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.
The Pongo Teen Writing Project is a 23-year-old, award-winning nonprofit that offers therapeutic poetry 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. Our goal is to work toward social justice by enabling our authors to address the personal impact of trauma, where trauma is often the product of historical inequities and oppression.
Pongo’s approach is 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 diversity and strives to be a sensitive and equitable workplace.
Fellowship: Right of Return
Check site for application dates.
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.
Location: Brooklyn, New York
Girl Be Heard is currently looking to fill three part-time positions. Keep an eye on the site for new opportunities.
Check the website for application dates.
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.
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.
Check the website for new opportunities.
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Mural Arts Philadelphia is a public private partnership dedicated to the belief that art ignites change.
We create art with others to transform places, individuals, communities and institutions. Through this work, we establish new standards of excellence in the practice of public and contemporary art. Our process empowers artists to be change agents, stimulates dialogue about critical issues, and builds bridges of connection and understanding. Our work is created in service of a larger movement that values equity, fairness and progress across all of society. We listen with empathetic ears to understand the aspirations of our partners and participants. And through beautiful collaborative art, we provide people with the inspiration and tools to seize their own future.
Annually, Mural Arts engages more than 25,000 people. This includes more than 2,000 who enroll in ongoing art and muralism workshops offered by our Art Education, Restorative Justice, and Porch Light programs; more than 8,000 who co-create our stunning works of public art; and more than 15,000 who tour our multi-neighborhood collection. Annually, we produce between 80 and 100 temporary and permanent pieces, which together tell an incredible story of Philadelphia’s beauty and resilience.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.