Many of NYC’s non-profit art organizations aim to benefit New York and its residents, but have you ever heard of one that seeks to better the lives of elephants? The Asian Elephant Art and Conservation Project (AEACP) is based in Brooklyn, but reaches people, and beautiful, majestic elephants, as far as eastern Asia.
Established in 1998, the AEACP is a non-profit organization dedicated to raising awareness about the diminishing number of Asian elephants. It does this by collecting funds through donations and the sale of artwork created by none other than trained elephants. Members of the organization work with domesticated elephants in many Asian countries, using the dexterous nature of the animals to create beautiful art that doubles as a tool to raise awareness about their ongoing plight.
The AEACP exists to improve the welfare of domesticated elephants by facilitating appropriate standards of training, care, food, and habitat, as well as supports the efforts of other conservation organizations working to protect elephant populations, according to its Mission Statement. According to the AEACP’s history, the organization was originally conceived as a conceptual art project, but has since evolved into an initiative that pushes the boundaries of both art and charity.
Because of efforts by the Asian Elephant Art and Conservation Project, the paintings by elephants in countries like Thailand, Cambodia, and Indonesia are being promoted and sold in order to support efforts to improve sustainability for elephants abroad. Using art as an incredibly effective tool, the organization continually redefines what an art-centric non-profit charity can achieve.
To learn more about the efforts of the AEACP, and to view artwork from the elephants, take a look at the virtual gallery.