2013 and our gallery page to see their accomplished self portraits completed after just 15 hours of class instruction.

Watch how the self portraits progress from start to finish in a short video Draw to Learn, Self Portrait Project 2007 from the RISE Program.

Every summer since 2002 , the Visual Literacy Self Portrait Project offered by The Branch Out Project has helped Villanova’s VIEW (formerly the RISE Program) to realize its mission to promote liberal arts college admission and success among minority and poverty level girls in the Philadelphia School District.

Cristo Rey Philadelphia High School
Student explains her drawing process.

Students from Cristo Rey Philadelphia High School participated in a series of three Saturday-morning Branch Out drawing sessions.  The group concentrated on learning to draw realistic facial features and incorporating their features into an abstract representation of themselves.

Corporate Creativity

May ’13

Church & Dwight Co., Inc. Global New Products-Homecare Division

“I came in confident I could not draw.  This class taught me techniques that proved me wrong.  I thoroughly enjoyed this class and would recommend it to others young and old.”

The Innovation group  from Church & Dwight, makers of Arm & Hammer, OxiClean and other consumer products, participated in a three-hour Branch Out Project seminar held at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.


October ’11

Journal of Museum and Social Issues

An article co-authored by Janice Merendino, Director of The Branch Out Project, Accessible Wellness Workshops at the Philadelphia Museum of Art was recently published in the Journal of Museum and Social Issues, Vol. 5, N. 2. The article summarizes her insights from her work creating workshops for groups with cognitive and communication disabilities for Accessible Programs at the Philadelphia Museum of Art since 1998.  Please email The Branch Out Project, branches3d@aol.com  if you would like a copy of this article.

Teacher Training

Philadelphia Museum of Art

September ’11

Janice conducted a teacher-training workshop at the Philadelphia Museum of Art on ways to expand the use of drawing in their educational programs for the museum’s full-time and part-time education staff.

Corporate Creativity

June ’11

Madison Square Garden Sports,  Go Forward event ”Unleashing Creativity”

After a tour of the museum’s collection at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, The Branch Out Project gave a creativity drawing workshop to 78 senior managers from MSG Sports, the home of the New York Knicks, New York Rangers and New York Liberty.

September ’10

Duane Morris LLP, Administrative Directors Retreat

“I recommend The Branch Out Project to corporations looking for a fun and effective way to encourage creative thinking in the workplace.  Taking us out of our comfort zone and demystifying the techniques of an artist showed all of us “old dogs” that we could learn new tricks.  Thank you for facilitating a very positive experience for us!”

Mary Farrell Robinson, Director of Human Resources, Duane Morris LLP

February ’09

GlaxoSmithKline, Global Innovation Group, NY

“It was a big deliverable for such a short amount of time.  I am trying to build a learning culture and this experience emphasized that.”

Donna Sturgess, Head of Global Innovation Group at GlaxoSmithKline

Twenty participants from the Global Innovation Group were given an introductory workshop to The Branch Out Project and  learned how the project’s drawing exercises are particularly valuable when linked with other creative problem-solving skills.

In the Community

January ’11

Philadelphia Museum of Art

The Branch Out  Project held an Introductory Workshop, “Drawing Parallels: Using the Tools of Visual Arts to Stimulate Innovation in the Workplace” for the Corporate Partners/Development Team of the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Professional Development

The Branch Out Project has given  two professional development workshops for teachers.  Both of these workshop days were devoted to academic teachers without any art background.  These “hands on” experiences helped to prove to the teachers that they can develop their own art skills and engage more students by integrating art into other subjects.

August ’09

Arts Bridges : Building Literacy through an Integrated Arts 
Collaborative Model

The School District of Philadelphia (SDP) in partnership with the Philadelphia Arts in Education Partnership (PAEP) held a professional development workshop for the teachers of Arts Bridges, a comprehensive arts-integrated program that will improve the literacy skills of the 4th, 5th, and 6th grade populations.

March ’09

Teach For America- The Mid- Atlantic Mini Summit

The Branch Out Project presented “Creating Breakthroughs In Student Motivation: addressing fears, insecurities and the “I can’t do it!” for teachers grades 3rd through 12th.

Artful Writing: using other art forms to enhance your writing

Janice Merendino, director of The Branch Out Project collaborated on ”The Art of Listening” with classical Pianist Rollin Wilber  and “Jazz Conversations” with jazz musicians Don Wilson and George Livanos for a Graduate level course entitled “Artful Writing: using other art forms to enhance your writing” held at Rosemont College.