Jobs and Volunteer Opportunities

See posts below to find a job or volunteer opportunity in our field.

To post an opportunity, contact

Please Note: Justice Arts Coalition does not currently have any paid positions available, but we are always looking for support from volunteers! To complete our volunteer survey, please follow this link. To support our efforts to be able to hire and compensate staff, click here

Director of Organizing – Initiate Justice

Initiate Justice’s mission is to end mass incarceration by activating the political power of the people it directly impacts. We organize our members, both inside and outside of prison, to advocate for our freedom and change criminal justice policy in California.

We have 28,475 incarcerated members, 135 inside organizers, and hundreds more outside organizers and outside members throughout California. We are 100% led by people directly impacted by incarceration.

Job Description:

Initiate Justice is hiring a Director of Organizing who can find ways to mobilize and build the power of our members and organizers, inside prisons and outside prisons, to end mass incarceration in CA. Candidates who reside in the Bay Area are preferred; candidates in Los Angeles are less preferred, but will be considered. The Director of Organizing will:

• Develop specific strategies to end mass incarceration in CA.

• Develop short- and long-term strategic goals to achieve our mission.

• Design and roll out campaigns uniting the efforts of our Inside Organizing program in CA prisons and our Outside Organizing program in communities across CA.

• Lead the Organizing Team, provide support our three organizers across Los Angeles and Oakland, and guide all organizing work towards organizational and organizing goals and strategies.

• Serve as a member of the Initiate Justice Strategy Team responsible for strategic planning and goal setting across all areas of Initiate Justice.

Specific Projects will include:

• Weekly Organizing Team meetings, monthly progress check-ins, and annual goal setting to ensure that all Organizing Team members are on the same page and accomplishing Initiate Justice’s strategic organizing goals.

• Manage Initiate Justice’s six volunteer committees, where community members plug in to our work, support our staff, and help us achieve our annual goals.

• Provide direction, ideas, and oversight for our Inside Membership program to increase member recruitment, deepen our impact on our members, and  make sure that our quarterly newsletter to 28,000+ members is sharing strategic information and action items that will allow them to advocate for their freedom and support Initiate Justice’s current goals.

• Provide direction, ideas, and oversight for the Inside Organizing program to ensure Inside Organizers receive in-depth training, are able to share ideas and guide Initiate Justice’s strategy based on their experiences inside, and receive guidance and materials they need to lead campaigns and member recruitment at their facility.

Desired Qualifications:

• 3-5 years experience leading community organizing campaigns.

• Demonstrated ability to make strategic decisions; please give examples in your cover letter.

• Knowledge of the California state prison system.

• Knowledge or experience with public policy (how laws are written, passed, and implemented) is a plus.

• Strong oral and written communication skills.

• Applicants who are formerly incarcerated or who have an incarcerated loved one will be given priority.

• Location: candidates in the Bay Area are preferred; candidates in Los Angeles are less preferred, but will be considered.

Compensation & Benefits:

• $60,000 – $65,000 annual salary, full-time position

• Health, Dental, and Vision insurance premiums paid by Initiate Justice

• $1,000 in funds annually for Professional Development

• $500 in funds annually for healing/self-care (if directly impacted by incarceration)

Hiring Timeline:

• Application Due: June 30th, 2020 at 11:59 PM PST

How to Apply:

Please email with the following attached as PDF or Word Documents:

  1. Your resume.
  2. A cover letter explaining why you are a strong candidate to lead our strategy and organizing work, and can connect our efforts inside and outside of CA prisons on strategic campaigns to end mass incarceration.
  3. Completed work sample


International Documentary Association — Pare Lorentz Application

A grant for documentary filmmakers working within the criminal justice system.
The Pare Lorentz Documentary Fund application is open February 16 – June 7, 2020. The deadline was extended to June 7. Please visit the FAQ here.
Watch a recorded live Q&A here with Program Officer Dana Merwin.
Contact with any questions pertaining to your project’s eligibility or the application process in general.
For more information, visit their website. 

Designing Justice + Designing Spaces — Studio Director (Oakland, California)

Designing Justice + Designing Spaces (DJDS) is the only nonprofit architecture and real estate development firm in the country that innovates in and around the built environment to address the root causes of mass incarceration. With a focus on restorative justice and restorative economics, we partner with and serve low-income communities of color across the country. Our work counters the societal inequities evident in the dominant architectural models of justice — courthouses, jails, prisons, etc. — by designing and developing new prototypes such as peacemaking centers, mobile classrooms, and re-entry housing for formerly-incarcerated men and women. To achieve the mission and continue our ethos, the team is comprised of architects, designers, real estate developers, operations/events production staff, and community organizers; and projects often involve community members and systems-impacted individuals as experts, consultants, and contractors. Our work is founded on restoration and we incorporate it into our company culture and operations. We engage with our communities and partners with trauma-informed processes and patience. We value — and practice — self-awareness and personal growth in order for all staff members to be able to bridge the communities in which we work, from philanthropy to elected officials to those incarcerated and their communities of care.


We are thrilled to add the role of Studio Director to the DJDS team. The main objectives for this role are to provide strong project management support to each project team, direct project staffing, and ensure project budgets and schedules remain on track. In addition to the overall studio direction and overseeing project teams, this role will serve as lead project manager on at least two to three projects at any given time. DJDS is a design studio; we take projects from concept development through design development and transition to outside contractors for construction drawings and construction management. However, we remain nimble and responsive to our partners’ needs which often results in new project typologies such as product development, game design, and regional planning and mapping. This role will provide direction and guidance around the processes and systems for bringing these new project types to fruition. This key role will help set the organizational and project culture and work directly with the executive team to help set organizational priorities. The Studio Director will report to our main office in Oakland, California; however, the role may include travel time for up to 20% of the job.



  • Lead multiple projects and teams across multiple stakeholders
  • Manage and oversee the processes of project management and phasing

Capacity Building:

  • Explore and recommend project management software and systems to help streamline projects and tasks
  • Create a process for managing meetings, including the preparation of agendas, note-taking, and distribution of next steps
  • Direct, lead, and mentor staff to ensure standards are met and individuals are accomplishing their personal goals


  • Develop a system to track the status of all projects and goals
  • Create and coordinate work plans, schedules, and timelines across projects
  • Create and monitor project schedules

Client Management:

  • Establish regular client meetings and attend with appropriate team and consultants as required by contract scope
  • Create add-service directives and assign and manage additional services with approval of studio leadership
  • Serve as the main point of management contact with the client and city agencies

Quality Control:

  • In accordance with company quality standards, ensure that the projects conform to the contractual agreement the firm has made with the client
  • Review contract drawings and specifications for completeness, accuracy, and coordination

Financial Control and Risk Management:

  • Control project profitability and liability exposure
  • Establish and monitor project budgets along with project progress, and ensure that the project is on schedule and within the approved budget
  • Review project billings and update studio projections regularly
  • Monitor project receivables and assist in the collection of receivables

Business Development:

  • Assist in proposal drafts and submissions

Resource Allocation:

  • Ensure staff is effectively and efficiently utilizing time
  • Determine amount and type of staff to execute the projects


  • Accurate and detail-oriented
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills
  • Strong self-awareness with cultural competency for a diverse range of cultures, communities, and lived experiences
  • Ability to work on multiple projects and maintain effective communication and quality control
  • Strong ability to plan, schedule, and direct the work of self and others
  • Advanced understanding and proficiency using the following software:
    • Microsoft Office
    • Google Apps
    • Asana or similar project management software
  • Basic understanding of:
    • AutoCad and/or REVIT
    • Sketch-Up
    • Adobe Creative Suite
  • Strong command of project delivery methodology and standard AIA contracting


  • Bachelor’s degree in architecture, construction management, engineering, or related field
  • Minimum ten to fifteen years industry experience (architecture, construction management, real estate development, engineering)
  • Advanced understanding of building codes, including national and state local codes


Healthcare benefits with options for medical insurance under the company group plan. Employer contributions are determined by the chosen healthcare plan and covers employee premiums only.

  • Compensation for this role will not exceed $100,000


Please send a digital portfolio, following the directions below. If you have a website that includes your portfolio, you may send a PDF of your cover letter and resume, and the appropriate link(s) for the rest.Address:
Subject Line: Studio Director Application
Attachment: One multipage PDF not to exceed 3MBThe PDF should include:

  • Cover letter (in your cover letter please include your definition of Restorative Justice and Trauma-Informed Practice in 4 sentences)
  • Resume
  • Portfolio with the following examples, for which you have primary authorship:
    • Two completed projects for which you served in a leading role
    • Project examples for which you served in a creative leadership role
    • Project examples for which you served in a project manager role

Please, no phone calls or recruiters. All applicants must be eligible to work in the U.S.


Researcher and Community Relations Organizer—Curatorial


The Brooklyn Museum is developing a groundbreaking project on mass incarceration that will bring together significant thinkers across broadly-related social, political, and cultural fields as they intersect with social justice reform and the visual arts in the United States. To support all aspects of this project, the Researcher and Community Relations Organizer (R/CRO) will research and realize dual components of an exhibition currently scheduled to open at the Museum in the summer of 2021.

The R/CRO supports the development of the exhibition and related publications through research on the history of mass incarceration in the United States, and works with the Museum’s Special Assistant for Administration and Community Affairs to build relationships with key community stakeholders locally, citywide, statewide, and nationally. Then, the R/CRO will build on that research by developing an advisory council and facilitating related community connections. They will also assist initiatives to support the exhibition, publication(s), and related public programs, and organize convenings to give voice to the most important thinkers in the field.


  • Bachelor’s degree; Master’s degree preferred
  • Three to five years of experience organizing and/or developing work around issues of criminal justice reform
  • Strong organizational skills and an ability to multitask
  • Excellent communication and writing skills and familiarity with related technologies, including Microsoft PowerPoint and Excel, Google Docs, and social media
  • Outstanding community relations and interpersonal skills, and the ability to communicate and work effectively with diverse communities
  • Knowledge of Brooklyn’s neighborhoods and a demonstrable commitment to relationship-building
  • Experience working with art and a knowledge of contemporary art history
  • Ability to think strategically, analyze complex problems, and work collaboratively on creative solutions
  • Strong research skills
  • Ability to work efficiently and independently, be part of a considerate and collaborative team environment, function calmly under pressure, and focus on goals, solutions, and results

Additional qualifications:

  • Individuals who identify as people of color, as LGBTQ+, are multilingual, and/or have immigration or first generation experience, are strongly encouraged to apply


  • At the direction of the exhibition curator and the Director, identify and develop relationships with a wide variety of stakeholders working on issues of mass incarceration and criminal justice reform, including the incarcerated and formerly incarcerated and their families, as well as professionals in the fields of community organizing and public policy, reform advocates, government officials, academic researchers, visual artists and creative influencers, and related leaders in the field
  • Research artists and compile bibliographies of significant research in fields broadly related to the subjects of mass incarceration and the visual arts
  • Work regularly with social justice organizations focused on issues from parole and bail reform to legislation and legal aid; social service and health organizations; schools and universities; and artists, as directed
  • Build awareness of and effectively communicate the project’s developing goals and objectives to stakeholder communities and Museum collaborators
  • Organize convenings and build resources for program and exhibition content
  • Oversee the administrative aspects of the project, including organizing schedules and calendars, assisting with exhibition logistics, and managing interns
  • Build synergies with Project Reset, an arts-based alternative-to-incarceration program being developed by the Museum’s Education Division
  • Support development of the exhibition checklist, including organizing, processing, and drafting information on artists and artworks
  • Help develop the exhibition’s structural components including related advisory committees, public programs, performance events, and publications
  • Represent the Museum and the project at community events
  • Other duties as assigned

Start date: Immediately

Department: Curatorial

Reports to: Sackler Senior Curator of the Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art

Position Type: Full-time, 18-month appointment

Union Status: Non-union

FLSA Status: Non-exempt

Schedule: 35 hours per week, Monday through Friday, 9 am to 5 pm; occasional evenings and weekends may be required

Apply online

If you have questions about our online application system, please get in touch with us at


Poetry Teaching Artist — Prison + Neighborhood Arts Project


The Prison and Neighborhood Arts Project (PNAP) offers the position of coteaching Poetry Teaching Artist (PTA) in partnership with the Poetry Foundation. The PTA is a unique opportunity to co-teach with poet Tara Betts and develop work with incarcerated writers at Stateville Correctional Center. The ideal candidate will have: extensive experience as a poet or poetry editor; extensive experience teaching poetry and facilitating class discussions and writing workshops; understanding of the histories and context of incarceration; clear ideas of collaborative possibilities; and time and class management skills; and, transportation to and from prison. Candidates should be at least 21 years of age. PTA must be able to get clearance to teach at the prison; must agree to follow all PNAP and Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC) rules for visitors and volunteers; and must attend orientations with PNAP prior to the beginning of Fall classes.


Teaching Artist – Rehabilitation Through The Arts (RTA)

New York

***Please note: At this time we are looking for music, dance and visual arts Teaching Artists only.

Job Summary

RTA uses the transformative power of the arts to help people in prison develop skills to unlock their potential and succeed in the larger community.

RTA seeks diverse teaching artists to deliver transformative arts programs in New York State correctional facilities. Art forms being sought include music, dance, and visual arts. RTA workshops and productions are delivered inside state correctional facilities, therefore we are not able to have workshops involving photography, videography, or computer/internet/research dependent art forms.

RTA teaching artists work closely with the Program Director and are responsible for developing and implementing lesson plans that are experiential and that identify life skills that RTA participants develop through the arts process. Workshops typically last 8, 10 or 12 weeks and are delivered throughout the calendar year. Teaching artists from diverse backgrounds are strongly encouraged to apply. Having a car is a big plus!

An ideal RTA teaching artist candidate has experience working in prison or with other marginalized communities. They are flexible, committed, and have strong professionalism and personal boundaries.

Specific Responsibilities: 

  • Create and facilitate transformative arts workshops and productions with incarcerated men and women.
  • Submit weekly reports summarizing relevant issues that arise in the workshop/production.
  • Communicate and follow-up regularly with the Program Director.
  • Demonstrate effective classroom management skills and the ability to maintain a structured, positive learning and creative environment.
  • Represent RTA with professionalism at all times within the correctional facility.

Requirements of Teaching Artist: 

  • BA in Arts and/or Education, BFA or related training preferred.
  • Experience working with incarcerated people or other marginalized communities.
  • Experience in teaching and curriculum design.
  • Strong oral and written communication skills and an ability to work as part of a team.

Application Instructions: 

  • Send a resume and a detailed outline for a 6-10 lesson residency in one of the art forms listed above that you might teach in a correctional facility. Materials should be sent to Dawn McDonald at


Program Manager for Rehabilitation Through the Arts

Location: Woodbourne, NY

Note: This position is located in Sullivan County, NY. Only applicants who have a car and live in or near Sullivan County should apply.

Rehabilitation Through The Arts (RTA) is a well-established world leader in arts-in-corrections, with dynamic programs in theatre, dance, music, writing and visual arts in five New York State maximum and medium security, men’s and women’s prisons. RTA uses the transformative power of the arts to develop social and cognitive skills that the incarcerated need for a more productive life inside prison and in the community upon release.

We seek a part-time Program Manager to help our growing agency, based on the SUNY Purchase College Campus in Westchester County, NY. This new position will serve as primary liaison between RTA Program Director, other RTA staff, facilitators, prisoner participants and prison administration. The position is currently planned to manage Woodbourne Correctional Facility (WCF) but could expand to other facilities in the area.

Job Responsibilities

  • Attend RTA prison workshops and productions; meet regularly with participants at WCF.
  • Support RTA teaching artists; evaluate their performance and assure that RTA and prison guidelines are followed at WCF.
  • Provide guidance in developing curricula and syllabi for WCF.
  • Administrative duties include: obtaining clearance for teaching artists and supplies, coordinating teaching artist schedules, fielding evaluations at WCF.
  • Support prison productions with play research, propping, costuming and other activities at WCF.
  • Communicate with RTA Program Director and staff on a regular basis to address needs or issues within facilities, teaching artists and prisoner members.
  • Requires bi-weekly meetings at the RTA offices located on the campus of SUNY Purchase.
  • We estimate that the position will require 15-20 hours per week.

Profile of Ideal Candidate

  • Self-motivated with a demonstrated ability to solve problems creatively.
  • Sense of humor, warmth, enthusiasm, self-reflective and flexible.
  • Experience working with marginalized or under-served populations.
  • Experience working on issues at the intersections of race, class, gender and incarceration.
  • Experience as a teaching artist, especially in alternative educational settings.
  • Familiar with – or willing to learn about – theories and practices of Arts-in-Education, Applied Arts, and/or Prison Theater in the U.S. and abroad.
  • Candidate must have a car and be willing to travel and live close to Sullivan County
  • Candidate must be available for regular evening workshops


LMCC’s Manhattan Arts Grants

LMCC’s Manhattan Arts Grants provide awards to Manhattan-based artists, arts groups, and organizations working across disciplines to connect local communities to rich artistic experiences – on stages, in exhibitions, classrooms, recreation rooms, and public spaces. From these grants, Creative Learning is designed to support and develop the capacity of Manhattan’s teaching artists and small arts organizations to provide in-depth, community-based arts education and enrichment projects and programming to participants of all ages including youth, adults, and/or seniors.

Attached you will find more information about the Manhattan Arts Grants and language to help with any Facebook, Instagram or Tweeter posts. We appreciate your help spreading the word to other teaching artists and your community!

2020 Guidelines and Applications for Creative EngagementCreative Learning, and UMEZ Arts Engagement are now live. The application deadline for all three programs is Tuesday, September 10, 2019 for projects taking place between January 1 – December 31, 2020.

Applicants are encouraged to attend an information session to get an overview of the programs, further understand the grant process, and meet our staff; first-time applicants must attend. The full schedule of sessions and links to RSVP, can be accessed here. This year we will be offering a dedicated Creative Learning information session on Tuesday, August 6, 4PM at The Creative Center at University Settlement.

We will also provide free professional development workshops to help applicants strengthen their proposals. LMCC’s workshop series Fundraising Fundamentals will feature three free evening workshops in August: Grantwriting Basics for Artists, Budgeting 101, and Work Samples Dos and Don’ts. RSVP forms will be live this week and can be accessed here.


Pongo Teen Writing Project Development Director

Posted 2/26/19

Location: Seattle

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.


Girl Be Heard

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.


Fellowship Grant For Previously Incarcerated Artists

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.


Board Member, Artistic Noise


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.


Project Admin, Marketing, and Teaching Artist opportunities at the Mural Arts Program

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.


Volunteers Wanted: The Messages Project


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).


Highly Skilled Volunteers Wanted: Think Outside the Cell


Location: NYC

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.


Call for Volunteers: Pongo Teen Writing


Location: Seattle

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.


Volunteers and Facilitators Wanted: The Beat Within


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.


Volunteers Wanted: Internationalist Prison Books Collective

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.

2 thoughts on “Jobs and Volunteer Opportunities

  1. theprisonartscoalition

    Hi Julia, please reach out to me at We will need a signed consent form, which you can find here: Once your son has received and signed it, he can either mail it to me, or send it back to you and you can email me a scanned copy or photo of it. Then, you can email me photos of his artwork, or if he’d rather send his work directly to PAC, that’s an option too. Let’s chat more over email. Thanks so much for visiting the site. I’m sure your support means the world to your son.

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