I was absolutely blown away by the student inmates; They had the courage to see themselves in an honest manner as well as, the will and capacity to do the work necessary to obtain a college education (in an environment most would consider soul-destroying). I was shocked to learn that the Cal State LA program is currently the only program offering BA degrees to inmates in the state of California. I walked away from this experience with a hunger to learn more about prison rehabilitation programs and educate myself on what's being done locally for prison reform. I have met so many exceptional people and programs in just this year alone, so heartened and hopeful to learn about this growing community of educators and advocates that are looking to make a difference. My own journey of using art to work through grief and pain has allowed me to see the transformative power of expression and the need to empower others . As a result, we are actively engaged in developing programming at our new studio space so we can further engage and support this community of organizers in meaningful ways; stay tuned.
In the meantime, if you are interested in learning more, please check out the organizations we are supporting and working with behind the scenes:
Cal State LA:
Prison Arts Collective:
From the Inside Out:
California Arts in Corrections:
Reform LA Jails: