New Suns – Documentary Screening
Constellation; 3111 N Western Ave, Chicago, IL, 60618
July 14, 2023
7:30 PM – 9:30 PM CDT

Join us for the debut of New Suns, a documentary about the graduation of the second University Without Walls (UWW) Stateville cohort. The UWW program inside Stateville is a collaboration between the Prison + Neighborhood Arts/Education Project and Northeastern Illinois University.

The graduation ceremony took place inside Stateville prison’s auditorium building, featured keynote remarks by Fred Moten, Professor of Performance Studies at New York University, and special remarks by Gina Dent, co-founder of Visualizing Abolition. The ceremony also featured a guest musical performance by Chance the Rapper. Graduating students were Michael Bell, Reginald BoClair, Darnell Lane, Juan Luna, and Daniel Perkins.

The event will conclude with a discussion between the documentary creators, student’s loved ones, and PNAP members that helped plan the graduation ceremony. In addition to New Suns, we’ll share some words from the graduating students and a short film about the celebration held the day after the graduation ceremony called Building Abolition Feminism Now: A Chicago PNAP Function. Register here.

Disturb the View: A Conversation with Ashley Hunt, Nicole Marroquin, and Claire Pentecost
January 31, 2023
6:00 PM – 8:00 PM CDT

Image: Janneth Ballesteros, Mysterious Castle, collage, 2015. Made using pictures of Froebel School, a site of the 1973 student uprisings in Chicago, in a workshop with artist and educator Nicole Marroquin.

The U.S. landscape is a carceral archive, dotted with prisons and detention centers that are often withheld from view. Join us for a virtual conversation with three artists whose work exposes the structures and histories of punitive violence that shore up contemporary carceral formations, as they discuss what role the arts can play in the movement for prison abolition. This event is jointly hosted with Visualizing Abolition.

This event will be held virtually as a Zoom Webinar and is free and open to the public. See more details and register here.


Until They’re All Free
Women’s Justice Institute; 2150 S Canalport Suite 4A-1, Chicago IL 60608
December 4th, 2022
12:00 PM – 6:00 PM CDT

From 2-3pm join us for lunch and a moment of communal reflection and discussion about supporting people impacted by the carceral system during the holidays.

* write holiday letters to people in incarcerated IL
* bring a tee-shirt to screen print
* purchase art by formerly incarcerated artists
* get your photo taken for the holidays
* art + solidarity + community

Parking: City metered parking located south of the building; a parking lot ($12/day) is located on the north side.

Co-sponsored by: Prison + Neighborhood Arts/Education Project, REAL Youth Initiative, Women’s Justice Institute

Building Abolition. Feminism. Now.: A Chicago PNAP Function
Haymarket House; 800 W Buena Ave., Chicago IL 60613
October 23rd, 2022
11:00 AM – 3:30 PM CDT

Hosted by PNAP, this free & joyous function includes:

– tabling and resource swapping from local abolitionist groups

– screenprinting and button making 

– readings and pop-up exhibitions of work by incarcerated and politically aligned artists

– a dialogue with the authors of Abolition. Feminism. Now. featuring Angela Davis, Gina Dent, Erica Meiners, and Beth Richie in conversation with local educators, organizers, and artists 

Delicious lunch and snacks provided. 

We’ll be honoring all of the accomplishments in our community over the past year from the graduation of various Learning Fellows to the expansion of our academic programming including our first listening session at Logan Prison. This event is also a celebration of the second cohort of PNAP students to graduate with a University Without Walls degree from NEIU. Congratulations: Michael Bell, Reginald BoClair, Darnell Lane, Juan Luna, and Daniel Perkins.

Opening for Abondans: Worldbuilding + Afrofuturism and UWW Portrait Project
Haymarket House; 800 W Buena Ave., Chicago IL 60613
October 15th, 2022
5:00 PM – 7:30 PM CDT

The opening will feature a conversation and Q&A with Jason LaFountain, Ruth Poor, and Helen Sanchez-Cortes about the Portrait Project, a conversation with Indigo Wright about Abondans, and a reading of student poetry. The exhibition will be on the 3rd floor of an ADA accesible building with elevator access to upper floors. Masks will be required indoors unless actively eating or drinking. Register here.

Abondans: Worldbuilding + Afrofuturism
Beginning January 2022, Abondans is a culmination of work created by art students at Stateville Prison and outside Chicago-based artists and organizers. Curated by Indigo Wright, the exhibition explores the intersection between worldbuilding and Afrofuturism through the use of visual art, lyrical art, poetry, and prose. Students and community organizers collectively freedom dream through the lens of Afrofuturism. This project has been funded thanks to Davis Projects for Peace.

UWW Portrait Project
The portrait project began in May of 2021, when PNAP staff member and SAIC art history professor, Jason LaFountain, invited two SAIC students, Ruth Poor and Helen Sanchez-Cortes, to create painted portraits of our current UWW degree students at Stateville prison. It is the first of a series of special projects Jason will organize as part of his work at PNAP. Following the exhibition the portraits will be gifted to the student’s loved ones in celebration of the student’s graduation.

“There but for the Grace” A Reading and Conversation with Michael Fischer
Build Coffee; 6100 S Blackstone Ave., Chicago IL 60637
September 21st, 2022
6:00 PM – 7:30 PM CDT

Join Michael Fischer as he reads “There but for the Grace.” Co-organized by the Pozen Center Human Rights Lab and REAL Youth Initiative.

Michael Fischer’s “There but for the Grace” is a featured work in Illinois Humanities’ Envisioning Justice RE:ACTION, an interactive exhibition and activation kit using the arts and humanities to imagine a future without mass incarceration. Read his essay here. This conversation and reading is supported by Illinois Humanities’ Envisioning Justice initiative.

In this essay, Fischer critiques American culture’s tendency to “force a confession” from returning citizens by repeatedly asking, “Why were you in prison?” In doing so, Fischer leads readers to confront the reality that anyone is capable of breaking a law, but only some of us are punished for it. Following the reading Michael will be in conversation with Destine Phillips and Eliza Gonring. Register here.

Mural Painting for Justice and Freedom
3713 W Chicago Ave., Chicago IL 60651
September 24th, 2022
11:00 AM – 6:00 PM CDT

Join Prison + Neighborhood Arts/Education Project and West Humboldt Park Community Development Council to paint a new community mural for the neighborhood. After the paint day the mural will be installed on the west facing building. This mural is designed by artists at Stateville Prison challenges us to end youth incarceration and build the resources we need to keep families together.

No painting experience necessary.
Kids and families welcome.

‘Remaking the Exceptional’ Virtual Tour and Discussion
August 1st, 2022
1:00 PM CDT

Dissenters and the Prison + Neighborhood Arts/Education Project are presenting a virtual tour of the ‘Remaking the Exceptional’ exhibit on August 1st at 1PM CST. This event will begin with Mansoor Adayfi, a Guantanamo Bay survivor, grounding us in art as a form of resistance. Aaron Hughes, one of the curators, will then lead us through the gallery and showcase the relationship between systems of oppression domestically and internationally, highlighting resistance efforts across the globe. Join us as we learn about the parallels between policing and incarceration in Chicago and the history of torture in the so-called “War on Terror” globally.

The exhibit will be available for public viewing until August 7th at the DePaul Art Museum. Register here.

Free Them All Seed Quilt: Community Healing and Art Making Event
Haymarket House; 800 W Buena Ave, Chicago IL 60613
July 13th, 2022
4:30 PM – 7:30 PM CDT

We will be engaging in sashiko embroidery, paper making, sewing seeds and writing messages on the quilt. No prior art making skills necessary. With visioning, leadership, and guidance from activists Tewkunzi Green, Moni Cosby, Jonice Robinson, Sandra Brown, Alisha “Lili” Walker, and Erika Ray, this art piece is a naturally dyed handmade quilt in which native flower seeds will be embedded. The quilt will be installed outside Logan Correctional Center in Lincoln, IL.

This is an outdoor event. RSVP required due to COVID safety precautions. Event will be capped at 100. Register here. View the Eventbrite for volunteer opportunities.

Mural Painting for Justice and Freedom
Precious Blood Ministry of Reconciliation; 5114 S. Elizabeth St., Chicago, IL 60609
May 7th, 2022
11:00 AM – 5:00 PM CDT

Join Prison + Neighborhood Arts/Education Project and Precious Blood Ministry of
Reconciliation for a community BBQ and to paint a new community mural designed by
artists at Stateville Prison.

After the paint day the mural will be installed in the neighborhood. This mural design challenges us to break the school to prison pipeline and end the Truth in Sentencing law that incarcerates so many people for long prison terms. We are calling for community-spirited individuals for food, music and painting!

No painting experience necessary. Kids and families welcome. For more information email us at:


ATLN: Building Skills for Re-Entry; Personal Essay Workshop
January 26, 2021
6:00PM – 7:00 PM CDT

Join us for a workshop for formerly incarcerated folks who are applying to college or graduate school. This workshop will cover the basics of the personal essay: its purpose, content, and why it matters. After discussing an overview, writers will read examples of personal essays – both strong and emerging – to begin the writing process. Using a pre-grad guide provided by the facilitator, writers will brainstorm ideas, outline, and structure their own essay. Finally, writers will get an opportunity to share-out what they’ve written, ask questions, and receive feedback. Register here.

Abolitionist Teaching and Learning Network: Building Skills for Re-Entry; Navigating Higher Education: The Graduate School Process
December 2, 2021
6:00PM – 7:30 PM CDT

Join us for a panel and workshop for formerly incarcerated graduate school applicants by graduate students with lived experience, faculty, and professional staff, who will discuss all things graduate school from exploring which specific programs are fitting for you and your needs to engaging with the financial aid process. After the panel, there will be time to ask your own questions and receive answers from professionals familiar with both the graduate school process and the complexities of being formerly incarcerated as a graduate applicant and student. Register here.

Virtual Winter Auction
December 11, 2021
4:00PM – 5:30 PM CDT

PNAP’s Winter Auction will feature items donated by community members and supporters. By participating in the auction, you ensure we can continue to offer classes at Stateville prison and engage in a variety of Chicago-area programming with communities impacted by the carceral state. The auction will feature a performance during the intermission. Register here. View item details here.

NEIU’s Traditions of Challenging the U.S. Prison Industrial Complex
November 17, 2021
6:00PM – 7:30 PM CDT

This virtual panel explores NEIU’s history of addressing mass incarceration. And features Robert Wiley, Renny Golden, and Colette Payne. Register here.

The panel will present initiatives led by activists to challenge the prison system and educate and and advocate for those impacted by it. We hope to mobilize students and faculty to engage in anti-prison work on university campuses and take action in making education accessible for people inside and outside of prison walls.

Book Launch and Spoken Word by Orion Meadows
Carruthers Center for Inner City Studies, Lower Level Conference Room; 700 E. Oakwood Blvd., Chicago, IL 60653
November 1, 2021
6:00PM – 8:00 PM CDT

Image of grey square with red square on top of it. On white banner on top of both squares text reads: Book Launch and Spoken Word
by Orion Meadows Featuring art + performances from guest artists
Below that black text on red square reads: Monday, November 1st
Perfomances: 6:00 - 8:00 P.M. Art Viewing: 8:00 - 8:30 P.M.
700 E. Oakwood Blvd.,Chicago, IL 60653 Carruthers Center for Inner City Studies, Lower Level Conference Room
Below text is photo of Orion + his upcoming book, next to them black text reads: Masks required Please arrive fully vaccinated or with negative COVID test from within 72 hours.

Join PNAP Learning Fellow, Orion Meadows, as he launches his newest book, The Rose That Grew Through The Barbwire. A collection of the Art and Creative Writing by incarcerated artists who invested their time and effort to depict the everyday living experiences and emotions of human beings in bondage within the Department of Corrections.

The event will also feature spoken word performed by Orion and guests as well as art available for view created by those impacted by the prison system. November 1st from 6:00 – 8:00 PM at the Carruthers Center for Inner City Studies. We can’t wait to see you there! Venue will be accessible via elevator. 

We Are All We Have: Screening and Discussion of The Long Term
August 18, 2021
6:00 PM – 8:00 PM CDT

Join us on August 18 for a special screening of The Long Term (2018, 13 min.), a hand-drawn animated film created by a group of artists serving long and life sentences and co-produced by the Prison + Neighborhood Arts/Education Project (PNAP). Blending candid autobiography, potent political analysis, and visionary imagery, the film is a powerful call to transform how we approach harm and imagine justice. After the screening, several of the artists involved will share their reflections on the film, on political struggles against the prison system, and on their experiences surviving and building community over the long term.

Participating artists in this event include Brandon Shaw, Charles McLaurin, Chester “Chuck” Brost, Darrell W. Fair, Devon Daniels, Elton Williams, Flynard “Fly 1” Miller, Joseph Dole, and Johnny Taylor. The other artists behind The Long Term are Francisco “Paco” Estrada, Raul Fernandez, Damon Locks, R Dot Nandez, Andrés Reyes, Sarah Ross, and Bring.

Pablo Mendoza, a lead organizer at Parole Illinois who was previously incarcerated, will moderate the event. A member of the RAPP Campaign (Release Aging People in Prison) will bridge struggles in Illinois and the fight for parole justice in New York State. 

This event is a collaboration between Third World Newsreel, the Documentary Forum at CCNY, PNAP, Parole Illinois, and RAPP. Additional cosponsor: Haymarket Books. Please RSVP to receive the link to the Zoom webinar.  There will be live Spanish and ASL interpretation. RSVP here. View the Facebook event here.

Joint Book Release Celebration
P.O. Box Collective, 6900 N. Glenwood Ave., Chicago
July 31, 2021
3:30 PM – 5:30 PM CDT

Join us for outdoor music, food, and a celebration of two books, both set deep in the landscape of Illinois politics.

Testimony by Peter Lazare and Sarah Lazare is a left-wing thriller novel about the corporate capture of utility regulators, the buildup to the Iraq War, and the way “public-private partnerships” enrich the powerful and take control away from the people.

Carving Out Rights from Inside the Prison Industrial Complex, edited by Aaron Hughes, Sarah Ross, and Tara Betts, explores the way people incarcerated inside Illinois prisons struggle every day for their basic rights, claiming again and again their status as human beings. Poetry from the book will be read by Cean Gamalinda, Anna Martine Whitehead, and others TBA.

There will be DJing by Kate Walsh, and snacks and refreshments will be provided. The event will take place at the outdoor space of the P.O. Box Collective.

Memorial Quilting Workshop: Honoring Lives Lost in Illinois Prisons During COVID-19
Precious Blood Ministry Of Reconciliation; 5114 S. Elizabeth St., Chicago
July 16, 2021
3:00 PM – 7:00 PM CDT

Join us Friday, July 16, from 3 PM to 7 PM at Precious Blood Ministry to learn the art of quilt making, build community, and create your own quilt square to contribute to the Memorial Quilt for lives lost in the Illinois Department of Corrections during COVID-19. This event will be held outdoors and, in case of inclement weather, we will reschedule.

We will have two segments to this outdoor event: From 3 PM to 5 PM, the wonderful Dorothy Burge a.k.a. Mama Dorothy will facilitate a workshop on how to create a quilt square and guide us through the process. From 5 PM to 7 PM, we will have time to come in and create a quilt square at your own pace with the assistance of some of our staff and community members. Come out to have fun, build relationships, and be a part of something beautiful.

About Mama Dorothy: 

Quilt artist and long-time activist Dorothy Burge is a native and current resident of Chicago, but is descendent from a long line of quilters who hailed from Mississippi. These ancestors created beautiful quilts from recycled clothing. While she showed no interest in this art form as a child, she grew to treasure the quilts that were created by family elders. Her realization that the history and culture of her people were being passed through generations in this art form inspired her to use this medium as a tool to teach history, raise cultural awareness, and inspire action.

Our Tuesday Girl: An Unfurling for Dr. Margaret T.G. Burroughs
June 18, 2021
7:00 PM EDT

Join PNAP, Project NIA, the South Side Community Art Center, and The People’s Forum June 18th for a special Juneteenth event honoring Dr. Margaret Burroughs with a new book titled Our Tuesday Girl: An Unfurling for Dr. Margaret T. G. Burroughs published by Sojourners for Justice Press and Project NIA.

This new collection reflects her early life, her organizing and correspondence, and her impact as an educator at Stateville and Pontiac prisons and Cook County Jail. In addition, a special section of this publication includes an Unfurling, a social practice whereby people, as liberatory memory workers, pull materials from existing archives and share what those materials mean to them. 

For this Unfurling, we turned to artists and writers whose work has been influenced by the legacy of Dr. Burroughs. In this way, this collection iterates the impact of Dr. Burroughs and her politics of culture, care, freedom, and love for Black people.

This event will include readings from Our Tuesday Girl: An Unfurling for Dr. Margaret T. G. Burroughs, along with a discussion of the role of cultural organizing in the midst of anti-Black state violence. Panelists include Mariame Kaba, Sarah Ross, Tempestt Hazel, Skylah Hearn, and Carl Williams. Together we will also consider how Dr. Burroughs’s prisoner education and support work is a model for current abolitionist organizers. 

RSVP for this event here.

Community Mural Painting
DuSable Museum of African American History; 740 E. 56th Pl., Chicago
June 19, 2021
10:00 AM – 2:00 PM CDT

Join PNAP and the Dusable Museum to paint new community murals designed by artists at Stateville Prison, including former students of the legendary Dr. Margaret Burroughs. These works challenge us to break the school to prison pipeline and build a new future of resistance and love. We are calling for community-spirited individuals to help paint a mural for a Juneteenth celebration! Snacks, drinks, and paints will be provided (professional painting experience is not necessary). 

April 21 and 26, 2021

In partnership with local and national community-based organizations that continue to lead the way to shape abolition — groups like Critical Resistance, Black & Pink, Love & Protect, Parole Illinois — we are kicking off two years of programming with two events featuring key thinkers in conversation about teaching and learning, cultural work, and abolition. Join us and learn from local and national organizers, cultural workers, educators, and scholars who are building radical teaching and learning pathways for currently and formerly incarcerated communities, sustaining crucial campaigns for freedom, and creating more just and beautiful communities. This is the first event of a two-part series.

These events are free, but if you have the resources to support the strong abolitionist work of PNAP, please consider donating. Donate here.

Teaching and Learning for Freedom: Visions, Study, and Practice
April 21, 2021
5:00 PM – 6:30 PM CDT

Panelists include: Colette Payne, Julian Thompson, Danny Murillo, and Romarilyn Ralston

Imagining and Remaking a World Without Prisons: Visions, Study, and Practice
April 26, 2021
5:00 PM – 6:30 PM CDT

Panelists include: Angela Davis, Beth Richie, Kathy Boudin, and Timmy Châu

Find out more information and register for event #1 here.

Find out more information and register for event #2 here.

Click here for a full list of past events.