Arts in Corrections National Expansion
California Lawyers for the Arts has received grants from the National Endowment for the Arts Locals Program, the Andy Warhol Foundation and the Art for Justice Fund to expand Arts in Corrections programs nationally. Working with state arts councils and local arts agencies in five states, CLA is sharing successful strategies for setting up and evaluating the effectiveness of demonstration projects in correctional facilities. The five states that are participating in the project are Louisiana, Ohio, Michigan, Texas and New York.
"Keeping true to our mission that all Americans should have access to the Arts,
I saw firsthand how arts programming within San Quentin prison is changing lives for the better." - Mary Ann Carter, NEA Chair
The first demonstration program of the new National Expansion Project was completed in February 2020 under the auspices of the New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA) at the Ulster Correctional Facility. An evaluation of the 12-week program based on pre and post surveys completed by the participants is summarized in this report.
For more information, please contact CLA's AIC program staff at this email address: AIC@calawyersforthearts.org
Arts in Corrections National Conference
Arts in Corrections: Reframing the Landscape of Justice Conference Video
CLA is showcasing the arts as a significant resource for rehabilitation during a series of national conferences funded by the National Endowment for the Arts, the California Arts Council, the Art for Justice Fund, the Andy Warhol Foundation and other private foundations.
2019 Arts in Corrections: Reframing the Landscape of Justice
Our third national conference was produced in collaboration with the William James Association, the Justice Arts Coalition and Santa Clara University in June, 2019. More than 320 persons from 23 states and five foreign countries attended the conference, including artists, returned citizens, justice leaders, state and local arts leaders, elected officials and university professors.
Participants enjoyed classes with master artists, such as Russell Craig, Beth Thielen, and Curt Tofteland, as well as panels and workshops on justice reform issues, advocacy, program development, building public awareness, program development and evaluation. A field trip to Alcatraz Island included art workshops taught by returned citizens in the midst of a Future IDs exhibition. Keynote speakers included Nicole Fleetwood, professor at Rutgers University and author of Marking Time; Dameion Brown, Artist in Residence at Marin Shakespeare Company, Jimmy Santiago Baca, poet and author of A Place to Stand. The Silicon Valley Host Committee included 20 elected officials. View conference program here. A compilation of videos submitted by teaching artists and organizations that was screened at the conference is available here.
2017 Arts in Corrections: Building Bridges to the Future
In collaboration with the William James Association and Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, this conference brought together more than 260 artists, educators and arts administrators from around the United States and the United Kingdom. Participants engaged in five days of professional development activities, including sequential classes with 21 master artists whose curriculum outlines are included in the conference ebook below. Workshops covered best practices in program delivery, evaluation, legislative updates, reentry programs, sustainability, and building public awareness. Download the conference eBook here: Arts in Corrections: Building Bridges to the Future Conference Book
Keynote speakers included Bryonn Bain, performance artist and UCLA professor; Vijay Gupta, violinist with the LA Philharmonic Orchestra; California State Senator Ben Allen, Chair of the Joint Legislative Committee on the Arts; and Scott Kernan, the Secretary of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. A total of 34 elected officials— including members of the LA City Council, LA County Board of Supervisors, the LA County Sheriff and California's two US Senators accepted our invitation to participate as members of our LA Host Committee.
2015 Arts in Corrections Opportunities for Justice and Rehabilitation
CLA presented its first national conference at the University of San Francisco, . More than 200 persons from 22 states, as well as England and Japan, attended. See conference report here: 2015 AIC Conference Report.pdf
At the conference, a national steering committee was formed to advance the field of artists who teach in correctional institutions. The committee subsequently surveyed the field and found that 94% of the 205 respondents said they would be interested in joining or supporting such an organization. A feasibility study was then commissioned to investigate the opportunities and challenges of launching an organization to support artists who work in correctional institutions. In the spring of 2019, the Justice Arts Coalition was launched as a national network organization with the support of the Andy Warhol Foundation and the Art for Justice Fund.
For more information, please send an inquiry to firstname.lastname@example.org.
(photos by Peter Merts)
Restoration of California Arts in Corrections