See posts below to find a job or volunteer opportunity working with arts in prisons.

To post an opportunity, contact us.

Please Note: The Prison Arts Coalition is not hiring, nor do we accept resumes.


Fellowship: Right of Return

Application period starts November, 2018

Right of Return Co-Chairs Jesse Krimes and Russell Craig and The Soze Agency are proud to announce the second year of the Right of Return USA Fellowship, generously funded by the Open Philanthropy Project. The fellowship program will continue to invest in formerly incarcerated artists, supporting the creation of original works produced in partnership with advocates and organizers to further criminal justice reform efforts. In this second year, we will be awarding a diverse group of six artists a grant of $20,000 each to support a project aimed at reforming our criminal justice system.

The Right of Return project welcomes submissions from formerly incarcerated artists working in all creative disciplines to challenge mass incarceration—including visual, performance, poetry, media, design, and other artistic practices.


Program Director – Rehabilitation Through The Arts (RTA)

RTA is a world leader in arts-in-corrections. Our small but well-established non-profit in Westchester County directly serves 200 incarcerated people in 5 New York State prisons in the Hudson Valley. RTA’s mission is to teach prisoners critical life skills through workshops and productions in theatre, dance, music, visual art and creative writing, and to raise awareness of the humanity of people in prison.

RTA seeks an experienced, innovative Program Director to head the program team of our growing organization, responsible for the implementation, management, supervision and evaluation of RTA’s programs, consistent with RTA and NYS Department of Corrections guidelines.


Pongo Teen Writing Project Program Manager

The Pongo Teen Writing Project is a 23-year-old, award-winning nonprofit that offers therapeutic poetry programs to youth (and others) who have suffered traumas, such as abuse, neglect, and exposure to violence. We work in the most sensitive institutions and agencies, such as detention centers, homeless shelters, and psychiatric hospitals. Our mission is to help our authors, through personal poetry, to understand their difficult feelings, find their strong voices, and address their life challenges and best hopes. Pongo’s programs are based on its own specific methodology that has proved to be effective, safe, and replicable. We collect data and support pilot studies of our outcomes. Pongo also teaches its method nationally and internationally, as an important aspect of our future service and impact. There are “Pongo-inspired” projects around the country and the world. As an organization, Pongo believes in social justice and strives to be a sensitive and equitable workplace.


Civil Rights Corps Artist in Residence Fellowship

Civil Rights Corps is excited to announce the launch of its Artist in Residence fellowship program. Each year, a groundbreaking visual artist whose work urgently confronts the subject matter of our civil rights work will be chosen as the Civil Rights Corps Artist in Residence. Civil Rights Corps is an innovative non-profit civil rights law organization based in Washington, D.C. our groundbreaking litigation and advocacy work has resulted in systemic reforms to legal systems across the country. Our staff has led the
way in bringing pioneering challenges to the rise of modern American debtors’ prisons and the American money bail system. We are passionate and dedicated advocates who seek to fight inequality and protect the rights of the most underrepresented, impoverished, and marginalized members of our society.

About the Artist in Residence Fellowship Program
Our criminal system’s ability to accomplish mass human caging to an extent never before seen in the recorded history of the modern world, depends on ignoring and erasing the stories of the human beings on whom we inflict unspeakable
suffering. The Artist in Residence will be given a monetary stipend of $5,000 in order to assist in producing urgent and vivid works that communicate the humanity of our clients and others like them and that sheds light on the toll that the
unjust practices in the criminal system takes on the bodies and minds of the people directly impacted by it and on our communities more broadly.
The language used in police reports, court arguments, and prison budgets enables large-scale indifference; art makes us understand, makes us care, and makes us act.

Priority will be given to artists who have been directly impacted by the criminal legal system through personal experience or the experience of loved ones.

Please note – the application deadline has been extended


Girl Be Heard

Location: Brooklyn, New York

Girl Be Heard is currently looking for teaching artists to work in 3 detention centers in Brooklyn. Girl Be Heard is a nonprofit theater company that brings global issues affecting girls center stage by empowering young women to tell their stories.


Fellowship Grant For Previously Incarcerated Artists

Location: New York

The Soze Agency is offering its first Right of Return USA Fellowship: Supporting Justice Through The Arts, funded by Open Philanthropy. Five formerly incarcerated Artists with diverse backgrounds will be chosen for the fellowship to receive a $10,000 prize plus $10,000 for materials and production to create an original piece that can further criminal justice reform in partnership with advocates and organizers. In addition to receiving financial support for the proposed project, Returning Citizens Fellows will have a group retreat from June 22 – 25th, 2017. The central aims of the retreat are to foster relationships, gain perspective on the problems of mass incarceration and innovative solutions, and develop a deeper knowledge of the campaign for purposes of the fellowship.


Associate Director of Curriculum and Programming, Cornell Prison Education Program

Location: New York

The Cornell Prison Education Program, part of Cornell University, offers a college education to people incarcerated in several state prisons near campus. Teachers and tutors from Cornell are, in turn, offered an education in the criminal justice system. The program manifests Ezra Cornell’s commitment to founding an institution where “any person can find instruction in any study.” The Associate Director of Curriculum and Planning will co-direct and supervise a teaching staff of approximately 100 faculty, graduate, undergraduate and community volunteers across 4 regional correctional facilities, working with the entire team to develop and deliver the curriculum to the students in the prison system. This involves following policies and protocol for conduct and material use inside correctional facilities. It also involves training instructors to work in prison. The prison-based college classroom is very dynamic and participatory, and the Associate Director will orchestrate approximately 70 courses per year. This position will also be expected to build close relationships with our community college partner in order to co-facilitate an Associate degree-granting program.


Program Director, Artistic Noise

Location: New York

Artistic Noise exists to bring the freedom and power of artistic practice to young people who are incarcerated, on probation, or otherwise involved in the justice system. Through visual arts and entrepreneurship programs in Massachusetts and New York, our participants give voice to their experiences, build community through collaborative projects, and learn valuable life and job skills. Artistic Noise creates safe spaces where court-involved youth can be seen, heard and supported on their path to adulthood. We believe the practice of making art offers opportunities for young people and communities to transform.


Staff Muralist, Mural Arts Program

Location: Philadelphia, PA

The staff artist engages a diverse set of communities in the creation of participatory public art with a special emphasis on mural making. The position serves as a primary ambassador for the Mural Arts Program and is an integral member of the entire Mural Arts organization team.


WritersCorps Teaching Artist in Residence Grant

Location: San Francisco, CA

The WritersCorps Teaching Artist in Residence (WCTAIR) grant is a three year grant, renewed annually, that provides support to individual teaching artists to offer free, long-term, in-depth literacy–focused arts workshops to youth at San Francisco community sites. Sites may include in-school or after-school classes and must include complementary programming with a neighborhood branch of the San Francisco Public Library (SFPL). The communities prioritized by the grant may include, but are not limited to, youth who are low-income, impacted by the justice system, pregnant or parenting teens, and/or English language learners.


Volunteers Wanted: The Messages Project

Location: Norfolk, Virginia

The Messages Project is looking for volunteers to assist in filming personalized messages from incarcerated parents, which are then sent home to their children. This is a great opportunity for college students (especially those studying film production, criminal justice, or social work).


Highly Skilled Volunteers Wanted: Think Outside the Cell

Location: NYC

The Think Outside the Cell Foundation is working to end the stigma of incarceration and—through personal development, storytelling and other creative approaches—help the incarcerated, the formerly incarcerated and their families to create their own opportunities.


Call for Volunteers: Pongo Teen Writing

Location: Seattle

Pongo volunteers are well trained, and they work in teams under an experienced leader. We have two sites currently, inside juvenile detention and inside the state psychiatric hospital for children.


Volunteers and Facilitators Wanted: The Beat Within

Locations: California, DC, and New Mexico

The Beat Within’s mission is to provide incarcerated youth with consistent opportunity to share their ideas and life experiences in a safe space that encourages literacy, self-expression, some critical thinking skills, and healthy, supportive relationships with adults and their community.


Volunteers Wanted: Internationalist Prison Books Collective

Location: Chapel Hill, NC

We constantly need help filling prisoner book requests. The work is very fulfilling: read a letter from a prisoner, find some books in our library and package them for mailing.

2 thoughts on “Opportunities

  1. theprisonartscoalition

    Hi Julia, please reach out to me at pacoalitionadmin@gmail.com. We will need a signed consent form, which you can find here: https://theprisonartscoalition.com/consent-form/. Once your son has received and signed it, he can either mail it to me, or send it back to you and you can email me a scanned copy or photo of it. Then, you can email me photos of his artwork, or if he’d rather send his work directly to PAC, that’s an option too. Let’s chat more over email. Thanks so much for visiting the site. I’m sure your support means the world to your son.

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