Arts & Justice Events Across the US

Please write to if you have an event for us to share! 

Events can also be found on our Google calendar.

Marking Time: Art in the Age of Mass Incarceration

On September 17, join JAC in NYC to celebrate the opening of Marking Time: Art in the Age of Mass Incarceration at MoMA PS1! Eight artists in JAC’s national network will have works on display in this exhibition, which runs through April 4. More details on the opening event to come. For general info about the exhibit, click here.


A MATTER OF LIBERATION: Artwork from Prison Renaissance

Sep 23 at 12 AM – Oct 7 at 12 AM PDT

Curated by Antwan “Banks” Williams, A Matter of Liberation presents artists Emile DeWeaver, Eddie Herena, Sara J. Kruzan, Jason Perry, Orlando Smith, and Antwan “Banks” Williams answering the question, “What does liberation mean to you?” Through paintings, drawings, photography, collage, spoken word, and dance, these artists reveal the ways in which the pursuit for liberation unites us all.
Don’t miss this exhibitions’ many programs featuring artists, museum experts, social justice advocates, and the co-creators of the award-winning podcast, Ear Hustle.
This exhibition is a collaboration between Prison Renaissance and the Thacher Gallery at USF, and is co-sponsored by the Jesuit Foundation. Performance piece provided courtesy of the Artistic Ensemble.


Creation for Liberation: Creating Responsible Digital Content for Advocacy

September 27th from 4-5pm ET and October 4th from 4-5pm ET

What are the repercussions of sharing digital content around social justice and human rights issues? How do we responsibly create our own social justice content for social media? How can we encourage continued activism beyond the digital realms?

Join ARTE community members to explore these questions in a FREE, digital, interactive workshop series. Workshop participants will discuss what it means to share, design, and curate digital content for social media. This series will focus on creating content on the prison industrial complex (PIC) to help others better understand the PIC and work towards prison abolition.

This is a two-part session. While all are welcome to attend only the first session (9/27), the second session (10/4) builds off of what was learned during the first session. Therefore if you plan on attending the October 4th session, please make sure to attend the September 27th session as well.

Workshop facilitators: Paige Adamczak, Laura Cerón Melo, and Marissa Gutierrez-Vicario

Register here.


Beyond Prison Walls, A Conversation: Arts & Corrections

Wednesday, July 1, 2020 at 6:00 pm

The conversation will be facilitated by Kendrick Dial, featuring Arts in Corrections providers working at Richard J. Donovan Correctional Facility, in collaboration with the William James Association through support from California Arts Council: Jail Guitar Doors, Playwrights Project, and Project PAINT.

Representatives from San Diego State University’s Theatre Department, Project Rebound, and Prison Arts Collective, and San Diego City College’s Urban Scholars program, will join the conversation along with Dr. Heather Greenwald, Chief of Mental Health at RJD.



Marking Time: Art in the Age of Mass Incarceration Book Launch

A conversation about the work of incarcerated artists and art that responds to mass incarceration.

About this Event

Celebrate the publication of Marking Time: Art in the Age of Mass Incarceration with author Nicole R. Fleetwood, in conversation with poet and scholar Fred Moten and artists Mary Enoch Elizabeth Baxter and Jesse Krimes for a live Zoom conversation.

Marking Time reflects Fleetwood’s decade-long dedication to researching, curating, and archiving the visual art and creative practices of incarcerated artists and art that responds to mass incarceration. Based on interviews with currently and formerly incarcerated artists, prison visits, and the author’s own family experiences with the penal system, Marking Time shows how imprisoned artists turn ordinary objects into elaborate works of art. Working with meager supplies and in the harshest conditions—including solitary confinement—these artists find ways to resist the brutality and depravity that prisons engender. More info.

Pre-order Marking Time: Art in the Age of Mass Incarceration from Artbook at MoMA PS1 and support independent bookstores.

How will this work?

After you register for an event, you’ll receive an email with the Zoom link access code.

If you haven’t already, download and install Zoom on your desktop or mobile device.

We encourage participants to arrive 5 minutes in advance to ensure that your camera and microphone are working for the Q&A.

This live conversation will be recorded and made available to stream at a later date.



A Remote Art Series on Human Resilience and Criminal Justice Reform



Online Training: Pongo Poetry Project Training

Saturday, May 16, 2020 — 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM

Though typically limited to Seattle, our day-long 2020 Spring training will be offered online, so we can all Stay Home and Stay Healthy due to COVID-19 / coronavirus concerns.

In this online training, we would like to discuss our approach and show you our techniques using poetry to help distressed teens and adults understand and express their important issues and feelings. This is exciting and rewarding work! 

The training is intended to help anyone start a full poetry project on the Pongo model in an agency, school, or institution. In addition, the training can be used to help counselors and teachers incorporate Pongo methods into their ongoing work with both individuals and groups. As a follow up to this training, we also offer free phone consultation and advice to the participants. 

We recommend that you attend the Pongo training with a colleague, so that you can work as a team eventually and support one another in learning and doing this sensitive work. 

As part of the training, participants will be writing their own poetry — but please don’t feel anxious. The writing exercises in the training will follow the Pongo philosophy and are fun and easy. The process of writing poetry is the best way to understand fully the advantages of the Pongo Method.

 More information will be forthcoming about the webinar’s online platform. If registrants decide online learning is not for them, we will respect that decision and will refund all purchases.

COST: The cost of the workshop is $250.

TEXT: Training registrants are highly encouraged to buy our core training text, “Writing with At-Risk Youth: The Pongo Teen Writing Method” (Rowman & Littlefield Education, 2014) on Amazon. It’s written by Pongo’s Founder and Executive Director, Richard Gold, and it’s an essential field guide to running your own therapeutic poetry project. 

Once you’ve purchased it, forward your receipt to Shaun McMichael at , and we will credit you $25 off your registration. 

SCHOLARSHIPS: Thanks to a generous sponsor, Pongo is able to offer a number of scholarships that reduce the cost to $100. You can make a request for a scholarship when you email us your registration form, below.


Date: May 16, 2020

Time: 9:00 AM – 4:45 PM, approx.

Online Platform: Zoom

Workshop leaders:

  • Richard Gold (Executive Director)
  •  Ann Teplick (Pongo Project Leader)
  • Shaun McMichael (Pongo Program Manager)


Webinar: Making-Visible: Anti-Black Racism

Wednesday, March 25, 2020 – 7:00 PM 8:30 PM

Speaker: David Sampé

In 1993, David Sampé was 19 years old and confined at a Correction Corporation of America (now Civic Corps) facility, the first wave of prisons for profit. He was placed in a Youth Act Program that kept him, and others like him, locked in a 6’x9’ cell for eight months, 23½ hours a day. A part of him that went into that box never came out. Broken, like Humpty Dumpty, he was left to put himself back together again. Several years later, after multiple arrests and felony convictions, he became mentally unhinged and spiraled out of control. 

Over the course of 25 years David has reconstructed his mind piece by piece and, through the practice of mindfulness and meditation, has turned a broken mind into a resilient one. These experiences have equipped him with the tools to guide men and women coming home from prison out of their fractured state and back into balance.

We are aware how we have been conditioned into anti-black racism and, as a mindfulness practice community, we aim to support the unraveling of this conditioning as well as the growth of inclusive, equitable, and beloved communities. In order to do that, we must first understand the experience of people of African descent, including understanding how anti-blackness can be as overt as police killings and as subtle as unmindful speech or being passed over for a work promotion.  

To quote the Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers (WRAG) “Anti-Black racism is the foundation for the strategies, tactics, tools and cultural worldviews that propagate and maintain racial oppression, repression and exclusion in the U.S. and the world.” 

Please join the Opening Heart Mindfulness Community for this webinar to hear more about David’s story and how it intersects with Anti-Blackness. With your support and presence, we will continue to bring awareness and transformation to these injustices.


Discussion: Marking Time: Prisons in the Lives of Black Women


“How have black women used art and performance to express the massive toll that prisons have had on their lives, families, and communities? The evening features performances, readings, and discussions by three formerly incarcerated women Mary Baxter, Asia Johnson, and Michelle Jones in conversation with Dr. Nicole R. Fleetwood to celebrate the release of Fleetwood’s new book, Marking Time: Art in the Age of Mass Incarceration. Baxter is a rapper, media artist, and activist based in Philadelphia. Johnson is an essayist, poet, and filmmaker from Detroit who is active in the movement to abolish bail. Jones is a writer, scholar, artists and national speaker on women and incarceration; she is completing her PhD in American Studies at NYU. Fleetwood is Professor of American Studies and Art History at Rutgers University and a leading scholar on art, justice, and the fight to end mass incarceration. As part of Women’s History Month, we meditate on the impact of incarceration on the lives of black women and the creative strategies they use to resist the dehumanization, confinement, and stigma of policing and prisons.”


Exhibition: Barring Freedom

April 29–July 30, 2020 at Shiva Gallery in New York

Barring Freedom is a bi-coastal exhibition of contemporary art organized by UC Santa Cruz Institute of the Arts and Sciences (IAS) in collaboration with San José Museum of Art. The group exhibition features important U.S. artists who creatively engage the historical and structural racism embedded within the systems of mass incarceration, criminal justice, and the prison industrial complex.


Exhibition: Marking Time: Art in the Age of Mass Incarceration

Opens April 5, 2020 at MoMA PS1, NYC

“MoMA PS1 will present a major exhibition exploring the work of artists within US prisons and the centrality of incarceration to contemporary art and culture, on view from April 5 through August 23, 2020. Featuring art made by people in prisons and work by nonincarcerated artists concerned with state repression, erasure, and imprisonment, Marking Time: Art in the Age of Mass Incarceration highlights more than 35 artists, including American Artist, Tameca Cole, Russell Craig, James “Yaya” Hough, Jesse Krimes, Mark Loughney, Gilberto Rivera, and Sable Elyse Smith. Alongside the exhibition, a series of public programs, education initiatives, and ongoing projects at MoMA PS1 will explore the social and cultural impact of mass incarceration.

On view across PS1’s second floor galleries, Marking Time features works that bear witness to artists’ experimentation with and reimagining of the fundamentals of living—time, space, and physical matter—pushing the possibilities of these basic features of daily experience to create new aesthetic visions achieved through material and formal invention. The resulting work is often laborious, time-consuming, and immersive, as incarcerated artists manage penal time through their work and experiment with the material constraints that shape art making in prison. The exhibition also includes work made by nonincarcerated artists—both artists who were formerly incarcerated and those personally impacted by the US prison system. From various sites of freedom or unfreedom, these artists devise strategies for visualizing, mapping, and making physically present the impact and scale of life under carceral conditions, underscoring how prisons and the prison industrial complex have shaped contemporary culture.

Marking Time is organized by guest curator Dr. Nicole R. Fleetwood, Professor of American Studies and Art History at Rutgers University, and reflects her decade-long dedication to the research, analysis, and archiving of the visual art and creative practices of incarcerated artists and art that responds to mass incarceration. The exhibition corresponds with the release of Fleetwood’s new book, Marking Time: Art in the Age of Mass Incarceration (Harvard University Press, 2020), a trailblazing publication on this subject.

Marking Time: Art in the Age of Mass Incarceration is organized by Dr. Nicole R. Fleetwood, Guest Curator; Amy Rosenblum-Martín, Guest Assistant Curator; and Jocelyn Miller, Assistant Curator, MoMA PS1.

Support is provided by the Office of the Provost and the School of Arts and Sciences at Rutgers University – New Brunswick.”


Art Sale and Fundraiser: Artivists in Action & Solidarity

December 7, 2019 in Oakland

Come join a Saturday afternoon of Art-Activism to raise funds for two of the country’s premier prisoner publications in newsprint in the country, “California Prison Focus,” and “San Francisco Bay View. ” Be exposed to some of the top Prison Art in the country, by some of the leading artist in the movement. An evening of refreshments, literature, visual art, strategic planning, and the opportunity to buy into this emerging art market, all to raise funds to keep live, well, and active, the prisoner press.


Exhibition: Opening of New Beginnings, Female Inmate Art

November 22nd, 2019 in Boston

Opening of New Beginnings, Female Inmate Art is an exhibition where you can watch a video of the incarcerated artists who cannot attend, view their pastels and enjoy refreshments.

Please visit to learn more about it.


Exhibition: The Pencil is a Key

October 11th – January 5th, 2019 in New York City

The Pencil Is a Key is an exhibition of historical and contemporary drawings by incarcerated people from all over the globe. Works by artists who were or currently are prisoners will be juxtaposed with drawings by prisoners who became artists while incarcerated. 

Please visit to learn about public events associated with this exhibition, including an opening reception on October 10th.


Exhibition: All Gave Some – Art by justice-involved veterans

Opening November 2nd in Seattle

Come join us at A/NT Gallery on the Seattle Center for the opening of our show! The exhibition will feature art created by justice-involved veterans from the Pacific Northwest and other areas of the U.S., and will be on display until November 30th. Participating organizations include Brigadoon Service Dogs, Adonai Counseling & Employment, the American Legion Band’s Brass Quintet section, and more!

The reception is free and open to the public – current & former service members and their families are especially welcome and encouraged to attend!

A/NT Gallery is located in the International Fountain Pavilion, behind the Key Arena, facing the International Fountain lawn.

Google Maps link:


Exhibition: Locked Up: Pain and Resilience

October 3rd – December 7th, 2019, Flagstaff, AZ

First Friday ArtWalk & Opening Reception, October 4,  6 – 8:30 pm 

6 pm: Music by Jesse Anderson • Refreshments served.
7 pm: “Mass Incarceration and the Bordering of Citizenship” – an illustrated

presentation by Dr. Nancy Wonders, School of Criminal Justice, NAU.

First Friday ArtWalk – November 1,  6 – 8:30 pm
6 pm: Music by Brad and Deb • Refreshments served.
7 pm: “People Not Prisons” – stories by representatives of ACLU Smart Justice,

the Justice Project at ASU Law, and Arizona Faith Network.

First Friday ArtWalk – December 6,  6 – 8:30 pm

6 pm: Music by Shawn Dennehy and Matt Sarnoski • Refreshments served.

7 pm: “Justice in Coconino County “ – an expert panel discussion with:

Coconino County Sheriff, Jim Driscoll
Recovery Court Coordinator, Sixto Valdevia
Detention Center Program Manager, Jim Bret

Exodus Counselor, Michael Vaughn I


Exhibition: Closing Celebration

September 21, 2019, Alcatraz Island

Please join us for the Closing Celebration of Future IDs at Alcatraz on Saturday, September 21! We will celebrate the work we have accomplished with the year-long exhibition and series of community programs.* The last day of the exhibition is Thursday, September 26.

A goal articulated in the Alcatraz 2026 Vision Plan is for Alcatraz to become a catalyst for “transformative thinking and experiences related to the themes of incarceration, justice, and our common humanity.” Future IDs at Alcatraz has supported this endeavor by using artistic and social engagement to invite reflection on the criminal justice system and second chances.

Ferries to Alcatraz depart from Pier 33, Alcatraz Landing. You have two options for your ferry departure time:

  1. Arrive at 1:40pm, to check-in for the 2:10pm ferry.
  2. Or, arrive at 2:15pm, to check-in the 2:40pm ferry.

You can reserve your ferry ticket(s) here; use the password: #Future IDs  Each person only needs one ticket for the ferry and the exhibition.

Here are a 6 min video about Future IDs at Alcatraz and reviews in The EconomistSan Francisco Examiner and Art Practical.

Please let us know if you have any questions.



Festival: Page-to-Stage New Play

August 31 – September 2

Join more than 60 D.C.-area theater companies at the Kennedy Center for a series of free readings and open rehearsals of plays and musicals in development by local, regional, and national playwrights, librettists, and composers—some with scripts in hand, others almost fully staged.

Now entering its 18th year, Page-to-Stage was created to fill the Washington, D.C. theater community’s need for an accessible space to perform and workshop new plays. During this festival, theater artists receive feedback and network with others, allowing them to refine their work and develop relationships that lead to later collaborations. The free performances reflect the dynamic make-up of all corners of the city, whether you are a newcomer or a veteran to theater.


Annual Bash: Prison Performing Arts

September 5th, 6-10 p.m. at The Barnett on Washington, St. Louis

We invite you to celebrate and support Prison Performing Arts.

With over two decades of nationally recognized artistic work in Missouri prisons and St. Louis juvenile justice and correctional facilities, Prison Performing Arts provides creative pathways to express the inner and often unspoken voices of incarcerated adults, returning citizens, and justice-involved youth.

This year’s guest speaker is Mr. Curt Tofteland, Founder and Producing Director of Shakespeare Behind Bars. Enjoy a catered dinner by Flavor 360 and a preview of Lisa Boyd’s new documentary film, Prison Performing Arts—The Voice Within, which won the Spotlight Award (for a film that shines the light on under-represented subjects) at this year’s St. Louis Filmmakers Showcase.

The evening’s festivities will also include a special performance by PPA’s Alumni Theatre Company and a preview of our newly developed theatrical adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s Hag-Seed.

Evening Highlights
6:00 p.m. Cocktails & Silent Auction
7:00 p.m. Welcome & Live Auction
7:30 p.m. Dinner & Program
9:00 p.m. Dessert & Cocktails

Space is limited. Please RSVP by August 22, 2019.


Exhibition: Becoming Free

Opening May 25th, 2019 in Washington, DC

Join us to celebrate the launch of the Justice Arts Coalition at the exhibition’s opening reception.


Exhibition: Future IDs

Runs through October, 2019 at Alcatraz Island, CA

About Future IDs at Alcatraz
Alcatraz as an iconic venue provides a poignant context for Future IDs at Alcatraz as a yearlong project, exhibition and series of monthly public programs. Installed in the New Industries Building, the exhibition features ID-inspired artworks created by and with individuals who have conviction histories as they conceive and develop a vision for a future self.

Social practice artist Gregory Sale and a team of collaborators have translated criminal justice reform efforts into a visual language to shift thinking about rehabilitation, reentry, and reintegration. Dr. Luis Garcia, Kirn Kim, Sabrina Reid, Jessica Tully, Gregory Sale and many others have designed the project to function as a platform for conversation through performances, workshops, and civic dialogue experiments that are co-curated with community partners.

Future IDs began through a relationship with the Anti-Recidivism Coalition and has grown over four years into a multi-layered initiative involving more than 20 community organizations. This project on Alcatraz runs through October 2019 and is presented in partnership with the National Park Service and the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy through the Art in the Parks program. It engages Alcatraz’s layered history as an iconic federal prison, birthplace of the Native American Red Power Movement, national park, and International Site of Conscience.

This project is generously supported by Kenneth Rainin Foundation, Creative Capital Foundation, A Blade of Grass/David Rockefeller Fund, SPArt, Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts at Arizona State University, and individual contributors.


Exhibition and related events: Redaction

April through May 5th, 2019 in Queens, NY

Throughout their careers, visual artist and filmmaker Titus Kaphar and memoirist, poet, and attorney Reginald Dwayne Betts have used their varied mediums to confront the abuses of the criminal justice system. The Redaction presents more than 30 new prints and a series of public programs that examine the issue of money bail, the condition of the state and federal court system by which those arrested, but unable to afford bail, remain incarcerated even though they have been neither tried nor convicted.

Drawing inspiration and source material from lawsuits filed by the Civil Rights Corps (CRC) on behalf of people incarcerated because of an inability to pay court fines and fees, The Redaction features poetry by Betts in combination with Kaphar’s etched portraits of incarcerated individuals. Betts utilizes the legal strategy of redaction to craft verse out of legal documents, capturing the complicated and pervasive effects of time spent incarcerated. These poems have been screenprinted by Kaphar onto handmade paper using the Redaction font, a new open-source typeface created for the project. Together, Betts’s poems and Kaphar’s printed portraits blend the voices of poet and artist with those of the plaintiffs and prosecutors, reclaiming these lost narratives and drawing attention to some of the many individuals whose lives have been impacted by mass incarceration.

Taking place at MoMA PS1 throughout the month of April, the exhibition marks the first-ever public installation of The Redaction, and seeks to create a platform for a multiplicity of conversations—about art, poetry, and practical legal questions—that can influence outcomes and reflect current conversations around the issue of criminal justice reform.

As part of The Redaction project, Titus Kaphar and Reginald Dwayne Betts collaborated with designers Jeremy Mickel and Forest Young to create a new open-source typeface. The Redaction font features throughout the artist’s collaborative print portfolio and is also available to download as part of the project, in hopes that individuals looking to communicate within the U.S. legal system have recourse to communicate not just through their own distinct language and voice, but also through design as a form of protest.


Exhibition: Photo Requests from Solitary

April 20th through July 1st, 2019 in Brooklyn, NY

Brooklyn Public Library is pleased to present Photo Requests from Solitary (PRFS), a collaborative project that invites individuals in solitary confinement to request an image of anything at all, real or imagined, and finds artists and volunteers to create them. This exhibition provides a glimpse into the interests, memories, and dreams of people living in extreme isolation.

BPL hosts the first New York exhibition featuring photos and requests from all five states where PRFS has worked. This site-specific installation of requests and photographs created from them will be located in the Grand Lobby and the second floor balcony. Viewers are welcome to fulfill open requests, and will also have the opportunity to learn about the campaign to end long-term solitary confinement in New York’s prisons and jails. Free and open to the public during library hours.

A one-night preview to the exhibition can be seen in the Dweck Auditorium Lobby on March 27th in concert with the event hosting Albert Woodfox on Solitary, in Conversation with Jelani Cobb.

To learn more about the project and view requests, click here.

Photo Requests from Solitary is a project of Solitary Watch, with support from the Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation.


Conference/Festival: Connecting Art & Law for Liberation

April 12th-14th, 2019 at UCLA

Join visionary artists, activists, attorneys, advocates, legal scholars, and community members at UCLA to share innovative, cutting-edge collaborations at the intersection of ART and LAW – aimed at developing and disseminating new strategies to end mass incarceration.



Conference: Arts in Corrections: Reframing the Landscape of Justice

June 24th-28th, 2019 in Santa Clara, CA

Presented by California Lawyers for the Arts and the William James Association in collaboration with Santa Clara University and the Justice Arts Coalition.

Participants in this conference will have opportunities to

  • Share best practices in program development and curriculum design
  • Learn about current research models, including evaluation and documentation
  • Develop opportunities to collaborate with justice reform advocates in different states and nationally
  • Participate in workshops showcasing exemplary programs for juveniles and adults, as well as restorative justice and re-entry models
  • Learn how to build public awareness and enhance programmatic sustainability
  • Continue to build the Justice Arts Coalition as a national support organization for artists who teach in correctional institutions and artists coming home
  • Participate in art classes in various disciplines taught by master artists

Speakers will include artists, returned citizens, justice advocates, elected leaders, arts administrators, government officials, educators, lawyers and other allied professionals.


Call for artists: The Confined Arts

The Confined Arts is looking for new and existing artists to collaborate with the “From the Inside Out” project. Selected artists will be given the opportunity to create representational and abstract are that illustrates new narratives about people in prison and people returning home. This includes visual arts, performing arts, poetry, song, and dance. Media artists will be given the opportunity to utilize and experiment with numerous forms of media productions.

*Currently and formerly incarcerated artists will be considered first*