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
Creative workshops and more at Clinks annual conference
Bookings are now open for Clinks’ annual conference and AGM 2021: Building a better future. This year’s event takes place online over three days and is packed full of workshops, talks and panel discussions. You’ll have the chance to hear from key policy makers and voluntary sector leaders at a wide range of workshops covering topics including restorative justice, neurodiversity, changing perceptions of women with convictions and more. At the workshop 'How to deliver creative projects online’, explore how Synergy Theatre has adapted its creative work with young people to an online delivery model, and gain new skills and ideas for adapting projects for online work. Book your place at the conference and find out how to register for the workshops here
Share your experiences in arts and criminal justice
If you’re involved in providing arts-based activities to people in the criminal justice system - whether as part of an organisation or as an individual practitioner - we want to hear your experiences. Clinks’ annual State of the sector survey is one of our most important ways to gather information about voluntary sector organisations working in the criminal justice system. We want to make sure the role of the arts is clear to decision makers - but to do that, we need up to date evidence. That's why we're asking as many of you as possible to complete this 20 minute survey by 8th November. Each response will contribute to a report exploring the experiences of people working to transform the lives of people in the criminal justice system. Take the survey here
We’re looking for the new NCJAA Chair
Applications are still open for the role of NCJAA Chair [voluntary, part-time, flexible location] – if you’re looking for a way to make an impact in arts and criminal justice, we want to hear from you. Heading up the National Criminal Justice Arts Alliance (NCJAA) advisory board, the NCJAA Chair will advocate for arts organisations working in the criminal justice system and will be passionate about the transformative power of the arts as a springboard for positive change. We’re looking for an enthusiastic and experienced leader with a track record of achieving positive change, developing strategies, and achieving effective collaboration across agencies. We are particularly interested in hearing from racially minoritised people and people with lived experience of the criminal justice system. To apply, please submit an expression of interest by 1st November here
Returning to prison-based work
In recent weeks we have been contacted by organisations facing security clearance issues when returning to prison-based work. To reassure arts practitioners and organisations, there has been no new policy or directive from Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service (HMPPS) that you need to be aware of. Problems are arising from the enforcement of an existing rule – if a practitioner has not been into the prison for 12 months, they may have to renew their security clearance even if has not officially expired. With that in mind, if you are due to return to work and are based in a prison, please remember to check your security clearance in advance to avoid access issues. Please continue to contact us at email@example.com with any new problems you face or information you have on this matter.
Want to include something in the next newsletter?
We will be sending our next newsletter on Thursday 25th November. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org with any news, research, events, opportunities or blog proposals by Tuesday 16th October.
Panel and networking: personal stories of the criminal justice system
2nd November | London | £20
Join prison music charity Liberty Choir for an evening of talks by keynote speakers who will share their experiences of the criminal justice system. The panel and discussion, hosted by former BBC Panorama reporter John Sweeney, features Chris Atkins, film-maker and author of A Bit of a Stretch: The Diaries of a Prisoner, and Deborah Moggach, author of The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, sharing her personal experiences of family incarceration. Speakers also include Marc Conway of the Prison Reform Trust and former Chief Inspector of Prisons Nicholas Hardwick. Before the panel discussion there will be an opportunity for networking and drinks. Book tickets here
Criminal justice in focus at The Reader’s Gravity Festival
5th-7th November | online | various ticket prices
A new literature and wellbeing festival from charity The Reader, Gravity Festival, includes workshops that look into criminal justice themes. The 'Reading with Care NHS Panel Discussion' will feature experts in health and criminal justice sharing examples and experiences of what reading can do, with speakers including Prof. Alison Liebling, co-author of the recent HMPPS-commissioned research report into shared reading in Psychologically Informed Planned Environments. Following the recent success of the BBC prison drama Time, another panel discussion will feature the show’s creator Jimmy McGovern alongside writer Erwin James, as they put life in prison under the spotlight. Find out more and book tickets here
My Old Man: new play from imagine if
7th November – 2nd December | various UK venues | various ticket prices
Theatre company imagine if’s latest production My Old Man follows the trials and tribulations of Michał, an old, blind, Polish soldier, in this funny and heartfelt production. A spin-off of imagine if’s 2019 production Jadek, which toured to theatres, prisons and community venues, the production explores themes of intergenerational relationships, post-traumatic stress disorder and family ties. When Michał Piwowarski’s granddaughter, Tasha, finally moves out, Michał’s whole world changes: the school dinner lady becomes his favourite person, a new neighbour moves onto the street and he has to face his biggest battle yet. Book tickets here
Training: Orientating the arts educator within painful histories
3rd November | online | from £15
This session from Engage, the support network for gallery education, considers the role of arts educators within potentially painful histories. Artwork is designed to elicit emotion, and often takes us into challenging narratives. Arts educators can be central to this conversation, and in turn occupy a complex space professionally. This session will explore a series of art narratives that speak about marginalisation, discrimination, erasure and pain. Drawing from practical experience, this is a space to ethically consider arts engagement, and reflect on recent social challenges. Half the session will be the practical application of arts engagement, while the second half will feature break out rooms where groups can discuss experiences and share best practice. Book tickets here
Live music from Changing Tunes
13th November | Bristol | free
Changing Tunes presents an evening of live music and stories performed by ex-prison residents alongside Changing Tunes’ Musicians-in-Residence. This annual concert brings the charity's work in prisons to life and this year will take place in person, as well as being streamed on YouTube. Albums will be available to purchase at the concert along with art work from Prodigal Arts. Book tickets here
Training: Working creatively with women in the criminal justice system
15th November – 1st December | online | £240, bursaries available
This online course provides an insight into theatre company Clean Break's work for theatre artists, group work practitioners and applied theatre students who are passionate about women’s experiences and interested in theatre practice in prisons, criminal justice, and community settings. Taking place over six three-hour sessions, the course will be led by Clean Break facilitators and artists; Clean Break Members (women with lived experience of the criminal justice system or risk of entering it) will also join and contribute their reflections. Through interactive exercises, group work and discussion, participants will consider best practice when working in women-only settings; learn ideas for facilitating workshops in criminal justice settings; and explore next steps in pursuing this field as a career. Book tickets here
We Bear: folk-inspired artwork from US and UK prisons
8th October – 6th February | Coventry | free, book in advance
A new exhibition commissioned by Coventry Biennial showcases work by prisoners responding to folk art paintings of the Warwickshire emblem of the chained bear. We Bear features work from 31 people in 25 prisons in the US and UK created throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, communicating a range of experiences of being in prison. You can hear more about the project from exhibition creator Faye Claridge and researcher Dr Anastasia Chamberlen at a talk on 3rd November, where they will discuss the motif of the chained bear in the context of the project, and explore how being a woman changes prison experiences and expressions. Book tickets for the talk here
New play tells stories of prisoners’ families
20th November | Brighton | £10
What happens when someone you love serves a prison sentence? Invisible Sentences is a new play based on real stories from women with loved ones in prison. The production is a project of Uninterrupted Theatre, a theatre collective formed during lockdown in 2020 that aims to create live theatre in response to current themes. Developed in partnership with women who have a family member serving a prison sentence, the play is based on verbatim accounts and is presented in partnership with Sussex Prisoners’ Families. The performance will be followed by a panel discussion with Q&A around the themes of the play. Book tickets here
Unchained Nights: poetry and music
18th November | London | from £5
Poet Lady Unchained returns to host Unchained Nights in partnership with ArtsAdmin, featuring storytelling through music and poetry by artists with lived experience of the criminal justice system. The evening also sees the premiere of Lady Unchained’s upcoming film, and a preview of her spoken word project alongside Theatre31 with young people at HMP Cookham Wood. The event will be BSL interpreted. Book tickets here
2021 Koestler Awards: winners announced
The winners of the 2021 Koestler Awards, which celebrate arts, music and writing from criminal justice settings, were announced on 25th October. Of the almost 6500 entries to the competition, 200 artworks will be on show at Koestler’s 2021 UK-wide exhibition from 29th October. This year’s themed category, titled ‘Together’, is explored further in a new five-part video series, #TwoTogether. Each episode brings together a pair of Koestler Arts Mentees to reflect on their creative journey, engage with pieces of each other’s work, and discuss their plans for the future. Watch the video series here and read more about the 2021 awards here
New film: life after punishment
The University of Plymouth has produced a film, "Finishing Time and Moving On: Life After Punishment", which documents research undertaken at LandWorks over the last seven years, including interviews with over 120 people about their experience of the criminal justice system. The research includes the PeN (Photographic electronic Narrative) project that involves beneficiaries co-creating reflective blog posts that chart their time at LandWorks and ‘life after punishment’. The film includes powerful interviews with three of LandWorks' former trainees. Read more on the research here. Watch the film here
Young adults on probation create mural for new project
Arts organisation It’s Not Your Birthday But has worked with young adults on probation in Newham to create a mural for a flagship hub. The hub will provide a range of services to young adults on probation under one roof. After connecting with a young artist in HMPYOI Feltham, the organisation stayed in touch after his release and employed him to lead on a mural project for the Mayor of London in Newham. The team then worked with a group of young adults to understand the type of art they wanted to see and install the designs at the new space. View the finished murals here
Call for artwork on restorative justice
Apply by 12th November
The US National Center for Restorative Justice is inviting international submissions to ‘Reimagining Justice’, a virtual gallery to be launched for International Restorative Justice Week (22nd-28th November). Submissions may be in any art form and should creatively represent a restorative approach to justice-making or advance public understanding and implementation of restorative justice through creativity. Those hoping to submit an entry are invited to join a free two-session online workshop [3rd and 10th November, online, free] with the Center for Artistic Activism, which will focus specifically on how to advance restorative justice through artistic means. In between the two sessions, artists will have time to develop their ideas and get feedback from the workshop facilitators. Find out more and apply here
Projects and Progression Coordinator, Irene Taylor Trust
Creative Communications Officer, Inspire North
Admin and Support Worker (female), Clean Break
Workplace Development Programme Writers and Facilitators, Open Clasp
Take a creative break: create your own operatic masterpiece with Google’s Blob Opera – no musical knowledge required. Have a go here
Want to include your organisation’s opportunity in the next newsletter?
If you’d like us to feature your job or volunteer post in our newsletter, please get in touch with us on email@example.com and post your vacancy to the Clinks jobs board here. We are only able to share vacancies posted to the Clinks jobs board.
This newsletter is written monthly. Email firstname.lastname@example.org if you wish to submit any news.
The National Criminal Justice Arts Alliance is embedded in Clinks.
© Clinks, 2021
Registered office: Block C, 5th Floor, Tavistock House, Tavistock Square, London WC1H 9JJ
Registered charity: 1074546 | Company limited by guarantee in England & Wales: 356217