Sustaining Members

Our Sustaining Members help make the resources and services that JAC provides accessible to all who can benefit them. We are so grateful for their support. To become a member of JAC, please click here

Julie McNiel

Teaching Artist at the William James Association & CA Arts in Corrections

“Since 2014, I’ve been a teacher of visual arts at a men’s supermax prison in far Northern California. I am a contract artist and site coordinator with the WJA’s Prison Arts Project. California’s Arts in Corrections Program is a partnership between the California Department of Corrections and the California Arts Council.” Contact: jamcniel1@gmail.com

Reforming Arts 

Reforming Arts provides theatre infused liberal arts education to people who are under carceral control in Georgia. Through our education-in-prison in “women’s” facilities and reentry programs we foster the development of creative critical thinking skills, encouraging students to build livable lives. Contact: Wende Ballew, wendeballew@reformingarts.og/info@reformingarts.org

Storycatchers Theatre

Storycatchers works with youth in the juvenile justice system. We help them tell their stories through musical theatre. By moving beyond their histories, they transform their own lives, communities, and people like you who are ready to listen. Contact: Meade Palidofsky, meade@storycatcherstheatre.org

John R. Whitman, PhD

Executive Director and  Co-founder of the Museum for Black Innovation and Entrepreneurship. Contact: johnrwhitman@mac.com

Shakespeare Behind Bars

Shakespeare Behind Bars offers theatrical encounters with personal and social issues to incarcerated, post-incarcerated, and at-risk communities, allowing them to develop life skills that will ensure their successful integration into society.  Contact: Curt Tofteland, curt@shakespearebehindbars.org

Peter Merts

Peter Merts Photography. Contact: mail@petermerts.com

Jack Bowers

Senior Arts Mentor at the William James Association. Contact: jbowerspiano@aol.com

Poetic Justice Project

Poetic Justice Project advances social justice by engaging formerly incarcerated youth and adults in arts education, mentoring and the creation of original theatre examining crime, punishment and redemption. Contact: staff@poeticjusticeproject.org

Youth Arts: Unlocked

Youth Arts: Unlocked brings artists and arts workshops to justice-involved youth in Flint and Genesee County. Our goal is to introduce artistic concepts and techniques as a means of connecting, expressing, learning, and discovery. Contact: youtharts.unlocked@gmail.com

Mid-City Community Music

Mid-City Community Music (MCCM) is dedicated to changing lives through the power of art and music in San Diego’s Mid-City neighborhoods. Started in 1974 as The New Expression Folk Music Study Center by three San Diego musicians, MCCM now offers performance workshops, group and private lessons, weekly jam sessions, and free community concerts on a quarterly basis.

Group lessons, workshops, and jam sessions are provided on a low-cost, sliding-scale basis in some of San Diego’s most ethnically diverse and economically disadvantaged neighborhoods to community members who would not otherwise have the opportunity to learn to play an instrument, sing and play in a group, or perform on stage.

MCCM also trains San Diego Teaching Artists to work with students in the transitory student population of San Diego County Office of Education’s Juvenile Court and Community Schools (JCCS) to reduce the risk of criminal behavior, improve emotional well-being, and boost academic performance. Contact: info@sdcommunitymusic.org

Bechtler Museum of Modern Art

Since 2011, the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art has partnered with the Mecklenburg Co. Sheriff’s Office to provide hands-on art-making courses at Jail Central and Jail North. Working with both youth and adult residents, Bechtler-trained teaching artists and staff conduct up to 12 week-long residencies throughout the year and explore the works of several artists from the collection as well as many social and personal themes. The artwork created as part of this program is part of a rotating exhibition located in the museum’s lobby that highlights all of our community programs. Contact: Mykell Gates Jamil, mykell.gatesjamil@bechtler.org

Oakdale Community Choir

The goals of the Oakdale Community Choir are to provide choral singing experiences for men (inside singers) in the general population of the Iowa Medical and Classification Center (Oakdale Prison) who are not restricted to their units and for women and men (outside singers) in the community who have an interest in learning more about issues in the prison system locally and across the state and nation.  Together we have formed a “Community of Caring” that we look to expand in new and creative ways. We have many collaborative aspects of the program such as reflective writing exchanges (see “Newsletters” for excerpts of the writing since we began in 2009), its mutual benefit for both inside and outside singers, the partnership between the University of Iowa and IMCC, our connections with the Iowa Department of Corrections Victim Services and Restorative Justice Programs, and associations with community organizations through our concerts. Contact: Mary Cohen, mary-cohen@uiowa.edu

Leslie Bumstead

Poet, teaching artist in a Maryland prison. Contact: lbumstead@mac.com