The pARTner project provides artists on the outside ages 18 and over with an opportunity to foster connection with artists in prison through letter correspondence and the exchange of creative works. Unlike typical penpal programs, the pARTner project’s focus on the arts provides an immediate point of connection — a common ground shared by all who have felt the power of creative expression in shaping who we are, how we see the world around us, and how we see ourselves. For those participating in the pARTner project, art and creativity become the catalyst for mutual support, encouragement, and inspiration. The pARTner project invites artists and individuals with a working interest in/passion for the arts who are interested in being paired with an artist in prison to use the embedded form below to register. Once registered, you will be contacted by a pARTner project administrator who can respond to any questions you might have and provide you with information about your pARTner, along with their mailing address.
Please note: JAC does not screen our inside pARTners prior to including them in the program and pairing them with outside pARTners. We have chosen not to do this for a number of reasons. People serving time have next to no control over how they are represented as individuals. We consider it central to the intention of the project that our inside members have autonomy over how they are represented, and what people on the outside know about them. This is in part motivated by acknowledging the extent of surveillance that incarcerated people are subjected to, and the lack of privacy afforded to them. Running background checks and online searches on inside pARTners contributes to the system of punitive surveillance that we want to resist. Further, we believe that the charges that lead to incarceration can never tell a full story, or fully explain the complexities of any case or the systemic forces that land people in prison. Our goal is to provide a connection to the outside for artists in prison, and this is not contingent on the reason they’re incarcerated.
Please read through our FAQ/Participant Guide before signing up.
Register below, or if you know someone in prison who might like to participate, please mail them this registration form.
An orientation is also REQUIRED for all pARTners before beginning correspondence. A JAC team member will be in touch with you shortly to orient you on the pARTner project, provide details, and answer any questions you might have.
Please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions!
We need your support so that we can continue to build a bridge between artists inside and out.