Prison Arts Collective

people gathered at table discussing art
Art students and their instructors discuss a classical painting, in the art studio at California State Prison–Los Angeles County. Photo – Peter Merts

Logo with letters in different colorsThe Prison Arts Collective (PAC) is a statewide Arts in Corrections program based in the School of Art + Design at SDSU. PAC is dedicated to expanding access to the transformative power of the arts to those that are currently experiencing incarceration. PAC was founded by Professor Annie Buckley, the Director of the School of Art + Design, in 2013 to foster and support collaborations between the state university and prison systems. In addition to the SDSU headquarters, PAC has chapters at CSU San Bernardino, CSU Fresno, and CSU Fullerton. PAC is a project of the SDSU Research Foundation and is supported by the California Arts Council and California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation and has received funding from the National Endowment for the Arts as well as individual donors and local university grants.

Women seated on floor around mandala
Art students consider their collaborative mandala, created with mostly organic materials. At California Institution for Women. Photo – Peter Merts
Men in chairs having art discussion
A breakout session during a facilitator training, at Calipatria State Prison. Photo – Peter Merts, courtesy of the California Arts Council