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Prison Arts Collective expands access to the transformative power of the arts by providing programming in prisons and for communities impacted by incarceration.



We envision a collaborative and inclusive society where everyone has access to the arts to promote wellbeing and empowerment.


  • We believe in art as a human right.

  • We believe in the capacity of art to change lives for the better and to make a difference in how we understand ourselves and the world around us.

  • We believe that every individual is vital and every voice matters.

  • We value the knowledge, talents, and experience of our participants.

  • We value collaboration and seek input from all partners and participants for our program planning and design.

  • We want to bridge societal gaps in understanding others, through art.

  • We value a model that includes three elements: art history/culture, reflection, and creative practice.

  • We believe in providing opportunities for training, mentorship, and leadership  to all participants and team members. (This includes incarcerated and formerly incarcerated individuals.)

  • We believe in the power and expertise of our diverse team of teaching artists including first-generation college students, system impacted individuals, and other members of marginalized communities.

  • We support successful collaborations between public entities, with an emphasis on partnerships with the state university system and state corrections agencies.


PAC breaks down elitist notions of who can study or make art and make it equal for everyone. The fact that I can make art accessible and relatable to everyone regardless of who they are makes teaching feel like an activist effort.
—Jessica Agustin, CSUSB, 2017, Teaching Artist


Photos by Peter Merts
Bottom right, Light in the Dark, 2017, by J.C. Tercero
Painting is included in the PAC exhibition, "Beyond the Blue"


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