The newsletter for arts organisations working in criminal justice.
In this month's issue...
- National Criminal Justice Arts Alliance news
- Events and training
- Arts and criminal justice news and publications
- Resources and opportunities
Creativity in a restricted regime: a guide for prison staff
Our new guide for prison staff, Creativity in a restricted regime, is now available to read and download. Produced by the National Criminal Justice Arts Alliance (NCJAA) on behalf of the Arts Forum, which aims to strengthen partnership working in the government around arts in criminal justice, the guide includes tips around how creativity can be adapted to different stages of restrictions, examples of arts activities taking place during the pandemic, and suggested approaches prison staff might take to enabling arts activity in prisons. The distribution of the guide is supported by the Rothschild Foundation, and will be celebrated at a launch event in June - more details to follow. Read the guide here
Want to include something in the next newsletter?
We will be sending our next newsletter on Thursday 27th May. Please email email@example.com with any news, research, events, opportunities or blog proposals by Wednesday 18th May.
Arts in criminal justice training from imagine if
29th April – 24th June | online | £20 per session, bursaries available
Join theatre organisation imagine if for a series of five training sessions focusing on a different aspect of bringing creativity into criminal justice settings. Topics covered include designing art projects in prisons; taking professional theatre into prison settings; working in community contexts; and measuring impact. Each session can be booked separately or as a complete course, and will lead up to a full day ‘practice jam’ in September bringing together artists and criminal justice practitioners. The training will be delivered by imagine if theatre’s Community Director Tamsin Cook, who will be joined by a graduate of imagine if’s projects to give a participant perspective on each topic. Find out more and sign up here
Q&A with Clean Break’s Artistic Directors
30th April | online | free
Find out more about theatre company Clean Break at an informal Q&A with directors Anna Herrmann and Roisín McBrinn. Anna and Roisín will discuss the company’s approach to making theatre with women with experience of the criminal justice system in prisons, the community and on stages of leading UK theatres. Sign up here
New exhibitions for May from Koestler Arts
from 17th May | online | free
As museums and galleries begin to reopen next month, Koestler Arts will present three new exhibitions of artwork by people in the criminal justice system. The exhibitions will showcase drawings, paintings, sculpture, writing and music from around the country, chosen from over 6,500 artworks entered into the 2020 Koestler Awards. Soul Journey to Truth, curated by performance artist and poet Lady Unchained, will open at Manchester’s HOME on 17th May as part of the Ripples of Hope Festival. My Path, the first-ever Koestler Arts exhibition in Yorkshire, has been curated by a group of young people in partnership with Sheffield Youth Justice Service and will open at Sheffield’s Millennium Gallery on 20th May. Find out more here
Women's homelessness: the issues, the solutions and the art
19th May | online | free
Join theatre company Clean Break for a panel discussion on women’s experiences of homelessness. In 2020 six out of ten women leaving prison had nowhere safe to go; the panel asks what options women have when they leave prison, and what is being done nationally to find solutions. The event is inspired by Clean Break’s audio drama Blis-ta, which will be available to stream from 18th May. Find out more and sign up here
‘Power: Freedom to Create’ at the National Justice Museum
21st May – 31st October | online | free
A new exhibition from Koestler Arts and the National Justice Museum will showcase contemporary and historic artwork made in criminal justice settings alongside newly commissioned work by six artists and writers. The exhibition’s theme of power and creativity was inspired by a soap sculpture from the museum’s collection, created by someone in prison, whose power to connect with viewers sparked the idea for the project. Find out more here
Free fellowship to develop your creative community project
July – December | initially online | free
UK Creative Community Fellows is an online and in-person learning experience that brings together UK artists, community organisers, administrators and entrepreneurs to explore new tools and frameworks for driving transformation through arts and culture. Aimed at anyone working to make their community healthier through creativity, the course covers design thinking, partnership building, leadership skills and more and culminates in a five-day residential at an incubator-like environment in Yorkshire. The fellowship is a partnership between Derby Museums, US organisation NAS and the University of Pennsylvania. You can learn more about the programme and application process at a webinar on 12th May. Applications close on 16th May. Find out more and apply here
Toolkit for building relevant and inclusive projects
Arts Council England (ACE) and international voluntary sector organisation OF/BY/FOR ALL have published a toolkit to help arts organisations build more inclusive and relevant projects and structures that provide real value to the communities they serve. The toolkit gives a range of exercises to support organisations to create spaces for the communities they serve to be heard and to inform the work they do, regardless of budget or context. The step-by-step resources can be used by trustees and staff to identify communities of interest, create a vision for an inclusive future for your organisation, and assess your starting point on the path to change. The tools have been field-tested by cultural organisations in the OF/BY/FOR ALL Change Network from around the globe. Get the toolkit here
Creative justice guest blogs from Good Vibrations
How can people be better supported before, during and after their contact with the criminal justice system? Prison music charity Good Vibrations responds to this question with an ongoing guest blog series by a range of experts, including those with lived experience and their families, discussing their experiences and reflections. Among the blogs already published are contributions by a film-maker, a prison occupational therapist, a prison chaplain and more. The blog series will be followed by a report drawing together key themes and recommendation. Read the blogs here
Juvenile Justice Without Borders International Award recognises Monument Trust
The Monument Trust has been awarded a Juvenile Justice Without Borders International Award for its extensive philanthropic work from 1965 to 2018. The International Juvenile Justice Observatory commended the Monument Trust for contributing to the strengthening of crime prevention and the enhancement and promotion of diversion, restorative justice, innovative approaches for care, education and training during custody, and strategies for supporting social reintegration, among other aspects of juvenile justice. The Monument Trust is now closed and The Monument Fellowship, managed by the Woolbeding Charity and consisting of Restorative Solutions CIC, Centre for Justice Innovation, Lemos and Crane: The Good Prison, Khulisa, Diagrama Foundation UK, Clinks, Koestler Arts and the NCJAA, works to take forward the Trust’s legacy. Read more here
Share your experiences of housing instability, inequality, and creativity
Media organisation Vice and homelessness charity Shelter are looking to hear from people’s lived experiences to inform an upcoming documentary exploring inequality and the housing crisis. The documentary aims to celebrate people living and creating despite housing instability, particularly at the intersection between race and class, and is directed by someone with lived experience of homelessness. If you are between 16-30, use creativity as a form of expression, and are experiencing housing instability related to the intersection of race and class, you can get involved by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org with your name, age, contact details, and a short paragraph about yourself and your experiences.
Report: creativity and culture supporting people in institutions during Covid-19
A new report led by the Culture, Health & Wellbeing Alliance in partnership with organisations including the National Criminal Justice Arts Alliance looks at how creativity is supporting people in institutions during Covid-19. Drawing on case studies of work taking place in hospitals, care homes, hospices, prisons and other institutions during the pandemic, the report gives recommendations for funders, commissioners and policymakers on how they can best learn from this work. Among the case studies featured are projects from organisations working in criminal justice settings including remote songwriting projects, exhibitions, photography workshops, outdoor theatre sessions and more. Read the report here
Fair justice for young people – share your thoughts
Diagrama UK is inviting contributions to the fifth and final book in the Monument Trust series that poses key questions about best practice in the criminal justice system. The book will reflect on the question “What could fair justice mean for children and young people?”. Diagrama want to hear from professionals, volunteers and families working to support children and young people; researchers and academics; policy makers and influencers; and young people with lived experience about what fair justice means to them. To find out more or register your interest please contact email@example.com.
NESTA Cultural Impact Development Fund
NESTA is offering both loan and grant finance packages of up to £150,000 for arts and culture organisations in England working with people and communities in need. The fund aims to enable ambitious organisations in the arts and cultural sector to take on small-scale repayable finance to achieve social outcomes and financial resilience, and to increase the capability of arts and cultural organisations to achieve, monitor, evaluate, and articulate their intended social impact. To be eligible, applicants must work with people and communities in contact with the criminal justice system, people with long-term health conditions, people with mental health needs, and people with learning disabilities, amongst other things. Find out more and apply here
Creative writing mentor - role for ex-prisoners, Arkbound Foundation
Creative support worker, Odd Arts
Musician in residence at HMP Hewell, Changing Tunes
Musician in residence at HMP Drake Hall, Changing Tunes
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