Justice Arts Coalition Blog

The Becomings of a Master, Part 3: Hiatus

"...I see beauty in all things though once upon a time all I saw was ugliness."

A guest’s reflections on the Iron Cages exhibition

“America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.”
― Abraham Lincoln

Teaching artist spotlight: Hakim Bellamy

Hakim Bellamy was the inaugural Poet Laureate of Albuquerque (2012-14) and facilitates youth writing workshops for schools, jails, churches, prisons and community organizations in New Mexico and beyond. JAC: How have your students impacted your teaching practices and even your own art? HB: Good teachers are comfortable at the front of the room talking. Better …

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Oculus: Of A Place Unseen

by Michelle Repiso The location: on the school bus  The scene: Lorton Correctional Facility While riding the bus to high school I would make it a point to look to my right and imagine what it must feel like to be incarcerated. I would also visually explore the grounds thinking I would witness someone escaping …

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The Becomings of a Master, Part 2: Bohemia

by R. ZumarReally, I don’t know where to start. How can I explain this to you so that you may understand what I’m going through. I’ve written and erased, written and erased again trying to find the right words to say, but really there are none. The only thing to do is explain what is …

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Kindness, boundaries, and the border patrol

by Treacy Ziegler(This is the final installment on my discussion of kindness in prison. To read the first three installments, see the first installment, the second installment, and the third installment.)What happens when volunteers and non-prisoners mingle with prisoners? How does kindness get interpreted between those living exclusively in a closed system with those living …

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The Stories We Save May Include Our Own

by Matt Malyon   I. Birdwatching Late night on Watson Bridge—a span across the Skagit River in Northern Washington—a trumpeter swan flies into a light pole.  The pole reverberates with sound. The bird drops onto the highway and stands in the amber light filtering from the large bulb above.  No—it reels, dizzy in the vibration …

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Building Musical Imaginations

by Dr. Kevin Shorner-Johnson Our newest podcast episode, Singing Connected Relationships in Prison Contexts with Dr. Mary Cohen is an exploration of the power of imagination as a part of restorative, redemptive, and community-building work within prison contexts. When the word “empathy” was introduced into the Western lexicon by Robert Vischer in 1873, the notion …

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Reflections from JAC’s Founding Director in Response to Anti-Asian Violence

Black Lives Matter