Our Team

View our Board of Directors and Advisory Council 

Wendy Jason, Founder/Director

Wendy (she/her) is a community builder and advocate who combines her background in restorative practices, mental health, and education with her passion for the arts to foster vibrant, inclusive, and nurturing communities that model and promote social justice. She has been in close relationship and/or working in different capacities with currently and formerly incarcerated people for over 25 years. Wendy holds a BA in Sociology from Eastern Connecticut State University, studied Transformative Language Arts at Goddard College, and completed her MA in Coexistence and Conflict through Brandeis University’s Alan B. Slifka Program in Intercommunal Coexistence. Her research focused on the intersection of the arts and peacebuilding and culminated in a thesis based on a year spent facilitating creative writing and peace education groups within a county jail. Wendy has taught courses on social justice and conflict transformation in Georgetown University’s Program on Justice and Peace, researched and reported on issues related to restorative justice and the arts for Change.org, and served as the manager of the Prison Arts Coalition website for nine years. In 2019, she founded the Justice Arts Coalition (JAC). Wendy is committed to supporting both individual and social change by cultivating relationships grounded in collaboration, trust, authenticity, empathy, and integrity.

Connect with Wendy at wendy@thejusticeartscoalition.org

Erica Gaines, Operations Director 

Erica Gaines, born and raised in Charlottesville, VA, has spent her entire career working in different capacities in the nonprofit sector. Her passion for making an impact and using her voice to do so is what brought her to JAC. After receiving her Bachelors of Business Administration from Strayer University, she has taken on many challenges and evolved in her work of organizational operations. She has been a major key in the growth of nonprofits in Charlottesville. Erica learned to appreciate art as a young child and social justice is deeply rooted in all that she does. Currently Erica serves on the Board of Directors for Cultivate Charlottesville, a food justice organization in her hometown. Equity and Justice isn’t just something she talks about, it’s her way of life. Erica and her family are new to Maryland and are looking forward to making it their new home. She is excited to grow into the community and continue making an impact. When she’s not working, Erica enjoys outings with her family, hiking, wineries and game nights. 

Daniel Throop, Development & Communications Manager

The founder of the National Prison Debate League, Daniel is an experienced prison program developer, award-winning author, speaker, scholar, and change agent who seeks to advance educational and social equality.

The recipient of PEN America’s 2021 L’Engle-Rahman Mentor of the Year Award as well as Toastmasters International’s Leadership Excellence Award for project management, Daniel devotes himself to service leadership and the facilitation of human potential. He holds a B.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies from Boston University and serves as both a Co-Chair of the Career, Workforce and Employer Connections Workgroup for the New England Commission on the Future of Higher Education in Prison and as a Justice Initiatives Fellow for Ithaka S & R.

Daniel lives in Worcester, Massachusetts where he enjoys writing, fitness, community activism, and outdoor activities such as basketball, softball, hiking, and golf.

Clare Walker, Program Assistant

Clare (she/her) joined the JAC team as an intern in the fall of 2021, and is now serving as their Program Assistant. Originally from Washington DC, Clare has been passionate about affecting the carceral system since high school. She has worked for the ACLU’s National Prison Project and the Coalition for Juvenile Justice as well as volunteering for the Campaign for the Fair Sentencing of Youth. It was at Tufts University in Boston that she came to feel strongly about the intersection of creative expression and reimagining justice. In her work with JAC, Clare aims to advocate for those making art within, about, and around the US carceral system, to amplify their voices and work, and to fight for a better future.

Connect with Clare at clare@thejusticeartscoalition.org

Ava Dennis, Programs Coordinator

Ava Dennis is a graduate of American University in Washington, D.C. where she studied Art History. She is a former JAC intern who helped develop our ArtLinks program, assisted with exhibitions, and provided leadership in correspondence and art handling. Ava strives to infuse her passion for the arts in her work to advocate for those harmed by the carceral system, and is motivated by the belief that the internal freedom and visibility achieved through creation is one of the most powerful tools for wielding change. In this role, Ava will oversee and develop JAC’s programs, lead exhibition planning processes, and manage JAC’s physical collection of artwork. When she is not working, Ava is likely playing rugby, doing Crossfit, painting, or adventuring outdoors with her friends. We are overjoyed to have her back on the team!

Connect with Ava at ava@thejusticeartscoalition.org

Jayme Epstein, Volunteer Coordinator + Advisor to ArtConnects Team Interns

Jayme found JAC while looking for ways to contribute toward the transformation of the carceral system in the United States and now cherishes the opportunity to correspond with incarcerated artists and share their work with the broader public as a way to showcase their dignity, humanity and talent. Jayme practiced law for 12 years and then worked primarily for two non-profit organizations: first, as the volunteer coordinator and program director for Yachad, Inc., which recruits volunteers and builders to rehabilitate the homes of lower income Washington, D.C. residents; and second, as a language arts and social studies teacher at Academy of Hope Adult Public Charter School. Currently, she is the Volunteer Services Associate for Christ House, a medical respite facility for men experiencing homelessness in Washington, DC. When not working or volunteering with JAC, Jayme  volunteers with political campaigns and with organizations doing anti-racist education and advocacy work.  She is a member of the Tikkun Olam Commission and the Jews of Color and Allies Advisory Group of Reconstructing Judaism, and is the co-chair of the DC Leadership Council of Jews United for Justice. 

Connect with Jayme at jayme@thejusticeartscoalition.org

Robin McNulty, Advisor to Web Team Interns

Robin McNulty (she/her) is an interdisciplinary artist, educator and nonprofit administrator who has exhibited and performed throughout North America, and has taught art inside six California state prisons. She is the recipient of research grants through universities and community based organizations, and is currently a Teaching Artist with Project PAINT, a program that brings multidisciplinary art classes to people who are incarcerated at the Richard J. Donovan Correctional Facility and Centinela State Prison outside of San Diego, CA.

Robin is currently a grant writer for Family Health Centers of San Diego, an organization that provides services to uninsured, low-incomes and medically underserved persons. Previously, she was Deputy Director of Prison Arts Collective at San Diego State University, and worked in development at Second Chance, a nonprofit organization that helps justice-involved youth and adults achieve self-sufficiency. Robin is also a member of the Transformative In-Prison Workgroup (TPW), a coalition that advocates for rehabilitative in-prison programming, San Diego Reentry Roundtable, the Los Angeles Regional Reentry Partnership’s Integrated Health committee, and the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights.

She received a Master of Fine Arts from Tufts University and a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of British Columbia.

Connect with Robin at robin@thejusticeartscoalition.org

Fall 2022 Interns

Alden Eckman, Events Intern

Alden (she/her) is a M.A. candidate at Syracuse University, where she studies Italian Renaissance Art History. Raised in a system-impacted family, Alden developed a passion for social justice and art at a young age. She has worked for the Esperanza Peace and Justice Center and served as the inaugural intern for the Witte Museum’s Social Justice Collecting Initiative. Alden has been with the JAC events team since summer 2021. Through her work, she hopes to unite communities through the transformative healing power of art and justice.

Connect with Alden at alden@thejusticeartscoalition.org

Courtney Daub, Fundraising and Development Intern 

Courtney Daub (she/her) is a 2021 anthropology graduate from the University of Pennsylvania with a background in academic research and writing, journalism, and program coordination. She believes in an abolitionist future where carceral systems cease to exist and everyone has what they need to thrive without condition and is interested in how art can fuel social movements working toward this future.  

Connect with Courtney at courtney@thejusticeartscoalition.org

Isa Berliner, Web Intern

Isa (she/her) is an undergraduate at Harvard University studying Women, Gender, and Sexuality and Art, Film, and Visual Studies with a minor in Psychology. She has been working with JAC since 2020 and couldn’t be more proud to be part of this incredible team! 

Connect with Isa at isa@thejusticeartscoalition.org

Janie Ritter, Exhibitions and Events Intern

Janie (she/her) has been a part of JAC since September of 2021. She graduated from George Mason University in the Spring of 2021 with Bachelors of Arts in Clinical Psychology and Art History. Janie’s research involves studying how audiences engage with artwork, and subsequently making museum environments more accessible to audiences of all backgrounds, believing that anyone—regardless of education, experience, or expertise—can have a meaningful experience with art. In her work at JAC, Janie studies how art can act as a bridge between the inside of the carceral system and the out. A work of art functions as an object of shared experiences, and it is through integrating these concepts and potential for true viewer engagement that the free public can come together and experience a work of art, thus bearing witness to and changing the epidemic of mass incarceration. A native northern Virgin Janie enjoys seeing the changing seasons, lifting weights, and reading.

Connect with Janie at janie@thejusticeartscoalition.org

Jesse DiMeglio, Correspondence Intern

Jesse (she/her) is an undergraduate student at La Salle University studying Interpersonal Communication and Leadership and Global Understanding.  She is interested in finding connections amongst cultures and communities and believes that radical empathy is at the root of all social justice work. Through her time at JAC she has come to understand and appreciate art as a language and tool for connection, collaboration and empathy. Jesse seeks to continue working toward a greater understanding about the epidemic of mass incarceration and hopes to carry her experiences of connection into every pocket of her life and use these experiences as a tool for advocacy and abolition.

Connect with Jesse at jesse@thejusticeartscoalition.org

Liv Galbreath, Web Intern

Liv Galbreath (she/her) is taking a year off from pursuing undergraduate degrees in English, Communications, and Spanish to spend time traveling and working with JAC. In high school, she developed a passion for the arts as a means of personal healing as well as social advocacy, and believes strongly in the connection between art and social change. Through her work with JAC, she hopes to learn more about the impact of the carceral and criminal justice systems and what can be done to create more just and rehabilitating alternatives. Though relatively new to this type of work, she plans to make this the first of many efforts to become involved in this ongoing process.

Connect with Liv at liv@thejusticeartscoalition.org

Liz Fieschko, Communications Intern 

Liz Fieschko (they/she) is an empathetic creative with a deep belief in the transformative power within human connection, both internally and externally with other humans. Growing up low-income in rural Craven County in North Carolina, Liz saw the interactions between the prison system, socioeconomic status, and “tabooed” challenges like addiction. They combine their lived experiences with critical theory to their work, previously with the Georgetown Scholars Program, Office of Undergraduate Admissions at Georgetown, and the Village Well. Within their role at JAC, Liz seeks to engage with digital communities, amplify calls to action, and solidify JAC’s digital voice(s). 

Connect with Liz at liz@thejusticeartscoalition.org

Lucy McAuliffe, Web Intern

Lucy (she/her) is a senior at Georgetown University studying Culture and Politics who is very excited to join the JAC team in Fall 2022! She has a strong interest in the intersections between the arts and social transformation, as well as anti-colonial movements within institutions of education and museums. She hopes to apply her academic experiences with these topics to her work with JAC, with goals of forming community with people who are involved in movements involving prison abolition, anti-colonialism, and the freedom of artistic expression. She hopes to form lasting relationships with the folks involved with JAC and their initiatives relating to radical change.

Connect with Lucy at lucy@thejusticeartscoalition.org

Norynne Caleja, Events Intern

Norynne (any pronouns) will be joining the Events Team as a new fall 2022 intern. Born from the Philippines with a working-class background, Norynne is dedicated to civil rights work in criminal justice and grassroots community organizing for racial and socio-economic liberation in the United States and abroad. Norynne was drawn to JAC through her deep interest in the abolition movement and from her previous work at the Florida Prison Education Project, in which she held the role of Policy and Outreach intern. Outside of JAC, Norynne is a Filipino community organizer within Central Florida and works as a Criminal Defense Investigator at the Public Defender’s Office in Orlando, Florida. In August 2022, Norynne graduated from the University of Central Florida with two bachelor’s degrees in Legal Studies and Political Science.

Connect with Norynne at norynne@thejusticeartscoalition.org

Olivia Hochstadt, Curation Intern 

Olivia Hochstadt (she/her) is a people-driven creative passionate about using art to enact positive social change within the carceral system. As a new intern focused on online artist portfolios and galleries, Olivia brings her experience running a statewide prison arts program in Maine. The Maine prison arts project centers around annual traveling exhibitions of work by incarcerated artists hosted by a non-profit called the Maine Prisoner Advocacy Coalition. Based in Portland, Maine, Olivia moved to Maine to pursue a BA in Art History and Spanish at Colby College. Since graduating in 2021, Olivia became the first Colby Global Fellow, traveling to Scotland, Denmark, and Chile to study knitting and wool. As a fiber artist, Olivia teaches art history in Maine’s prisons in addition to being a freelance curator and art preparator across Maine art galleries. Fiercely dedicated to amplifying the voices of incarcerated artists, Olivia seeks to integrate Maine artists within JAC’s network and foster a growing art program in Maine. 

Connect with Olivia at olivia@thejusticeartscoalition.org

Sara Medwin, Correspondence Intern

Sara (she/her) is currently a freshman at Columbia University studying Philosophy and English. She is fascinated by the intersection between artistic creation and the individual narrative, especially as this overlap relates and reacts to various societal injustices. Having worked with JAC since the summer of 2021, Sara is excited to continue connecting with the wonderful JAC community and engaging with the artistic endeavors of the artists in its network. In her spare time, Sara can be found writing poetry, napping on lawns, or listening to 60’s soul.

Connect with Sara at sara@thejusticeartscoalition.org

Tessa Delgo, pARTner Intern 

Tessa (she/her) is an undergraduate at Duke University studying Global Cultural Studies and Documentary Studies.  She is deeply passionate about the power of art as a tool for community building and radical social change. As a new intern at JAC, she is excited to be building community with people inside and outside doing amazing work and can’t wait to learn more. 

Connect with Tessa at tessa@thejusticeartscoalition.org