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Common Ground

Common Ground Healing Arts is a wellness studio located in the Jefferson School City Center (JSCC). JSCC is a historic site in downtown Charlottesville, recognized for having housed the city’s first public elementary school for African American children, in the heart of a once-thriving Black business and residential district. The decade and more we’ve spent as tenants of the JSCC has connected us to the community’s history—both terrible and triumphant—and reminds us daily of the continuing need for truth, understanding, and connection in order to reckon with our past and build an equitable, inclusive future. Our presence here both informs and undergirds our mission.

Founded in 2010, Common Ground has worked for more than a decade to bring the healing arts to Charlottesville residents who might not otherwise have access to them. Through a generous grant provided by the Bama Works Fund, major funding from other local grantors, as well as hundreds of volunteer hours
donated by local healing arts practitioners, Common Ground has provided a range of free and low-cost wellness services to underserved populations. Through our partnership with Sentara, we have provided yoga and acupuncture to members of the Black community. Funding from the Charlottesville Area Community Foundation enabled us to offer programming to survivors of the A11/12 attacks. Partnerships with other local nonprofits, including the Women’s Initiative, SARA, and C’Ville Pride, broaden our reach and connect us with clients and communities that might not otherwise have access to complementary healthcare. Over the years, we have also offered on-site services in workplaces, community centers, prisons, and detention facilities.

Our suite in the JSCC includes a beautiful, fully-equipped yoga studio and meditation space, a community acupuncture clinic, and a private room for massage. By sharing the space, our practitioners are able to connect with one another and collaborate in serving clients who seek to integrate multiple healing modalities. Our vision is to create, in collaboration with our partners, a community wellness hub where anyone who seeks healing can find it, in a setting that is accessible, respectful, and welcoming, regardless of their ability to pay. At Common Ground, we believe that what benefits the body also benefits the spirit. When individuals are given the tools to heal themselves inside and out, their wholeness benefits everyone around them, and those benefits ripple like waves throughout the entire community. In this way, we believe that healing ourselves can heal the world.


Common Ground’s mission is to improve community wellness by expanding access to evidence-based health practices including yoga, meditation, acupuncture, and massage. Through programming at the Jefferson School City Center, and through on-site outreach efforts, we bring wellness services to our neighbors from the BIPOC, LGBTQIA, differently-abled, and elderly communities, as well as veterans, lower-income people, and other marginalized groups. 

We know that members of these groups are more often affected by many common health risks, and also by social and healthcare-related inequities that compound these risks. We aim to address those inequities by making care easier to access, and to afford.

At Common Ground Healing Arts, we believe that every member of our community has the right to feel well and whole; that the health of our community depends on the health of its individual members; and that no person should face financial, social, or physical barriers to wellness. Our five-year goal is for the demographics of our clientele to reflect the demographics of the City of Charlottesville.