Prison Arts Collective’s mission is to encourage communication, empathy, self-expression, and reflection through the arts. Their approach has helped hundreds of currently and formerly incarcerated individuals heal and transform their lives for the better.
“We want to help support them to see themselves as artists, writers, colleagues, friends, peers, students, teachers and mentors. It offers them an opportunity to reconnect or to even connect for the first time to more positive aspects of themselves that can help them grow as humans and then grow in community.” - Annie Buckley, Founder of PAC.
PAC just held their spring 2022 panel and exhibition at Santa Monica College’s Barrett Art Gallery. It included formerly incarcerated artists and teachers who completed PAC training courses on facilitating the workshops while their peers were in prison. They talked about the great impact PAC had on their lives, and how art was able to bring reconciliation, healing, and the drive to give back.
Because of the great results, PAC is currently expanding and offering art courses led inside the prisons by CSU faculty, students, volunteers, and peer facilitators. The pandemic did not discourage the organizers from continuing their mission - they created online lessons, including instructional videos and a podcast to keep providing access to their programming.
Learn more about Prison Arts Collective here: https://www.prisonartscollective.com/