Justice Arts Coalition
Silver Spring, Maryland, USA
MissionThe Justice Arts Coalition (JAC) unites teaching artists, arts advocates, currently and formerly incarcerated artists, and allies, harnessing the transformative power of the arts to reimagine justice.
What We DoThrough the sharing of stories and resources, and by using the arts as a bridge between people inside and outside of prison, the Justice Arts Coalition (JAC) unites teaching artists, arts advocates, and currently and formerly incarcerated artists and allies, harnessing the transformative power of the arts to reimagine justice. This work stems from the premise that art can serve as connective tissue, weaving its way back and forth through prison walls to foster and strengthen relationships between people inside and out. Art can remind us of our shared humanity, of our common struggles and sacrifices, and that every one of us has unique gifts and a unique story to share. To create a work of art, a song, a dance, or a poem within the barren confines of prison is truly a courageous and liberatory act--a reclaiming of identity, of possibility, of worth; a demand to be visible. JAC affirms and uplifts those who venture onto this path towards internal freedom, while amplifying their voices so that more and more people outside will feel compelled to fight for their physical freedom.
We provide numerous opportunities for the over 350 incarcerated artists in our growing network to share their work both through our own platforms and by facilitating connections to opportunities offered by partner organizations.
JAC hosts exhibitions, online galleries, and ArtLinks events in which community members view new works by incarcerated artists and write letters to the artists sharing their reflections and feedback on the work. JAC also hosts an arts-focused correspondence program, the pARTner Project, through which incarcerated artists are paired with artists on the outside to exchange letters, creative works, sources of inspiration, and words of support and encouragement. JAC supports teaching artists and arts organizations that provide programs in prison by serving as a hub for resources, community building, and collective problem solving.