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Arts Alliance News | April 2013

The newsletter for arts organisations working in criminal justice | April 2013

In this month’s issue…
Write to be Heard – NEW Arts Alliance project update
We are delighted to announce that Patrice Lawrence has been appointed as the new Project Coordinator at Clinks to deliver Write to be Heard. Patrice is writer who has previously worked in the heritage and equality sector. Write to be Heard will be a series of writing workshops, master-classes and an award scheme based in prisons and will be delivered in partnership with the Prison Radio Association. The workshop delivery grant is now closed to applications and the results of the grant will be announced in early May.
New ways to network with artists
The Arts Alliance website now enables members to network and collaborate with one another easily, please check out the new membership list and the new search function. If you are a member, remember you can login and use our forum to post topics and talk to one another. Please get in touch with any suggestions about these new features and any ideas for improving the website by contacting Jessica Plant.
Arts Alliance research project 
Northumbria University and Bath Spa University are currently carrying out a research project for the Arts Alliance, exploring arts and the process of desistance in the Criminal Justice System. Thank you to everyone who applied to be part of the research, field work will commence in May with: HMP Hewell (Geese Theatre), Birmingham Youth Offending Service (music project), HMP Frankland (visual arts) and HMP Low Newton, creative writing (Writing in Prison Foundation & Padbooks).
Steering Group 2013/14; looking for a service user representative 
We are delighted to announce that Toby Lowe from Helix Arts and Kirsty Wright from HMP Highpoint have been elected onto the Arts Alliance 2013/14 Steering Group. Dr Lorraine Gamman from the Design Against Crime Unit at Central St Martins (CSM) has also been co-opted onto the Steering Group. We are also looking for an additional service user representative to join the Steering Group discussions. Therefore if you have a history within the Criminal Justice System and feel the arts have supported you in some way towards rehabilitation we would like to hear from you. Please send Jessica Plant a 200 word statement outlining why you would like to join the Arts Alliance Steering Group and what experience and skills you would bring to the role by 10th May at 5pm. A suitable candidate will then be voted on by the Steering Group. 
Arts Alliance annual review
To find out about the Arts Alliance activities and impact over 2012/13, you can now download the Arts Alliance annual review available online.
Arts in Cardiff
On the 14th March 2013 over 100 delegates attended the Arts Alliance annual meeting and conference at the Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff. This was hosted alongside the Koestler exhibition, Secure, curated by young people from HMP YOI Parc, which can be viewed up until 26th May. If you missed the conference you can find a summary of the event, slides from the presentations and workshops, along with photographs from the day on the Arts Alliance website
Clean Break: women and theatre in the Criminal Justice System
1st May 2013 | London, 11 -1pm| free to members
The Arts Alliance runs peer-learning events aimed at encouraging Arts Alliance members to learn from one another about their practice. Led by award winning theatre company Clean Break, this event focuses on theatre’s unique capacity to explore the journeys of women in the Criminal Justice System. The session will consist of a performance of Clean Break’s short play Hours til Midnight, followed by a post-show workshop and facilitated discussion, which will further explore the themes raised in the play. For more information or to book a place contact Robert Price or visit the Arts Alliance website.
The Argument Room is back – what is so radical about impro?
25th April 2013, 7pm | online
The Argument Room is back with its monthly interactive debating forum streamed live online. Its primary concerns are the arts and social justice. The next debate is TONIGHT at 7pm and asks the question; what is so radical about impro? Guests include Phelim McDermott (Improbable), Katy Schutte (The Maydays) and David Shore (Monkey Toast). The debate is accessible via the Argument Room
Writing Freedom
25th April 2013, 7pm | Richmix, London
English PEN presents a night of stories, stand-up and song from artists who know the revolutionary power of the book first hand from their work with inmates in prisons. For more details visit the Richmix.
Clean Break's festival summer
This summer, Arts Alliance Steering Group member Clean Break returns to Latitude with 'Hours til Midnight' by Sonya Hale, the first Clean Break graduate to be commissioned by the company, alongside a new play by Alice Birch. Alice’s play will then be performed with Rebecca Prichard’s acclaimed play 'Dream Pill' as part of the Almeida Festival 2013.
Arts Award training 
If you work with young people and want to support their creative development then sign up to the Arts Award training programme. Arts Award is for all young people and can work through any arts, cultural or media activity. For more details, please visit the Arts Alliance website.
NEW Funding Rules and Guidance for the Offenders' Learning and Skills Service
You can now download version 2 of the 'Funding Rules and Guidance for the Offenders' Learning and Skills Service, phase 4 (OLASS 4)'. The document sets out the way the OLASS 4 funding system will work in the funding year 2012/13, from 1 August 2012 to 31 July 2013. Download the guidance
Transforming youth custody - consultation paper open until 30th April
The Ministry of Justice and the Department of Education have put out a consultation document in relation to their plans to develop secure colleges for young people in custody; 'Transforming Youth Custody: Putting education at the heart of detention'. Clinks and the Arts Alliance are preparing a response. To find out more about the consultation, visit the Ministry of Justice website.
The UK’s first national competition for marginalised and disabled writers is launched
Brighton-based charity Creative Futures has launched a national competition to discover the best writers from disadvantaged groups who find it hard to get their work recognised. Best-selling poet, playwright and broadcaster Lemn Sissay will lead the judging panel. Lemn spent his childhood in care and will present the prizes at an award ceremony at Charleston House, East Sussex, in September during the Small Wonder literary festival. To find out more visit Creative Futures
Call out for Inside Out: Art by ex-offenders 
Inside Out is an art exhibition that will showcase the work of ex-offenders in London and the rehabilitative effect that engagement in the arts can have on people. The submission deadline is the 17th May 2013. If you would like to submit work and know more about the exhibition, please email Crisis
Call out for submissions to the Impact Art Fair
The second Impact Art Fair will take place at Block 336 in Brixton, London from the 26th-28th July with a private view on the 25th July. Organised by Creative Futures, the Impact Art Fair showcases work by highly talented artists whose access to the mainstream is limited by mental health issues, disability, chronic ill health or social circumstance. If you would like to submit work or find out more visit Impact Arts Fair
Sad news from Northern Ireland
The Arts Alliance has learned with great sadness that Mike Moloney, Director of the Prison Arts Foundation, has died aged 59 following an accident on Saturday 20th April 2013. Tim Robertson, Chair of Arts Alliance, stated: “All of us who knew Mike can pay testament to what an exceptionally energetic, generous and good-humoured person he was.  Mike was the inspirational driving force behind prison arts in Northern Ireland”. You can read his Obituary here
Other news from the world of arts and criminal justice...
  • Fifty shades of learning – read Nina Champion’s (Head of Policy at Prisoners Education Trust) blog about why learning for prisoners needs to go beyond employability
  • Advice from experts on how to push the boundaries within musical education from the Guardian culture professional network 
  • Find out how to participate in Voluntary Arts Week – 11th-19th May
  • PrisonerActionNet is the online forum for practitioners working with offenders focuses on theatre in prisons - join the conversation.
  • Intermix - Check out Odd Theatre’s new interactive website project, which showcases art and media work in local communities
Justice Data Lab launched
A new service giving charities and voluntary organisations more information about What Works in relation to reducing reoffending has been launched by the Ministry of Justice. The Justice Data Lab has been developed with support from New Philanthropy Capital (NPC) and aims to give Voluntary and Community Sector (VCS) agencies access to high-quality reoffending data tailored to their needs. The aim is to enable the VCS to better understand the impact of their work and design more effective interventions to stop people returning to a life of crime. To find out more about how you can use the Justice Data Lab visit the Ministry of Justice website.
Developing a criminal justice network
'Developing a criminal justice network' is a new Clinks guide for VCS organisations working in the Criminal Justice System, and those who support them. It gives advice on how to set up a network of VCS organisations to help organisations collaborate, learn from one another, and develop a strategic voice to influence commissioners and other decision making bodies including Police and Crime Commissioners. It includes case studies of networks in the South West and Wales. This resource is part of a series called Do it Justice, aimed at providing information and advice to the VCS on a range of issues in the Criminal Justice System. Download it at: Clinks guides and resources


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