NASAA Notes: May 2018

May 2, 2018

California: Reentry through the Arts

Participant artwork from the AjA Project’s Reentry through the Arts grant program, bridging technical and soft skills with the art of participatory photography. Photo by AjA Project, courtesy California Arts Council

Reentry through the Arts is a two-year pilot program the California Arts Council (CAC) developed to foster transformative arts experiences that facilitate restorative justice and community building. The pilot—which is underwritten by a legislative line item—reflects CAC’s belief that arts participation can be an effective vehicle for rehabilitation, healing and skill building. It awards nonmatching grants of up to $50,000 to arts based projects that holistically help incarcerated adults transition back into society as well as prevent those on probation, parole or postrelease community supervision from being incarcerated. Drawing on tenets of restorative justice, the program uses the arts not only to encourage creative engagement between formerly incarcerated adults and their neighbors—thereby bridging the community-prison divide—but also to make connections to social support services such as mental health counseling, drug treatment and job training to bolster community reintegration. CAC encourages applications from partnerships that include artists, nonprofit arts organizations, local government agencies, education groups and/or social service organizations. To learn more, contact CAC Programs Officer Shelly Gilbride, Ph.D.

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