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
Arts in criminal justice forums launching in September
14th September | online | free
Join the NCJAA for our first arts in criminal justice forum. This virtual event will bring together people involved in arts and criminal justice to look at creative activity in the context of probation. Following the unification of the Probation Service in June, the forum will explore current challenges, achievements and opportunities for arts in probation. We will be joined by a variety of speakers to discuss their work in arts in probation and community settings, and look at how provision can work best for all, whether that’s service users, artists or probation staff. The arts and criminal justice forum series is a regular online event themed around important ideas and relevant developments in criminal justice. You’ll have the chance to hear from expert speakers in both practice and policy and meet others working in the field. Find out more and register here
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Art at HMP Grendon Showcase: From Night into Day
24th August — 2nd September | Wolverhampton and online | free
This showcase presents artwork made by prison residents at HMP Grendon alongside work by University of Wolverhampton Fine Art students. Both groups undertook this project during the winter lockdown, reflecting on themes such as isolation and temporality, while receiving materials and creative resources through the post. The exhibition is also available to view online. Find out more here
Shakespeare and Community: Emerging Voices
7th September | online | free
As part of the London Shakespeare Lecture 10th Anniversary Series, join panelists from the UK and beyond to explore how Shakespeare gives a voice to untapped communities. The panel will discuss how a movement of programs designed with and for incarcerated people, people with disabilities, and those disadvantaged by socio-economic factors, explore Shakespeare through their unique lived experience. Among the speakers is Dr Rowan Mackenzie, Artistic Director of Shakespeare UnBard, who facilitates a number of theatre companies for those with experience of the criminal justice system. Find out more and register here
Leading women and women prisoners exhibition and panels
8th - 12th September | London and online | £12
The View Magazine is launching its ‘Someone’s Daughter’ campaign at Photo London with an exhibition by top photographers including Hannah Starkey, Nadav Kander, Nick Knight and Laura Pannack, revealing portraits of leading women and women prisoners/activists. Every woman is someone’s daughter and by photographing women who have been stigmatised by the law, the courts and the media in the administration of justice, their stories are portrayed through a fresh lens. The View Magazine is hosting a series of live and online panels hosted by broadcaster and journalist Bidisha, activists and former prisoners, exploring the relationship between the subject and photographer, creativity and rehabilitation, how art can change the world and whether women with lived experience can create positive change. Book your place here
Workshops for youth on music-making in immigration detention
10th - 23rd September | London | free
18–25-year-olds living in or near to London are invited to take part in a series of free workshops learning music-making skills, with a chance to access paid work placements in the music industries. Hear Me Out, a charity that creates music-making opportunities in immigration detention, is working alongside Generation Uncovered and The Crib with funding from Youth Music to offer free workshops featuring experienced artists. Participants will learn to make and record soundtracks and radio and find out more about music making in immigration detention centres. They will have the chance to have their tracks included on DIY Radio, a remote radio station sent to thousands of people currently in immigration detention, and perform at the Kickstart Job Fest at The National Youth Theatre. Find out more and sign up by 5th September here
Co-created play explores young people in ‘pipeline to prison’
16th - 17th September | Banbury | from £16
Though this be Madness, a new play from Mandala Theatre Company in association with Oxford Playhouse, unravels what is happening to young people in relation to education, exclusion, gang grooming and prison. Tachia, Cass and Mickey have ended up outside the mainstream, labelled, boxed in - can they find a way out? Co-created with young people with lived experience in partnership with Oxford University’s ‘Excluded Lives’ Research Team, the production uses dynamic physical theatre to present an exploration of what lies behind the headlines. Find out more and book here
Typical Girls: prison punk-rock
24th September – 16th October | Sheffield and online | from £15
Clean Break and Sheffield Theatres’ latest production, Typical Girls, is premiering in the Crucible Theatre. In a specialised unit inside a prison, a group of women discover the music of punk rock band The Slits and form their own group. An outlet for their frustration, they find remedy in revolution. Find out more and book your ticket here
Training: theatre-based methods for prison and community settings
29th September – 1st October | Birmingham | £350
The Other Side of the Wall is a three-day course from Geese Theatre which invites participants to explore and practise a variety of drama-based methods for use in group work. Focusing on some of the basic principles behind Geese's use of drama with people in prison and community settings, the course looks at techniques to help people in developing interpersonal skills, identifying patterns of behaviour and exploring new strategies for change. The course is limited to ten participants per course to ensure everyone has the opportunity to try the techniques they have been exploring. No previous drama or theatre experience is necessary. Find out more and book here
Training: break into community theatre
From September | Merseyside | free
Radical Makers is a year-long free part time emerging artist training course for adults aged 25+ in Merseyside. The course is designed for people interested in a career in community theatre who have been unable to access arts education or have experienced barriers to progressing in a career in the arts. It is also suitable for those who may not work in the arts but are interested in using participatory theatre in another context, such as homelessness, with people in recovery, or with survivors of abuse. The course involves a blend of in person and online learning and includes one to one mentoring and career guidance. Previous participants have gone on to form their own theatre companies, be activists in their own communities, make films, become freelance artists, and have their writing performed. Find out more and apply here
Music lessons for prisons
Musicians from prison music charity Irene Taylor Trust have put together a new DVD and handbook resource for in-cell learning. Over the course of 25 music lessons, the resources cover topics including music theory, songwriting, guitar and keyboard skills, and improvisation. Developed in collaboration with key prison partners, the lessons give learners the chance to go at their own pace. You can get in touch with Irene Taylor Trust to find out more about how to get the packs into your prison. Find out more here
Podcast: artists on art, life and criminal justice
In the Ministry of Arts podcast, conceptual artist Gary Mansfield talks to figures from the arts world about their work and their stories, lending his insights into art from his experiences of the criminal justice system. Inspired to start making art during time spent in prison, Gary struck up correspondence with prominent artists and after prison went on to build a career in art. The latest episode features a conversation with artist Jonathan Perugia about his work with prison arts charity Safe Ground looking at fatherhood, masculinity and storytelling. Previous episodes have featured Koestler Award winners and artists working in criminal justice settings, and notably an episode of Gary interviewing himself. Listen to the podcast here
New Columbia Records EP showcasing rap by ex-prisoners
A new EP from Columbia Records, Key4Life Volume One, features young rappers who have been in prison or at risk of going to prison. Part of a project from charity Key4Life, which supports young men in the criminal justice system, the EP was coordinated by Birmingham rapper Creepa, who says the project’s primary aim is “getting young people to listen to it and understand and change their minds on a street life”. The tracks have been produced by industry experts and will be released on 1st October. Read more here
Callout for artists to contribute to prison arts festival
The organisers of Talent Unlocked, an arts festival staged in UK prisons, are looking for people from all art disciplines to support their work. In December 2020, the first digitally delivered Talent Unlocked festival was launched via in-cell television with arts professionals, arts organisations, former and current residents of prisons in England, and students and staff from De Montfort University. Building on last year’s success, this year’s festival will comprise a series of arts programmes which will be aired via in-cell television system Wayout TV and will be shown across 60+ prisons, aiming to reach 41,000+ prisoners. Arts practitioners interested in contributing to the programme are invited to find out more by contacting Dr Jacqui Norton on firstname.lastname@example.org
To search for more funding opportunities, check the Clinks funding portal here (only available for Clinks members).
Take a creative break: compose your own gamelan piece using prison music charity Good Vibrations’ online gamelan playground. Visit the playground here
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