Prison Arts Collective Visits the Wende Mu-seum
Kids Scoop Media
June 15, 2017
The Culver City based Wende Museum recently hosted the Prison Arts Collective for an evening of art and conversation byan incredible group of people. Annie Buckley: artist, teacher, and writer is the genius behind the Prison Arts Collective, a pro-gram of Community-based Art (CBA) specializing in giving prisons a variety of art programs and qualified teachers to help guide their work. Annie and her team dedicate their work to enhancing art programs in prisons around Los Ange-les. Here they teach all types of arts from music to painting and are hoping to expand their courses to more ranges of art. Community-based Art (CBA) is project of California State Univer-sity San Bernardino's Office of Sponsored Programs and Research. Itis supported by Arts-in-Corrections, an initiative of the California Arts Council and the Califor-nia Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. At the event I attended located at The Wende Museum in Culver City the Community-based Art team described personal experiences and the individual growth they have gained from working at these numerous prisons. Christina Quevedo, a CBA member who has been working with Annie to develop the Prison Arts Collective since it first began, discussed her transition from being a student of Annie's at Cali-fornia State San Bernardino to now teaching classes of about one hundred male inmates at the California Institution for Men. She and Jessica Agustin, another CBA member and current CSUSB student, described their ini-tial fears and doubts about working in the prisons; however, this was all set aside when they were welcomed by these incarcerated people, who looked upto them as mentors and teachers. While showing some of the amazing artwork produced by the inmates, all three speakers ex-pressed pride in their students. They also noted that most of these individuals used these art classes as a rehabilitative outlet and a place to forget about being incarcerated for a short time, which is why itis such a great tool to have in all prisons. The Prison Arts Collective's main goals are to teach these men and women art in a safe envi-ronment where everyone is able to freely share their thoughts and opinions without judgment. Annie and her team member's communicate with their students and work with them to mold each program of classes to what they want.
Being in a prison there are many rules and regulations but Annie has made these art classes in-to a place of freedom of expression inan organized and inclusive way. For example, Jessica Agustin recently began teaching classes in Spanish in order for the Spanish speaking population tobe a part of these classes. The Prison Arts Collective holds many art shows, where piecesof work created by the inmates can be purchased and all of the proceeds goto purchasing supplies and materials for the pris-oners. PAC also recently created a book, Through the Wall, where they present their mission and incorporated many pieces of artwork from the students.PAC is doing an incredible job in providing local prisons with great resources to help enhance the talents and rehabilitative experiences of each incarcerated individual. I have been lucky tobe a part of this organization for five months now as a volunteer graphic designer for advertis-ing. Annie is a wonderful and dedicated leader of this organization and with more support and awareness all prisons will be able to have the amazing facilities and teachers that Annie and her team have been able to provide so many prisons in the area.