The Prison Arts Coalition

Creating art, in whatever medium, can be a tremendous healing process for inmates incarcerated in prison. Art can help people express themselves – express their anger, hurt, fear and hope. 

In 2008, The Prison Arts Coalition was created to form a network of people who are creating art in and around the American prison system. The coalition represents a consortium of artists and arts organizations who are active and working in the field of art and prison. 


Information and resources for those creating art in and around the U.S. prison system

The goal of The Prison Arts Coalition is to be a resource and information network for artists in prison, outside of prison and for those who are actively involved in prison arts programs:

  • Promote arts in prison
  • Improve communication across the sector
  • Share resources and news
  • Build partnerships to enable greater collaboration

Various types of art can be included in any prison arts program and usually refers to art-based workshops, projects and courses that are offered in prisons. Creative writing, painting, poetry, visual art, dance, drama and music are the most common types of art programs featured in prison arts programs. 

People that are involved in prison arts programs are often professional artists themselves along with professors, volunteers and sometimes even prison staff. These various programs are offered in prisons all across the United States and include low security to high-security facilities. 

Events around the United States are held that showcase collective works from prisoners, including painting displayed at galleries, visual/performing arts for the community, music and poetry readings, as well as film. 

The network and resources section of The Prison Arts Coalition shares links of various organizations about prison arts programs. 

The Prison Arts Coalition is a very valuable collection of resources for anyone interested in connecting people in prison with art programs. 

Creating art for prisoners can help them on the road to healing and transformation and ultimately helping reduce recidivsm rates within the prison systems. 

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