by Chelsea Garner-Ferris I first met Charlie on a humid, London summer's day in June 2016. A true mountain of a man he was tall, broad, and covered from shaven head-to-toe in elaborate tattoos. We were meeting for the very first time to begin our Mentor/Mentee relationship at a crowded museum café, amidst crowds of …
Category: community arts
A Day of Hope: a report from the Alabama Art for Justice Forum
by Leasa Brock The day began with a cool breeze and overcast sky that let us know fall had arrived at Auburn University. Upon entering the elegant Jule Collins Museum of Fine Art, staff members of the Alabama Prison Arts + Education Project welcomed everyone to the Alabama Art for Justice Forum. It was warm …
Continue reading A Day of Hope: a report from the Alabama Art for Justice Forum
A Perspective on the Texas Arts for Justice Forum
About the guest contributor: JOHNATHAN KANA is a freelance writer, musician, and Christian cultural critic who enjoys probing the intersection of faith, justice, and pop culture. As a restored citizen who once spent 25 months in prison, he believes in the transformative power of a meaningful second chance. He is a volunteer Justice Ambassador for Prison Fellowship and a contributing writer for their quarterly newspaper for prisoners, Inside Journal. He is also co-author (with Dr. Mary L. Cohen and Iowa prisoner Richard Winemiller) of a forthcoming book chapter about the Oakdale Community Choir and the healing power of community music-making in correctional contexts (to be published by Wilfrid Laurier University Press in a volume provisionally titled Walking the Boundaries, Bridging the Gaps: How Community Music Engages Those in the Margins of Society). Johnathan works in manufacturing and lives with his wife and two children in central Texas. He is an avid filmgoer, a passionate armchair theologian, and an aspiring kayaker.
An Appeal for Art for Justice
About the guest contributor: Melnee Dilworth McPherson, PhD, Dr. McPherson earned both her PhD in the Joint Sociology and Social Work Program in 2004 and her MSW in 1996 from the University of Michigan. Her dissertation entitled, “From a feminist perspective: An investigation of the relationship among dual diagnosis, intimate partner violence and parenting stress” formed the unifying theme of her research with a focus on domestic violence, mental illness, and substance misuse. Dr. McPherson serves on several community initiatives including the Livingston-Washtenaw Substance Abuse Advisory Council and the Washtenaw Prisoner Re-entry Initiative. She is also a board member of The University of Michigan Substance Abuse Research Center. Dr. McPherson has taught courses at the University of Michigan- School Of Social Work and the Washtenaw Community College. She is also a consultant on a national project aimed at developing trauma-informed reentry programming for women. Dr. McPherson, a returned citizen, is also an advocate for supporting the grandmothers who take care of young people whose parent is incarcerated.
Piercing the wall: An invitation through letters on art
Coming soon: The pARTner Project -- a collaboration between PAC and Prisoner Express which will provide an opportunity for artists and individuals with a working interest in the arts to develop friendships with artists in prison through letter correspondence and the exchange of creative works. In her newest blog, Treacy Ziegler reflects on her 8 years of experience directing distance-learning art programs for people in prison, and the relationships developed through this exchange.