Savannah African Art Museum Honors Earth Day with Online DIY Workshop

Staff Report From Savannah CEO

Monday, April 20th, 2020

Wednesday, April 22, 2020 marks the 50th anniversary of the world’s largest environmental movement, Earth Day. Savannah African Art Museum (SAAM) will host an online ‘do-it-yourself’ (DIY) workshop for the community to recognize the occasion, which will help protect the environment while also supporting those in need. Recognizing the opportunity for family activities amid ‘Shelter-at-Home Orders,’ SAAM has planned to host a virtual workshop for a meaningful community project

According to a recent study, 500 billion single-use plastic bags are tossed in waterways and landfills each year, and in Chatham County alone, over 4,000 individuals and families are impacted by housing challenges. With guidance and assistance of, virtual Earth Day workshop attendees will learn how to make mats for the homeless out of reused plastic bags. These durable mats are more sanitary than blankets and light weight, so they can easily be rolled and transported with attached handles. Most shelters permit these mats because they do not get water-logged, mildewed or bug-infested, and they can be washed.

“April 22, 2020 marks a milestone anniversary for Earth Day and it’s important to acknowledge this,” said SAAM Education Coordinator Lisa Jackson. “With many of us currently spending most of our time at home, this activity is a great opportunity to help our environment and the community… all from the comfort and safety of your own home!”

SAAM is a nonprofit institution that introduces all audiences to African art and culture by providing engaging experiences that educate and start conversations. Environmental conservation is an important element in traditional African culture. The nonprofit organization is encouraging everyone to think about an old African (Namibia) Proverb still relevant to the world we live in today which states, “The world is not ours; the earth is not ours, it’s a treasure we hold in trust for future generations.”

Supplies needed to make these mats are available for online ordering and curbside pickup from Joann or Michaels craft stores. To order supplies, visit or Workshop participants can learn how to make these mats from YouTube videos such as:

Participants are asked to hold onto their completed mats until SAAM reopens after current restrictions around COVID-19 are lifted. Email Lisa Jackson at [email protected]  to ask questions about this DIY virtual workshop or send photos of completed works. 

Along with the virtual Earth Day workshop and recent launch of a weekly virtual gallery tour series, SAAM has extended its program of online initiatives while the museum is closed during this time of social distancing and beyond. SAAM will continue to introduce online new DIY workshops every two weeks and is launching monthly educational in-depth observation videos with experts from SAAM on their brand-new YouTube channel (

“During this time of social distancing we still wanted to provide our supporters and the community with fun projects and opportunities to learn more about African art and culture,” said SAAM Founding Director and Chief Curator Billie Stultz.