Archive of Past Events

This is a selection of past events from our archives. If you are interested in searching for specific events in the archive, please contact us.


Conference: The California Arts for Justice Forum

Tuesday, October 16 in Sacramento, CA

This forum will highlight the role that the arts can play in addressing criminal justice reform in California. We expect a diverse group of stakeholders to attend: elected representatives, justice reform advocates, prominent artists, statewide arts organizations, corrections officials and returned citizens. Participants will be able to join in the discussion as we brainstorm and develop ideas for further action to show how art can impact behavior within institutions and during rehabilitation and re-entry, thereby helping to reduce recidivism which is in the interest of all citizens.

Panels will include:

  • Perspectives on Art and Justice Reform
  • Convergence of Arts Education and Criminal Justice Reform

This forum, which is part of a national series taking place in six states, is funded by the Art for Justice Fund, the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, the Quentin Hancock Fund, and the Sacramento County Dispute Resolution Program, and presented by California Lawyers for the Arts, California State University, Sacramento, and the William James Association.


Call for artists: Corrections Accountability Project

*Deadline extended to 9/10/18*

We are excited to announce that the Corrections Accountability Project is hosting an art competition for incarcerated artists! Winning works will be showcased in fall of 2018 as part of a special exhibition hosted in partnership with our parent organization, the Urban Justice Center. Running for roughly three months, the exhibition will center on the harmful impact that commercializing our criminal legal system, and more specifically, our prisons and jails (e.g. phones, commissary, healthcare, etc.), has had on incarcerated individuals and their communities.

We invite incarcerated artists to submit visual works, including, but not limited to, drawings, paintings, and collages, in any art style (e.g. realism, impressionism, abstract, graffiti, pop art, etc.) for consideration. Works may be done in any medium and any size. We will also accept some short poetry for hanging. All submitted pieces should respond to the theme: Capitalizing on “Justice”.


Conference: The Georgia Arts for Justice Forum

Friday, September 28 in Atlanta, GA

Join elected representatives, justice reform advocates, prominent artists, arts organizations, and corrections officials as we discuss the role of art in criminal justice reform in Georgia.


Call for Submissions: Poetry magazine

Poetry magazine seeks submissions for special issue on poetry in the age of mass incarceration, to feature work by incarcerated writers. Please submit your own work or the work of incarcerated poets you work with, with their permission. Written submissions that are not selected for publication will be returned. Poets and artists selected for publication will be paid directly. Please feel free to distribute this sheet to your colleagues, especially teaching artists working with incarcerated writers.

The best poetry written by incarcerated poets.

Submissions can be sent via postal mail, email or Submittable.
Email Holly Amos at with the subject line “Submission – Incarceration issue.”
Or send via postal mail to:
ATTN Holly Amos, Submission – Incarceration issue
61 W Superior Street
Chicago, IL 60654
Or submit online at:

4 poems or less, not to exceed 10 total pages of poems, along with a brief, 20-30 word bio.

Sept. 3, 2018
Writers and artists will be notified if their work has been selected by Nov. 15, 2018

Joshua Bennett, Tara Betts, Sarah Ross

· Poetry will mail a contract, tax form, and a proof of the work to the poet for approval so we need an up-to-date email or postal mail address to contact them. Please include your contact information as well if you are submitting on behalf of an incarcerated poet.
· Poetry pays $10 per line plus two complimentary copies of the issue.
· Poetry acquires first rights to include the poem in the print, web, and digital issues of magazine as well as non-exclusive reprint rights, meaning the poet retains the full copyright to their work and can reprint the work however they’d like once it’s been published in Poetry.

About POETRY MAGAZINE and this issue:
Founded in Chicago by Harriet Monroe in 1912, Poetry is the oldest monthly devoted to verse in the English-speaking world. Monroe’s Open Door policy, set forth in volume 1 of the magazine, remains the most succinct statement of Poetry’s mission: to print the best contemporary poetry, of any style, genre, or approach. The magazine established its reputation early by publishing the first important poems of H.D., T.S. Eliot, Marianne Moore, Ezra Pound, Carl Sandburg, Wallace Stevens, William Carlos Williams, and
other now-classic authors. In succeeding decades, it has presented—often for the first time—works by almost every major contemporary poet.

Poetry has always been independent, unaffiliated with any institution or university—or with any single poetic or critical movement or aesthetic school. It continues to print major English-language poets and emerging talents in all their variety. In recent years, more than a third of the authors published in the magazine have been writers appearing for the first time. On average, the magazine receives more than 150,000 submissions per year from around the world.

This special issue of Poetry is intended to highlight the voices of incarcerated writers, as well as the voices of the family, friends, and communities they hold dear, across the United States. It was created in the wake of a reading and public discussion at Harvard University entitled A Provocation: Poetry in the Era of Mass Incarceration. As a result of the conversations held in that space—not only about the need for programs that cultivate creative writing opportunities for incarcerated people, but also the lack of publishing opportunities for the millions of folks currently held in our nation’s prisons, jails, and juvenile detention centers—one of the editors of the special issue, Dr. Joshua Bennett, reached out to the Poetry Foundation in an effort to bring this project into the world. As it stands, our collective aim is to contribute to an ongoing, national conversation at the intersections of the literary arts, critical pedagogy, and the fight
against mass incarceration. It is our hope that this special issue is only the beginning of that much larger endeavor.


Conference: The Texas Art for Justice Forum

The Houston Museum of African American Culture (HMAAC) and Texas Accountants and Lawyers for the Arts (TALA), in collaboration with California Lawyers for the Arts (CLA), will convene the Texas Art for Justice Forum on July 14, 2018 at the Museum. The forum is designed to expand the role that the arts can play in addressing mass incarceration and criminal justice reform as part of a nationwide discussion in six states.

As part of this forum, the Museum will hold panel discussions that will include legislators, arts and criminal justice reform advocates and returned citizens, will facilitate dialogues in breakout sessions, and will curate a month long exhibition of artwork created by incarcerated individuals and returned citizens. This program is funded by the Art for Justice Fund, the Andy Warhol Foundation, the Quentin Hancock Fund and the Texas Commission on the Arts.

Join HMAAC, TALA, CLA and Texans for the Arts in dialogue and discussions geared toward recommendations to advance criminal justice reform through arts engagement. The event will be held from 9:30 am to 6 pm on Saturday, July 14 at the Museum at 4807 Caroline Street at Houston, Texas 77004. Admission is free, but your RSVP is requested in advance by July 7. Lunch will be provided for preregistered attendees.

Presenters include:

Rep. Garnet Coleman, Member, Texas House of Representatives District 147

John Abodeely, CEO, Houston Arts Alliance

Gary Gibbs, Ph.D., Executive Director, Texas Commission on the Arts

Sandra Guerra Thompson, Director, University of Houston Criminal Justice Institute

Leah Pinney, Executive Director, Texas Criminal Justice Coalition

SaulPaul, Musician and Activist


Call for submissions: The Soze NYC Call for Public Art

Through March 31, 2018

The Soze Agency is excited to announce: The Soze NYC Call For Public Art; an opportunity for formerly incarcerated artists and artists impacted by the criminal justice system.

The Soze NYC Call For Public Art is designed to create original public art that inspires criminal justice reform. The first call will include five artists whose work will be featured in the five boroughs of New York City, with the hope of inspiring community members, policy makers, advocates and others to join the movement for criminal justice reform.

Artists may be at any stage of their career.
Applicants must be New York City based.
We strongly encourage women, DACA recipients and LGBTQ individuals to apply.
Artists will receive a $5,000.00 honorarium.


Call for artwork: Dreams of Peace, Freedom & Justice


LPJ/SAVE, a newly merged European human rights organization and active campaigners on behalf of US death row inmates and others, is calling for art contributions for a new online exhibition provisionally titled “Dreams of Peace, Freedom & Justice”. The artwork should reflect some aspect of this broad theme and be accompanied by a few words of explanation. It is hoped that high quality, deeply personal work will emerge, and can take the form of drawing, painting, sculpture, 3D, poetry or prose, etc. LPJ/SAVE will accept physical artwork (non-returnable) or high quality digital photo images (which friends or family can take of the original). While it is hoped that inmates will make the bulk of contributions, all other interested parties are also invited to participate. Please circulate this information widely.

Flyers are available to download for distribution to inmates, or for the use of friends and other interested parties – pdf here or jpg here.  The flyer gives full guidance and instruction for submission.


Conference: The third biennial international Shakespeare in Prisons Conference

March 22-25, 2018, San Diego

The third biennial international Shakespeare in Prisons Conference (SIPC) will be held March 22–25, 2018 at The Old Globe in San Diego, part of the theatre’s evolving Arts Engagement and Globe for All programs designed to make theatre matter to more people.

SIPC offers prison arts practitioners the opportunity to share their collective experiences working with incarcerated and post-incarcerated populations; rejuvenate passion; renew commitment for their vocation; and build upon their expanding network of peers.

Artists and educators engaged in transformational arts programs using Shakespeare in prisons around the world are brought together to explore and study the effects arts programming has on prison populations. SIPC promotes a collaborative learning forum that exposes participants to a diverse array of programs that all strive for a common result: the habilitation of the prisoner’s mind, heart, body, and spirit.

Shakespeare at Notre Dame staged the first and second SIPC in November 2013 and January 2016, respectively. The Shakespeare in Prisons Conferences initiative is a flagship program of the Shakespeare in Prisons Network, founded at the University of Notre Dame by Curt L. Tofteland, Founder and Producing Director of Shakespeare Behind Bars; Scott Jackson, Executive Director of Shakespeare at Notre Dame; and Dr. Peter Holland, McMeel Family Chair in Shakespeare Studies at the University of Notre Dame.

The conference is targeted to:

  • Prison arts practitioners and theatre artists;
  • Area correctional-center officials;
  • Scholars engaged in research documenting prison arts experiences and the effects of arts in corrections programs;
  • Academic community members and students from universities around the world.


Panel Discussion: Redesigning the System: How Artists, Policymakers, and Practitioners Are Shaping Criminal Justice Reform

April 4, 2018, Chicago, IL

The School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) and Illinois Humanities will present a panel discussion exploring the role of art and design in humanizing mass incarceration, strategies for reducing the number of Americans caught up in the criminal justice system, and the possibilities and restrictions of reform.

Over the past 30 years, America’s prison population has boomed, with the US now housing 5% of the world’s population but 25% of its prisoners. There is no doubt this comes at a high cost to taxpayers, those incarcerated and their families, and society as a whole. With the highest incarceration rates in the world, artists, policymakers, and practitioners have sought to redesign the complex systems and structures that comprise our criminal justice system and fix America’s problem of over incarcerating its residents.


Moderated by Carroll Bogert–President, The Marshall Project

Honorable Ruben Castillo–Chief Judge, United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois

Kim Foxx–State’s Attorney

Jeff Korzenik–Chief Investment Strategist, Fifth Third Bank

Toni Preckwinkle–Cook County Board President

Sarah Ross–Adjunct Assistant Professor, SAIC

6:00-7:30pm at The Art Institute of Chicago, 111 South Michigan Avenue, Chicago, IL


Exhibit: PCAP’s 23rd Annual Exhibition of Art by Michigan Prisoners

March 21 – April 4, 2018

The Prison Creative Arts Project is proud to announce the dates for the upcoming 23rd Annual Exhibition of Art by Michigan Prisoners.

The Annual Exhibition of Art by Michigan Prisoners is one of the largest exhibitions of art by incarcerated artists in the country. Each year, faculty, staff and students from the University of Michigan travel to correctional facilities across Michigan and select work for the exhibition while providing feedback and critique that strengthens artist’s work and builds community around art making inside prisons.

The event is free and open to the public.

Sunday-Monday, 12pm-6pm/Tuesday-Saturday, 10am-7pm

Closed on Sunday, April 1

Duderstadt Center Gallery, University of Michigan North Campus, 2281 Bonisteel Blvd, Ann Arbor, MI


Screening & Discussion: Making Me Whole. Prison, Art & Healing

March 18, 2018, Hartford, CT

In a rare opportunity, Making Me Whole. Prison, Art & Healing takes the viewer inside prison walls to hear and see firsthand from women and men about the influence Bridging Boundaries has had on them. The footage also sheds light on the struggles that children with incarcerated parents face, and how the Judy Dworin Performance Project (JDPP), in partnership with social workers, helps them navigate their way using the arts to deal with their most often tightly held secret. The 30-minute documentary, filmed as a partnership production with CPTV, features the JDPP’s community partners articulating the value and significance of these programs, and the powerful transformations that come from continued support to those returning to our communities. This project was funded in part by a distinguished national grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and Mid-America Arts Alliance. The Judy Dworin Performance Project was one of 6 organizations in the country to be selected for this award.

Please join us for a talkback after the film with Judy Dworin and Robin Cullen, a returning citizen who is now a JDPP teaching artist and on the Board of Directors.


Trinity College
300 Summit Street
Hartford, CT


Art show and sale: Art from the Inside Art Show & Sale

February 12 – 15, 2018, Atlanta, GA

Mrs. Marvin Wiggins, better known to her grown grandchildren as “Beanie,” was married to the Superintendent at Mississippi State Penitentiary in Parchman, Mississippi.  When one of those grandchildren, Atlantan Lucy Fugate, was going through some of her deceased grandmother’s things, she stumbled upon a yellowed newspaper article describing an art show her grandmother staged at her husband’s prison over 60 years ago.  She found a lovely portrait of her grandmother that had been done by an inmate in one of the contests and was amazed at the talent it displayed.

As a way to honor her grandmother’s efforts to benefit and rehabilitate prisoners, Fugate approached Atlanta-based HeartBound Ministries, a non-profit organization supporting Georgia’s correctional staff and inmates, with an idea to resurrect the show and sale of inmate art.  “Art from the Inside” showcases the often-hidden and significant talents of many prisoners in our state, and the sale of their art benefits HeartBound’s Little Readers program, which allows children of incarcerated parents to see and hear their parent reading to them via DVD.

Sloppy Floyd Building, 2 MLK, Jr. Dr, Atlanta, GA 3033

Samples of artwork for sale:



Exhibit: Script from Within

January 10 – February 28, 2018, St. Paul, MN

Script from Within is a collaborative visual art project that incorporates authentic handwritings of women who are incarcerated in MN, confronting viewers with the humanity behind mass incarceration of women.

Artist’s talk and reception Thurs, February 15, 6:00pm, Room 123

Mitchell Hamline School of Law, 875 Summit Ave, St Paul, MN


Exhibit: Unchained Artists

January 15 – March 9, 2018, Mill Valley, CA

“Unchained Artists,” an exhibition featuring some 50 pieces of artwork, poetry, and handcrafted art objects made by men and women incarcerated in the United States, including prisoners on San Quentin’s death row, will open this Monday, January 15, in Marin County, California.

The exhibit is a first-time collaboration between ArtReach, which was founded by UK artist Nicola White to provide a platform for prisoners on San Quentin’s death row to exhibit their work, and P.A.T.H.: Prison Arts Touching Hearts, founded by Leslie Lakes, a Marin County artist, to give incarcerated men and women a vehicle to give back to the community in a meaningful way.

Many of the pieces will be available for purchase.

The art will be on display in the lobby of the Bank of Marin, at 19 Sunnyside Avenue in Mill Valley, through March 9.


Conference: Arts in Corrections: Building Bridges to the Future

June 26 – 30, 2017, Los Angeles, CA

California Lawyers for the Arts, in association with the William James Association and Loyola Marymount University, will present the national conference, Arts in Corrections: Building Bridges to the Future,  at Loyola Marymount  University in Los Angeles.   The conference venue is located a short distance from the Los Angeles International Airport (LAX).  For more information, please contact:


Event: NYWC15: A Celebration of 15 Years of NY Writers Coalition

Friday May 19, 2017 7-9PM

Join NY Writers Coalition in celebrating 15 years of community-based writing workshops throughout NYC!

Ticket Information

Event: Bremerton, WA

Through July 30, 2011

Exhibition: Drawings from the Texas Prison System

Showing at Collective Visions Gallery


Event: International Fine Art Competition for Incarcerated Persons

Deadline for Entries: July 31, 2011

Sponsored by Art and Prison e.V., a Berlin-based non-profit organization, this competition is open to artists in prison and artists outside prison who explore themes in criminal justice. Visit the site for the competition poster and entry details.


Event: Belmont, CA

May 28, 2011

Poetic Justice Project presents ‘Off the Hook’

The performance will take place at the Notre Dame de Namur University Theater, 1500 Ralston Avenue, Belmont. The play, set in a California prison, features a 15-member cast of formerly incarcerated people. The performance is co-sponsored by the Alternatives to Violence Project California. For more information contact Deborah Tobola, Artistic Director at (805) 264-5463 or e-Mail



Event: New York, New York

May 20, 2011

Concrete Steel & Paint: An Evening of Film and Conversation

After the screening at Maysles Cinema, participate in a dialogue with the filmmakers and NYC community leaders, including: Denise Paul, Harlem Mothers SAVE; Miguel Adams, Riverside Church Prison Ministry and Amy Sanaman,
Groundswell Community Mural Project. Moderated by King Downing, AFSC Healing Justice Program