Carving a linoleum block, printmaking class, San Quentin State Prison, California. Photo: Peter Merts.
Do you work in prison arts? Have you got thoughts, advice and problem-solving or teaching techniques you’d like to share?
The William James Association alongside The Prison Arts Coalition and a host of other partners have launched the National Prison Arts Survey to crowdsource all the knowledge and strategies that exists out there in all of your heads and teaching manuals.
There is talk about whether to form a national organization of prison arts organizations and your input it crucial at this early stage.
Over recent years, the William James Association and California Lawyers for the Arts has been committed to research into effective prison arts teaching. Most notably they put out the paper Art Practice and Its Impact in California Prisons, by Larry Brewster.
It is thought that a national organization could offer the following to members:
Raise awareness of programmatic efficacy
Host national or regional conferences
Share best practices
Support, collect and disseminate relevant research
Offer professional development opportunities
The 5-minute survey is designed to help better understand the need for a national prison arts association and how it might serve potential members like you.
The survey was developed with input by prison arts advocates and practitioners, including:
Cynthia Gutierrez – Barrios Unidos Prison Project
Freddy Gutierrez – Community Worker, Performing Artist
Illya Kowalchuk – Pop Culture Classroom
Jonathan Blanco – Oregon State Penitentiary Hobby Shop
Laurie Brooks – William James Association
Lesley Currier – Marin Shakespeare Company
Nate Henry-Silva – Imagine Bus Project
Nathalie Costa Thill – Adirondack Center for Writing
Treacy Ziegler – An Open Window
Victoria Sammartino – Voices UnBroken
Wendy Jason – Prison Arts Coalition
Alma Robinson – California Lawyers for the Arts
Weston Dombroski – California Lawyers for the Arts
Responses are kindly requested by January 29th.