Upcoming Events

Please write to pacoalitionadmin@gmail.com if you have an event for us to share! 

Events can also be found on our Google calendar.

Conference: Arts in Corrections: Reframing the Landscape of Justice

June 24th-28th in Santa Clara, CA

Presented by California Lawyers for the Arts and the William James Association in collaboration with Santa Clara University and the Justice Arts Coalition.

Participants in this conference will have opportunities to

  • Share best practices in program development and curriculum design
  • Learn about current research models, including evaluation and documentation
  • Develop opportunities to collaborate with justice reform advocates in different states and nationally
  • Participate in workshops showcasing exemplary programs for juveniles and adults, as well as restorative justice and re-entry models
  • Learn how to build public awareness and enhance programmatic sustainability
  • Continue to build the Justice Arts Coalition as a national support organization for artists who teach in correctional institutions and artists coming home
  • Participate in art classes in various disciplines taught by master artists

Speakers will include artists, returned citizens, justice advocates, elected leaders, arts administrators, government officials, educators, lawyers and other allied professionals.


Performance: Beyond Bars

Monday, March 25th in Washington, DC

Join the DC Center, DC Anti-Violence Project, and Center Arts for Beyond Bars: Poetry and Performance of Formerly Incarcerated LGBTQ Folx. This night will be filled with poetry, comedy, performance and testimony from those with lived experience. Come support the community and the amazing performers! This event is free to attend and open to the public, and will be hosted by Rayceen Pendarvis.

FREE EVENT – MUST RSVP TO ATTEND: http://thedccenter.org/events/beyondbars-2/


Conference: Beyond the Bars 2019

March 7th-10th, 2019 in New York City

Join us for the 9th Annual Beyond the Bars Conference of the Center for Justice at Columbia University that will focus on both the incarceration and criminalization of women and girls themselves as well as of their families and communities. Our focus is inclusive of transgender, non-binary, and gender non-conforming people. The many struggles for justice, equity and safety led by women and girls directly impacted by the criminal legal system will be at the heart of the conference as we create a space to further strengthen and advance change. Beyond the Bars 2019 will continue developing the collaboration between universities and the many ongoing efforts to end mass incarceration.


Conference: Thinking Gender – Feminists Confronting the Carceral State

Friday, February 22nd, 2019 in Los Angeles, CA

The US justice system is a site of widespread gendered and race-based violence.  The U.S. currently incarcerates nearly a third of all female prisoners in the world, and between 1977 and 2004, the number of women in U.S. prisons increased by an unprecedented 757%. As a 2015 CSW co-sponsored report revealed, women suffering from mental illness in LA County jails are routinely denied treatment, medication, and reproductive hygiene products, and are disproportionately punished with solitary confinement. LGBTQ women are also disproportionately impacted: nearly 40% of incarcerated girls identify as LGBTQ, while nearly one in six transgender Americans, and one in two black transgender people, have been to prison.

Emerging student scholars and activists will reckon with these issues through feminist and queer perspectives.


Exhibtion: Inside Insights – San Quentin Arts in Corrections

January 10th through March 28th, 2019 in San Rafael, CA

“Inside Insights” will showcase some 100 works including original paintings, prints and sculptures by San Quentin inmates who are part of the Arts in Corrections (AIC) programs, works by AIC instructors, photographs of inmates by Peter Merts and works by former San Quentin inmates.

A wine and cheese reception for the opening will be held Wed., January 16 at the Barto­lini Gallery. 10 Avenue of the Flags, San Rafael.

The exhibition is made possible by the support of the Marin Cultural Association, William James Association, Marin County Free Library Anne T. Kent California Room and Jeff Craemer.


Exhibition: Incarceration America

Opens on December 14, 2018 in Glendale, CA

Acclaimed ReflectSpace gallery is launching its first exhibit exploring issues around the criminal justice system in the U.S. Titled, Incarceration Nation: the US Prison Industrial Complex, the artwork aims to highlight the prison industrial complex and brings together works by contemporary artists, collaborations, archives, prisoner-made art, and technology to speak to these statistics in unexpected ways. The Gallery is located inside the Glendale Downtown Central Library, 222 East Harvard Street, Glendale CA 91205.

Incarceration Nation at ReflectSpace runs from December 14, 2018 to February 10, 2019. The Opening Reception will be from 7-9 pm on Friday, December 14, 2018. The exhibit is co-curated by Ara and Anahid Oshagan.


Exhibition: Capitalizing on Justice

Opens October 11th, 2018 in New York City

Capitalizing on Justice features the works of incarcerated artists from across the nation who have used their talents to express the ways they and their loved ones have been commodified. Spanning a variety of genres and styles, the works in this exhibition were made using limited resources: state-issued materials, prison contraband, and yard scraps. They were shipped in makeshift envelopes and tattered boxes from as deep in our criminal legal system as Arkansas’ death row and come together to make a strong statement against the prison industrial complex.


Exhibition: Liberation/Incarceration

Through October 14, 2018 in Fullerton, CA

Accounting for over 20% of the prisoners in the world, the United States has the highest rate of incarceration per capita than any other nation. This group exhibition will explore artistic themes of personal and societal oppression and liberation, photography documenting the sometimes cathartic stories and experiences of people in prison arts programs, as well as artwork by prisoners themselves.


Exhibition: The San Quentin Project: Nigel Poor and the Men of San Quentin Prison

October 18, 2018 – March 10, 2019 in Milwaukee, WI

Gallery Talk Tuesday, January 29 at 1:30

This exhibition debuts Nigel Poor’s San Quentin Project and presents personal narratives about life inside prison through visual documents, photographs, and an acclaimed podcast.

Begun in 2011, The San Quentin Project has evolved from Poor’s experience teaching visual literacy at the prison for the Prison University Project. Tracing the evolution of her social practice, from mapping exercises to essays and interviews, the work in this exhibition utilizes personal narrative to illuminate and counter common stereotypes the public might have about prison populations.


Zine and Video Launch: Care not Cages

Saturday, October 20th in Oakland, CA

You are invited to a zine and video launch of a poetry, art, and video project on mental health by artists inside California jails and prisons. Artists will call in from inside and discuss the power of healing art practice and perform their pieces. Snacks and non-alcoholic beverages will be provided.


Training: Pongo Techniques for Facilitating Therapeutic Writing

October 27, 2018 in Seattle, WA

Pongo offers a one-day training in Seattle to teach our approach and techniques. We would like to show you how to use poetry to help distressed teens understand and express their important issues and feelings. This is exciting and rewarding work! Please write to us to be placed on our email list, so you receive notice of upcoming trainings. We generally give trainings twice a year, in May and October. Our email address is pongo_publishing@hotmail.com.

The training is intended to help anyone start a full poetry project on the Pongo model in an agency, school, or institution. In addition, the training can be used to help counselors and teachers incorporate Pongo methods into their ongoing work with both individuals and groups. As a follow up to this training, we also offer free phone consultation and advice to the participants.


Symposium: The Milwaukee Model: Envisioning the Role of the Arts in Criminal Justice Reform

November 1st through 3rd, 2018 in Milwaukee, WI

This initiative seeks to bring artists and experts from around the country together with groups working in Milwaukee to discuss how arts and educational programming might shift perceptions and attitudes about the criminal justice system and incarcerated individuals. All symposium events are free and open to the public, but advance registration is recommended.


Exhibition: Freedom of Art

Opening reception November 2nd, 2018 in Louisville, CO

Exhibition runs through the end of November at the Walnut Gallery.


Symposium: Portraits of Justice

November 2nd, 2018 in Philadelphia, PA

Portraits of Justice is a daylong symposium that will engage the public in reimagining the criminal justice system through the lens of art, advocacy, and policy reform.  A diverse and robust roster of directly impacted artists, practitioners, government officials, and scholars will host a series of discussions to reflect upon local reform efforts, as well as engaging with the national dialogue that highlights strategic arts-based approaches to criminal justice reform.

The symposium is the culmination of month-long programming, including a public art project, a new fellowship program, and a series of public performances. The work of Reimagining Reentry Fellow Luis Suave Gonzales will be on display.

Registration is free and open to the public. Complimentary lunch will be provided.


Call for Submissions: ilylali 

Through November 19th, 2018

ilylali is dedicated to publishing and uplifting the writing and visual art of individuals and collectives that dives into the magical, the fabulous, and the fabulist rivers that run through the day-to-day. ilylali publishes work that generates connections between individuals and the environment that both empower and liberate through this very specific and abundant magic.

This project is supported by the Pratt MFA in Writing program’s literary journal, The Felt.

Is there a way that a forest can be represented, in cities, in deserts, in oceans, in relationships? What role does the forest play in contemporary culture? What are the images we see of forests? What do we long for, from what are we escaping, and what are we looking to achieve within our spirits when we step into the mythical forest, or the unknown? How does the forest exist in your memory? What is the forest of this place? Where do we perform our secret rituals? What is the landscape of the darkness we are walking into?

ilylali encourages individuals and collectives who have experienced forests in spaces that are urban, rural, and everywhere in between. The diversity, and creativity of the work is of priority for this call. Please send writing, up to 3 poems, and no more than 10,000 words of fiction, non fiction, prose, flash, or 2D visual art (300 dpi) by Monday, November 19th. Images will be printed in black and white, so please send work that will fit this format.

For a printable call for submissions, including mailing address, follow this link.


Reading and Fundraiser: Pongo Live

November 8th, 2018 in Seattle, WA

Please join us to celebrate the voice of Pongo Teen Writing

with readings by:

  • Aaron Counts – Creative Justice founding coordinator, writer, educator, counselor
  • Dr. Georgia Stewart McDade – Poet, professor, charter member of African-American Writers Alliance
  • Maven Gardner – Pongo poet, 2016-2017 Seattle Youth Poet Laureate
  • Alan Olson – Pongo poet
  • Raúl Sanchez – Poet and Pongo mentor in juvenile detention

Music by Jasper Lepak, whose “crystalline voice and lyrical phrasing is a wonder; a beacon of true musicality.”

Complimentary glass of wine and light refreshments

Please register to obtain free ticket, by November 5


Call for submissions: The Columbia Journal

Submissions accepted through November 15, 2018

As part of a commitment to bring underrepresented voices into the public sphere, the Columbia Journal would like to extend a special invitation to incarcerated writers to submit their writing.
Writers may submit work by mail at no fee.
We accept submissions in the following categories: Fiction (up to 5,000 words), Nonfiction (up to 5,000 words), and Poetry (up to 5 pages).
Writers can choose to submit their writing for general print publication, general online publication, and/or for consideration in our Winter Contest. Contest winners win a cash prize and will be published in the print Journal. Selected works will be published in print or online.

Submission form here.


Conference: The New York Art for Justice Forum

November 16th, 2018 in New York City

Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts, Rehabilitation Through The Arts and Kernochan Center for Law, Media and the Arts at Columbia Law School, in collaboration with California Lawyers for the Arts and Center for Institutional & Social Change at Columbia Law School will host the New York Art for Justice Forum at Columbia University on November 16, 2018.

The Forum will explore the role of the arts in addressing mass incarceration and criminal justice reform in three areas: Youth, Arts in Prison and Arts in Community.

Panelists and breakout facilitators will include legislators, thought leaders, and practitioners from the arts, advocacy, and corrections. The event will culminate with an art exhibition and reception.

Speakers include:

  • Anthony Annucci, Acting Commissioner, NYS Department of Corrections (Keynote)
  • JoAnne Page, Executive Director, The Fortune Society
  • Vincent Schiraldi, Senior Research Scientist, Columbia School of Social Work
  • James C. Horton from Carnegie Hall
  • Tommy Demenkoff, Director of Arts Education for the New York City Department of Correction
  • Caits Meissner, Prison Program Manager, PEN America

The New York Art for Justice Forum is funded by the Art for Justice Fund, the Andy Warhol Foundation and Quentin Hancock Fund.


Conference and Call for Submissions: Prison Outside #2

November 21-23 in Helsinki, Finland

Prison Outside #2 is a cross-disciplinary discussion on artistic projects in and around prison. It takes place on November 21st-23rd in Helsinki and will present speakers from Finland, Russia, Ireland, USA, Canada and Belgium. Our program will include presentations, round table discussions, film screenings, and workshops. Free Translation, an exhibition of artistic and literary works on imprisonment will be launched during the conference. We will discuss artistic practices in prison, and their effect on rehabilitation, understanding the histories of incarceration, and encouraging communication between people of different walks of life.

For information about how to submit artwork for the exhibition, please click here.


Talk: Carceral Aesthetics: Prison Art and Mass Incarceration with Nicole R. Fleetwood

November 29th in Houston

Join Nicole R. Fleetwood for a talk focused on contemporary art by currently and formerly incarcerated people. She will examine how incarcerated people use the limited materials available in prisons and their punitive confinement to create art that challenges the carceral state. This talk is in conjunction with the exhibition Walls Turned Sideways: Artists Confront the Justice System.


Call for Submissions: What We Know

Submissions accepted through January 4, 2019

The Center for American Progress is partnering with The New Press and the Formerly Incarcerated and Convicted People and Families Movement on a book of essays written by currently and formerly incarcerated people. This policy book based on the authors’ lived experiences and expertise will be edited by Vivian Nixon and Daryl Atkinson.


Call for artists: The Confined Arts

The Confined Arts is looking for new and existing artists to collaborate with the “From the Inside Out” project. Selected artists will be given the opportunity to create representational and abstract are that illustrates new narratives about people in prison and people returning home. This includes visual arts, performing arts, poetry, song, and dance. Media artists will be given the opportunity to utilize and experiment with numerous forms of media productions.

*Currently and formerly incarcerated artists will be considered first*


Exhibition: Walls Turned Sideways: Artists Confront the Justice System

Through January 6th, 2018 in Houston

Walls Turned Sideways: Artists Confront the Justice System features work by artists from across the nation that addresses the criminal justice system, mass incarceration, and the prison-industrial complex. Representing the full range of contemporary art production made in the studio and the social realm, the exhibition includes artworks that take social justice issues as a subject matter; and position the prison and court systems as structures for dismantling through institutional critique. The artworks in the exhibition are extraordinary for the scale and ambition by which they mobilize in order to bring visibility to offenses within the justice system.