2022 Season For Nonviolence Partership is underway! 

Stay tuned for more details!

National Alliance on Mental Illness Coastal Virginia:

In recognition that many acts of violence may be linked to mental health crisis, NAMI Coastal Virginia offers free community resources here:

Participating schools – led in small student groups:

Season for Nonviolence Flag Campaign

Each school that participates in the Season for Nonviolence will receive a flag to proudly use as a symbol of the season and all that it represents. The flags can be used however the school sees it best implemented and celebrated. An example would be to fly the flag in the cafeteria for every day that they leave that space a bully-free zone! Another example would be to fly the flag in a space where students can take a moment to reflect on their mental health or resolve conflict. It is our hope that the 64 days season heralds the year-round learning environments that are cultivated where all are included, accepted, and able to succeed. By providing a supportive, kind, and caring space where students feel they can resolve conflict and stand against violent ways of solving their problems.

Students from the following schools have committed to hosting kindness rock painting sessions to talk about mental health and season for nonviolence with peers.
  • Green Run Collegiate
  • First Colonial High
  • Ocean Lakes
  • Old Donation School
  • Princess Anne High School
  • Tallwood High
  • Green Run High
  • Plaza Middle School
  • Norfolk Academy
  • Hermitage Elementary
  • W.T. Cook Elementary
  • Brookwood Elementary
  • Bayside Elementary
  • Kings Grant Elementary



2021 Season for Nonviolence Partnership with NAMI reaches over 1,000 participants!

ViBe Creative District partners with NAMI Coastal Virginia and Season For Nonviolence Collective to spread message of mental health awareness

(Virginia Beach, VA – April 27)  The ViBe Creative District nonprofit announced today a new partnership with NAMI Coastal Virginia and Season for Nonviolence Collective citizen group to spread message of mental health awareness this Spring through a collaborate public art project. Through this public art project, the groups aim to remove the stigma of mental illness and create a community space of healing and hope.

Sample kindness rock with mental health message courtesy of the ViBe Creative District.

Kindness Rocks with messages of Hope and Healing

Local student leaders within the Virginia Beach and Norfolk schools are engaging groups of peers in rock painting as a way to connect and discuss mental illness amongst youth. Many of the rocks have been provided for free by the VB Strong Center in Virginia Beach.

The following schools have been involved:

  • Cooke Elementary
  • Hermitage Elementary
  • Norfolk Academy Middle School
  • Princess Ann High School- Lighthouse Psychology Club
  • Landstown High School  – through Morgan

Other groups:

  • Mayor’s Youth Leaders in Action (member in collective)
  • Muslim Youth Group (member in collective)
  • Jewish Community Center (member in collective)

Individuals can also help participate in this community art project by finding a rock at their home or work and painting it with a positive mental health awareness message and leaving it in the ViBe District or anywhere you choose Spring. The public is also welcome to paint and save your rock to bring the public art project unveiling on May 8th, details below. This act of kindness can be completed at little to no cost by finding a rock outside and painting it will nail polish or leftover paints. The rocks are intended to be left in public spaces so that others can find them and enjoy a moment of reflection.

Project partner and sponsor Zero’s Subs Oceanfront is also hosting a drop in painting rock painting table now through April 30 in the ViBe District at 632 Virginia Beach Blvd, daily from 10am to 9pm.

Rocks painted at the Muslim Youth Leaders Awards group.    Cooke Elementary educators posed with student rocks.

Student Engagement

Local students at the Virginia Beach Technical School are constructing two wooden benches with planters to create a safe place to sit in the garden and other student leaders are hosting kindness rock painting sessions to spread messages of hope and healing throughout the garden.

Students from the Season for Nonviolence Collective also participated in NAMI Coast Virginia virtual programming to become educated on mental health issues and ways to help promote understanding and support to individuals. Programs include: Ending the Silence & Say It Out Loud.

Seeds of Hope Mural

Drawing inspiration from the Alfred Tennyson quote, “If I had a flower for every time I thought of you…I could walk through my garden forever,” local artist Erika Hitchcock of StoneWear Ceramics has created a flower mural that is being constructed and painted with the assistance of local students and artists. The artist wanted to participate in this effort and led this project after experiencing the death of her brother related to mental illness. With the help of volunteers and students, the artist will assemble this 24 foot fence mural which will have 3-d flower cut outs and two boxes to host seed packets for people to take and plant as seeds of hope.

Artist Erika Hitchcock (far left) with wood cut flowers at student / volunteer painting. Pieces will be assembled into a 24 foot mural in ViBe’s Mediterranean Avenue Parklet in May for Mental Health Awareness Month.

PUBLIC ART UNVEILING: Saturday, May 8th at 12PM in the ViBe District

This collective community art project will be unveiled in ViBe’s Mediterranean Parklet and Butterfly Garden located on Mediterranean Ave between 19th and 18th Streets — between Java Surf and Seaside Harbor– on #secondsaturday, May 8th at noon. The public is welcome to come hear the mural artist offer brief remarks or can show up anytime after to see the mural, pick up seeds leave or take a painted kindness rock. Guests will be able to sit on the student-made benches and reflect or meditate on mental health and this community collective.

This project is sponsored by NAMI Coastal Virginia, the ViBe Creative District, Zeros Subs Oceanfront, StoneWear Ceramics and private citizens.

Local Business Engagement

Local businesses owners are welcomed and encouraged to support NAMI with Mental Health initiatives for the Month of May at their business including:

  • Place Rack cards and containers with information about NAMI (The National Alliance on Mental Illness).
  • Green ribbons for your staff, employees and/or customers. Green is the color of Mental Health.
  • Plant a green pinwheel flower at the entrance to the business.
  • Competition among staff for green ribbon contributions
  • Percentage from a special dish or drink
  • Turn lights green or install one green light
  • Replace jean days with Green Days.
  • Support us more directly with public donations via a Nickel for NAMI jars

Already several businesses in the ViBe Creative District have signed up to support this effort including: Zero’s Subs Oceanfront, Vibrant Shore Brewing, Wareing’s Gym, Gypsy Soul Boutique, Barrel 17, Pixelated Boutique and Superior Pawn. NAMI is also partnering with businesses in Virginia Beach’s Town Center.

2020 Season for Nonviolence Kick-Off Event

January 30, 2020: ViBe Peace Pole Dedication – In honor of Season for Nonviolence

Kick off the international Season for Nonviolence with the City of Virginia Beach public dedication of the ViBe Peace Pole at the Oceanfront Library in the ViBe Creative District. Now more than ever before, it is important that citizens stand together for PEACE.

5pm: Mayor’s Remarks & Moment of Meditation:  the Virginia Beach Human Rights Commission will welcome Mayor Bobby Dyer  and Superintendent Spence for remarks. Immediately following, a moment of mediation will be led by local resident Jen Fedorowicz..


A Peace Pole is an internationally-recognized symbol of the hopes and dreams of the entire human family, standing vigil in silent prayer for peace on earth. Each Peace Pole bears the message May Peace Prevail on Earth in different languages on each of its four or six sides. There are estimated over 250,000 Peace Poles in every country in the world dedicated as monuments to peace.

The Season of Nonviolence commences on January 30, in cities across the globe. The annual 64 day campaign, co-founded in 1998 by Dr. Arun Gandhi and The Association for Global New Thought (AGNT), is an educational, media and grassroots awareness campaign spanning the January 30th and April 4th memorial anniversaries of Mahatma Gandhi and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

The purpose of the campaign is to focus educational and media attention on the philosophy of attaining peace through nonviolent action as demonstrated by legendary leaders Mohandas K. Gandhi, Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., Cesar E. Chavez, and President Nelson Mandela, as well as living legends such as His Holiness, Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet.

Spiritually guided citizen leaders in 900 cities in 67 countries have participated since the campaign began in 1998.

Jen Fedorowicz, owner of Shine Yoga leads a Community Meditation for Peace the first Monday of every month from 6:45-7:30pm. All are welcome to this free event. We ask if you are able to bring a cash donation for the homeless of Virginia Beach. All donations go directly to the J.C.O.C. There is power when we gather together with the collective intention for peace. A peaceful world begins with finding peace within yourself.  Come join the local community as we are guided to connect to the peace within. Next meditation is Monday, February 3rd. Shine Yoga is located at 2397 liberty Way, suite 102  (adjacent to the Virginia Beach Municipal Center).

April 4, 2020 Art of Humanity Public Event – cancelled due to COVID-19 and restrictions on public gatherings.


Annual Art of Humanity Event in 2019:

The Art of Humanity in honor of Season for Nonviolence 2019

The Art of Humanity in honor of the Season of Nonviolence
Closing Celebration: Saturday April 13 – 10am-Noon.

The Little Theatre of Virginia Beach located at 550 Barberton Drive, Virginia Beach, VA 23451.

>Art making
>Live music
>Spoken word, poetry and art
>Face Painting
>Community Organizations

The Season for Nonviolence is celebrated annually from January 30 to April 4 as a national 64-day educational, media, and grassroots campaign dedicated to demonstrating that non-violence is a powerful way to heal, transform, and empower our lives and our communities. Mayor Robert M. “Bobby” Dyer and Dr. Aaron Spence, Superintendent of Virginia Beach City Public Schools will read a Proclamation.

Community Partners:

  • ViBe Creative District
  • Virginia Beach Human Rights Commission
  • Interspiritual Empowerment Project
  • The Chrysler Museum of Art
  • Virginia MOCA
  • Teens With a Purpose
  • Utopia Feni
  • Virginia Beach Public Library
  • Virginia Beach Arts
  • Virginia Beach Police Department
  • Teens With a Purpose
  • LGBT Life Center
  • Virginia Beach Parks & Recreation
  • The Doorway Singers
  • Japanese Honor Society
  • StandUp For Kids – Hampton Roads, VA Chapter
  • Children for Change
  • African American Cultural Center of Virginia Beach
  • Little Theatre of Virginia Beach
  • Yolees’ G-Dawgz & Catering Co.
  • Hope For Life Rescue, Inc.

Community Mural by O’crylics at The VB Little Theatre


Inaugural event in April 2018

On April 7, 2018, the Virginia Beach community came together in ViBe Park to celebrate the Season of Nonviolence with a family friendly celebration of peace and understanding.

  • Live Music
  • Kids Activities: Face painting & Bounce House
  • Origami peace crane craft station
  • Local art mural painting
  • City ordinance reading and Spoken Word
  • Tables with local partners

2018 Community Partners:

  • ViBe Creative District
  • Virginia MOCA
  • Chrysler Museum of Art
  • Teens With a Purpose
  • Virginia Beach Human Rights Commission
  • The Little Theater
  • Interspiritual Empowerment Project
  • Children for Change
  • Virginia Beach Oceanfront Library
  • Virginia Beach Parks & Rec

The City of Virginia Beach honored the collaboration with the proclamation which was read aloud by members of Virginia Beach City Council, School Board and student activists.

Child for Change - City Proclimation

Local artist Walt Hardy assisted the community in painting a mural titled #Up4Peace.

Humanity, ViBe Fence Mural

2018 Media Attention:

  •  The Virginian-Pilot
  •  Wavy 10
  •  Southside Daily
  •  Alt Daily