Community Events


Envisioning Justice

Aug 6-Oct. 12
Sullivan Galleries, School of the Art Institute of Chicago
33 S State St, Chicago, IL 60603,  7th Floor. 

Check out PNAP art projects---alongside the work of many art and justice projects-- at Envisioning Justice!

The exhibition shares the work of Chicago artists and communities as they visualize, actualize, and reimagine strategies, policies, and approaches in the service of a society that is just for all. Featuring artwork, ephemera, and documentation from seven Chicago communities impacted by incarceration and works by artists whose practices respond to such themes, this exhibition interrogates the failures of our criminal justice system while presenting plans toward self-empowerment and communal liberation.

Sept. 28th 2-4pm

In addition, be sure to sign up for a workshop with PNAP member and artist Aaron Hughes and facilitators Christophe Ringer & Toy Robinson. This workshop engages participants in ongoing reimagining of human rights in the work of social justice.  Human rights violations are often presented as something that goes on ‘over there.’ However, issues such as wealth-based pretrial incarceration, reproductive justice, police brutality and clean water represent clear human rights issues. Moreover, this workshop will address the quest to build a culture of human rights in our local communities.

Facebook Event

The Long Term

September 4 - December 20, 2019
O'Connor Art Gallery, Dominican University
7800 W. Division Street, River Forest, IL 60305, 4th Floor Lewis Hall 

Opening Reception:  Wednesday, September 4th, 4 - 7pm, Gallery talk at 5:30pm

The Long Term travels to Domincan University for the semester and is part of a university class taught by our long time supporter, artist and Domincan faculty member, Dave Pabellon. Dave and PNAP member, Clinton Nichols, put together a great roster of events! Below are some of the events featuring PNAP members.

Sept. 18, 2019 6:00-7:30pm
Tara Betts Reading and workshop
Dominican University, O'Connor Art Gallery, 4th Floor Lewis Hall 

Dominican University warmly welcomes Tara Betts, acclaimed author and poet, to campus to discuss and lead a creative writing workshop. In this workshop, we'll consider poems by Nazim Hikmet, Eve Ewing, Etheridge Knight, Claudia Rankine and others. Some of the points that we'll consider will be finding affirmation in difficult places and asserting them with concrete detail, describing microaggressions in poems, how metaphors are paired with advice, and harvesting metaphors.

October 23, 2019, 6pm
Stateville Calling Screening and Panel discussion
Dominican University, Martin Hall

Scrappers Film Group presents Stateville Calling, a documentary exploring one man’s fight to offer elderly prisoners facing life without parole a chance to walk free. Followed up with a panel discussion of local organizers and faith-based activists. Clinton Nichols and Dave Pabellon will lead a discussion afterwards.

Nov. 06, 2019, 6pm
Notes on a Territory
Dominican University, Martin Recital Hall

Dominican University welcomes performance artists Damon Locks and Martine Whitehead as they perform Notes on Territory a transdisciplinary performance lecture and installation. Damon Locks and Anna Martine Whitehead's sonic-movement conversation with one another addresses space, architecture, containment, and freedom.


Dec. 04, 2019 6pm
Closing reception for The Long Term exhibition

This event will feature work produced from Dominican University's Senior Seminar Searching for the Good Life through The Long Term. The class will have studied the Long Term book and exhibition throughout the semester and will host a closing event: P+NAP presents: The Long Term with a discussion and presentation from students of the Senior Seminar Searching for the Good Life through The Long Term. The artists will present their visual responses to the semester's investigation of the good life in context to the current exhibition, Aristotle's Nichomachean Ethics, and programmatic offerings. 


Conditional Citizenship

Uri Eichen Gallery
2101 S Halsted St, Chicago, Illinois 60608

Feb 8. Opening Reception. 6-10 pm

Over the last year, artists William Estrada and Aaron Hughes led print workshops with incarcerated artist to explore ideas of outsider, citizen, immigrant and other. The Conditional Citizenship exhibition features art from these workshops.

Join us for the opening reception and reading of poet by writers at Stateville prison by Tara Betts and Simone Waller. Check out the Facebook event.


The Long Term

Between 2016-2018, artists, writers and members of the Prison + Neighborhood Arts Project created a series of thematic works around long-term sentencing policies and the other long terms they produce: long-term struggles for freedom, long-term loss in communities, and long-term relationships behind the prison wall. These projects emerged out of classes and collaborative work at Stateville prison, where people are serving extraordinarily long prison terms (60, 70 and 80 years), often for crimes for which they would have already been released, had they been sentenced 30 years earlier, or in a different country. The works in this exhibition examines the impacts of life and long sentences and demands an end to death by incarceration.

This exhibition is travelling around the Chicago communities to engage different people in discussions about long term sentencing, death by incarceration, and impacts to our communities.

See the places and programming of the exhibition below

Compound Yellow
244 Lake St
Oak Park, Illinois 60302
April 6 - May 12, 2019

May 11, 2-6pm
Film screening & discussion of the HBO documentary, The Sentence from HBO: The Sentence explores the devastating consequences of mass incarceration and mandatory minimum drug sentencing through the story of Cindy Shank, a mother of three young children serving a 15-year sentence in federal prison for her tangential involvement in a Michigan drug ring years before. A lyrical, intimate story documented over 10 years by Cindy's younger brother, filmmaker Rudy Valdez, The Sentence follows Cindy’s struggles to be present in her children's lives from behind bars and her daughters' experiences growing up without their mother at home, while her husband, parents and siblings fight for her release before the last months of the Obama administration's Clemency Project.
Rudy Valdez, Director

April 14, 2019
Poetry Workshop: Forms and Features with Tara Betts: A Wall Can Be Broken Down
Discussion and creative writing workshop led by Tara Betts, author of Break the Habit and Arc & Hue, based on some of the poems and forms considered by her students at Stateville Prison. In this workshop, we'll consider poems by Nazim Hikmet, Eve Ewing, Etheridge Knight, Claudia Rankine and others. Some of the points that we'll consider will be finding affirmation in difficult places and asserting them with concrete detail, describing microaggressions in poems, how metaphors are paired with advice, and harvesting metaphors.

April 27, 2019, 2pm-6pm

Join us for a day of art-making as an act in solidarity with organizers and communities impacted by the criminal legal system. Through art-based and letter-writing workshops at Compound Yellow, we will examine the impacts of long term sentencing, circles of healing, feminist freedom, and more. Throughout the event here will be ongoing art-making workshops including Mother's Day card-making, screen printing, embroidery, and oral history collecting. At 3 pm there will be an interactive group theater exercise, which will be followed by a Teach-In on the parole system and long-term sentencing with Rebecca Bretz at 3:30 pm. This event is organized by SAIC’s Art in Community class and co-sponsored by Chicago Books to Women in Prison.

Art on 51st.
Precious Blood Ministries
1238 W 51st St, Chicago, IL 60609

Feb 9, 1:30-4:30pm

Preview Screening: Stateville Calling
Screening starts at 2:30,  a discussion to follow with Eric Blackmon and Melissa Garrardo

Stateville Calling is a documentary exploring one man’s fight to offer elderly prisoners, facing life without parole, a chance to walk free. At the center of the film is Bill Ryan, an 82-year-old prisoner’s rights activist from rural Kentucky who has spent the last several decades befriending and advocating on behalf of a group of men and women incarcerated for life.
Co-hosted by Scrappers Film Group.

Feb 17, 12pm

Lunch-time reception
Learning from the Juvenile Justice Parole Bill

Over the last six years organizers have met with legislators across the state to pass the first parole bill in IL since 1978. Despite resistances from conservative legislators across the state, organizers were able to pass (pending the governor’s signature) a bill that has both limits and possibilities. Learn about the challenges to passing reform legislation in the state and next steps to expanding parole to others serving long or life sentences.

Join us for a discussion with Julie Anderson from Communities & Relatives of Illinois Incarcerated Children at Precious Blood Ministries, Marshan Allen of Restore Justice Foundation and others to learn about the struggle.

Feb. 28, 6:30-8:30
The Meaning of Life: How Can We End Death by Incarceration?

People serving time for convictions for "violent offenses" are routinely excluded from criminal justice reforms, yet 1 in every 7 people in US prisons is serving a life sentence. Addressing our prison nation requires building meaningful abolitionist movements that also challenge life sentences. Pennsylvania prisons hold over 5000 people serving life sentences without the possibility of parole. As in Illinois, a life sentence in PA also means natural life-- Death By Incarceration. Learn from PA organizer, Layne Mullet, in dialogue with Patrick Pursley and Monica Cosby – about a campaign to end Death by Incarceration.
Co-sponsored by the American Friends Service Committee & Black and Pink.

Washington Park Arts Incubator
301 E Garfield Blvd.
Chicago, IL 60637
Sept. 21, 2018-Dec. 5, 2018

Oct. 5, 2018 6:30-8:30pm
Notes on Territory: Performance with Anna Martine Whitehead and Damon Locks

Notes on Territory is a transdisciplinary performance lecture and installation. Using movement, sound, video and text the work addresses themes of "containment architectures" (prisons, cathedrals, dungeons, and homes) and freedom.

Oct. 25, 2018 6:30-8:30pm
The Long Term: Resisting Life Sentences, Working Towards Freedom

Book release and panel conversation with co-editors and contributors of The Long Term anthology. Janaé Bonsu, BYP 100; Kathy Boudin, Columbia University; Alice Kim, University of Chicago; Beth Richie, University of Illinois at Chicago; Patrick Pursley, Prison+Neighborhood Arts Project; moderated by Cathy Cohen, University of Chicago. Reception to follow.

Nov. 16, 2018 6:30-8:30pm
Teach-In on reversing Long Term Sentencing

One of the demands of the National Prison strike this summer has been to is rescind the Truth in Sentencing Act and the Sentencing Reform Act and that “No human shall be sentenced to Death by Incarceration or serve any sentence without the possibility of parole”. Here incarcerated people are calling out particular laws that are locking them up for long and longer terms, yet few people know the details of these polices or how they have created mass incarceration.
Join us for a Teach-in on Long Term Sentencing with Marshan Allen, Restore Justice IL; Monica Cosby, Westside Justice Center and the 100 women taskforce to cut the population of incarcerated women in IL; Bernardine Dohrn, activist and co-founder of the Children and Family Justice Center in the Bluhm Legal Clinic at Northwestern; Dr. Elena Quintana, Executive Director, Institute on Public Safety & Social Justice, Julian Thompson, Director at Chicago Center for Urban Life and Culture and Dr. Elena Quintana, Executive Director, Institute on Public Safety & Social Justic; Eric Blackmon, North Lawndale Christian Legal Center. Moderated by Earl Walker & Sarah Ross


The Long Term Book& Exhibition Events

The Long Term: Resisting Life Sentences, Working Towards Freedom
PNAP faculty and friends have hosted book talks at several locations this year including:

Nov 30, 2018 7pm
Women & Children First, 5233 N. Clark Street
Readings and conversation with Tara Betts, Deana Lewis, Erica Meiners, Maya Schenwar, and more.

Dec 5, 2018 6:30pm Invisible Institute at Experimental Station, 6200 S. Blackstone Ave.
Readings by Tara Betts, Krista Franklin, Alice Kim, Audrey Petty, David Stovall, and more.

March 27, 2019, 7pm
Housing Works Bookstore Cafe, 126 Crosby St. NY, NY
Readings with Kathy Boudin, Mariame Kaba, Victoria Law, Janos Marton and Sarah Ross

April 29, 2019 5pm
Northwestern University, Kresge Hall, 1880 Campus Drive
The panelists will include William Estrada, Alice Kim, Deana Lewis, Erica Meiners, and Patrick Pursley.


IT’S NOW: Washington Park Community Mural

Community Celebration
For a new Washington Park Mural

Thursday July 26, 2018, 5:30PM - 7:30PM
Washington Park Fieldhouse

Featuring reading and words from PNAP student and colleague:
Eric Blackmon
and readings by Chicago Poets:
Tara Betts
Ciara Miller
M'Reld Green
Marvin Tate

A new community mural was painting on July 18 with families and friends of incarcerated people and youth from the neighborhood. It will installed on the Washington Park Field House. The mural has been designed by artists at Stateville Prison and members of the the Prison + Neighborhood Arts Project. The mural honors Dr. Margaret Burroughs who taught at Stateville and Pontiac Prisons for more than 25 years.

Prison + Neighborhood Arts Project and Night Out In The Parks are calling out for community-spirited individuals to help paint a mural! Food, paints, and drinks will be provided (professional painting experience is not necessary). The paint day will be followed by a Community celebration and poetry reading to inaugurate the new mural.

Join the event on the Prison + Neighborhood Arts Project Facebook page.

Washington Park Paint Day

2PM - 8PM Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Community Celebration

Thursday July 26, 2018, 5:30PM - 7:30PM


May 26, 6:30-9pm.
In These Times
2040 N. Milwaukee Ave.
Chicago, IL

Readings begin at 7:30pm

*this building is not wheelchair accessible

Join us for a print portfolio release party and readings from the forthcoming book titled: The Long Term: Resisting Life Sentences, Working for our Freedom (Haymarket Books, ed. Alice Kim, Erica Meiners, Audrey Petty, Jill Petty, Beth Richie and Sarah Ross).

Prints by artists: Ivan Arenas, Elizabeth Brent, William Estrada, Eric Garcia, Maria Gaspar, Ryan Griffis, Aaron Hughes, Sam Kirk, Damon Locks, Nicole Marroquin, Dave Pabellon, Claire Pentecost, Sarah Ross, Fred Sasaki and Monica Trinidad.

Readings by: Tara Betts, Elizabeth Brent, Daniel Cooper, Monica Cosby, Deana Lewis, Orlando Mayorga, and Maria Moon.

15 Chicago-area artists were invited to create original Risographic prints in response to essays from the book, written by educators, activists, incarcerated people and formerly-incarcerated people. The book and print portfolio are part of a series of thematic works around long-term sentencing policies and the other long terms they produce: long-term struggles for freedom, long-term loss in communities, and long-term relationships behind the prison wall.
These projects emerged out of collaborative work between artists, writers and members of the Prison + Neighborhood Arts Project at Stateville prison. Many of those imprisoned there are serving extraordinarily long prison terms (60, 70, and 80 years), often for crimes for which they would have already been released, had they been sentenced 30 years earlier, or in a different country. The portfolio of prints is one of the many attempts to make visible how punitive policies and incarceration negatively shape our communities, families, and ultimately, life-chances.

This project is organized by Aaron Hughes, Dave Pabellon and Sarah Ross

Printing by Matt Davis at Perfectly Acceptable Printing

Thank you to Dominican University for project support.

*Image Credits from left to right: Ryan Griffis, Monica Trinidad, Sam Kirk, Nicole Marroquin, Damon Locks, William Estrada

April 13, 2018
Building the Prison to School Pipeline, a conversation with Danny Murillo, Underground Scholars Co-founder With a welcome from Monica Cosby (Moms United Against Violence and Incarceration)

A leader in the movement to build access to educational opportunities for formerly incarcerated people, Danny Murillo started college when he was in solitary confinement at California’s Pelican Bay State Prison. After he was released, he was accepted to the University of California-Berkeley, and he initiated Underground Scholars with a fellow student who was also formerly incarcerated to support UC Berkeley students who have been personally impacted by incarceration. The mission of the Underground Scholars is to create alternatives to criminalization and incarceration. Underground Scholars firmly believes that, through a critical education, formerly incarcerated people can rehabilitate and transform their lives.

Previously, Danny was a program analyst at Vera, where he worked on the Pathways from Prison to Postsecondary Education project. He also worked as a completion counselor at the NJ-STEP Mountainview Program at Rutgers University-Newark, and was a John W. Gardner Fellow in Public Service at the University of California, Berkeley, from which he holds a BA in ethnic studies. Danny is currently a Soros Justice Advocacy Fellow, working to create a network of formerly incarcerated students throughout California's postsecondary education institutions.

Sponsored by: Formerly Incarcerated Students Together (FIST) @ Northeastern Illinois University, Prison Neighborhood Arts Project, University of Illinois Chicago Social Justice Initiative

WITH Education for Liberation Network, Gender and Women's Studies @ University of Illinois Chicago, Master of Arts in Community and Teacher Leaders @ Northeastern Illinois University, Moms United Against Violence and Incarceration, Sister Jean Adult High School, Chicago Torture Justice Center

November 13, 2017
Women Behind Bars: A Discussion with Victoria Law

Barriers to reproductive health care? Inadequate access to general medical care? Pervasive sexual harassment and abuse? Women across the country face these injustices; women behind bars experience them on a more intense level. Join Victoria Law, journalist and author of Resistance Behind Bars: The Struggles Of Incarcerated Women, for a discussion on realities and resistance inside women’s prisons and concrete ways that those on the outside can support resistance struggles inside.

Victoria Law is a freelance writer and editor and the author of Resistance Behind Bars: The Struggles of Incarcerated Women and the co-editor of Don’t Leave Your Friends Behind: Concrete Ways to Support Families in Social Justice Movements and Communities (PM Press 2012). She frequently writes and speaks about the intersections between mass incarceration, gender and resistance.

Co-sponsored by: UIC Social Justice Initiative; UIC Gender and Women’s Studies; UIC Institute for Research on Race and Prison and Neighborhood Arts Project

Saturday, October 14, 2017
Family + Friends Day

4-6pm at Sullivan Galleries, School of the Art Institute of Chicago
33 S. State Sreet, Chicago
Meet faculty and friends of PNAP for food, drink and conversation at an exhibition of artwork developed in Andres Hernandez's spring class at Stateville Prison.

June 23-Sept. 2, 2017
Bold Disobedience

Bold Disobedience is a group exhibition presented in collaboration with Mikva Challenge. PNAP work was selected by a council of twelve student curators, this collection of works demonstrates myriad social issues that matter to youths today. Students developed the exhibition title to suggest that “to obey today is to do nothing, to comply, to float along on the current of the status quo, to let digitally delivered distractions wash over us until we can no longer discern the motivating machinations behind them”. For them, Bold Disobedience is a call to civic action, to speak out against injustices, and to disrupt the systems that so deeply impact lived experiences.
Participating artists include: Thalia Agosto, Natalie Aparicio, Evan Calabrese, Angela Davis Fegan, Maya Halko, Josue Herrera, Zachary Huff, Jaclyn Jacunski, Kuumba Lynx, Yvette Mayorga, Cheryl Pope, Prison + Neighborhood Arts Project, Sarah Ross, Dread Scott, and Raven Smith

May 6 & May 13, 2017:
It's Now: PNAP Annual Event

MAY 6, 11am-4pm

We are calling out for community-spirited individuals to help paint a mural! Food, paints, and drinks will be provided (professional painting experience is not necessary).
To sign up and volunteer, please contact Joe Troutman at!

MAY 13, 12pm-5pm

Join us for a BBQ and celebration of a new mural.

_Damon Locks on the turn tables
_Live Performances
_Mural unveiling
_Art making
_Community Resources
_Food by chef Skyler Dees

Contact Jonathan Kelley at for more information!

Both events are at 3346 W. 16th at Christiana in North Lawndale.
Events are free and open to the public!

September 7, 2016
Exhibition: Mitigating Evidence

We’re super excited to join Free Write Arts and Literacy for an exhibition of art and writing by people who are or were incarcerated in the Cook County Juvenile Temporary Detention Center (CCJTDC) and Stateville Correctional Center.

The show opens September 9, 2016, 6:00-10:00pm.

Private viewings by appointment and programmed events through October 4th, 2016.
Chicago Art Department, 1932 South Halsted #100 & #101, Chicago, IL 60608

Mitigating Evidence is a strategy to interrupt the presumptions, stereotypes and fears about people in detention, jail, and prison. Mitigating Evidence is a space in which incarcerated artists are reclaiming their artistry, authorship, and, therefore, their humanity. Mitigating evidence is presented in legal proceedings, either to impact the court’s decision or to alleviate harsh sentencing. Presenting a curated selection of work made by participants of Free Write Arts and Literacy and the Prison Neighborhood Arts Project (PNAP), the exhibition will offer community members the opportunity to view a wide range of art and writing, learn about issues of incarceration in Illinois, and respond to the sociopolitical climate that has given rise to the Prison-Industrial Complex.

Author Reginald Dwayne Betts says about this exhibition:

In determining what can be admitted, the judge, relying on the rules of evidence, determines when the story begins. This is the kind of power that alters lives forever, cabining all that matters in a person’s life to the brief time before or after some tragedy occurred, as if their childhood, their future, should not factor into what we imagine as possible, as needed. Mitigating Evidence is the place that subverts this practice.

The exhibition will feature self-portraits, a retrospective of Free Write and PNAP student work, a listening station featuring audio recordings of student compositions, and a multimedia timeline that juxtaposes significant events related to criminalization and prison reform with the power of the personal narrative. In conjunction to the exhibition, the opening will celebrate the publication of Free Write’s seventh anthology of student writing and art.
Mitigating Evidence is the fifth exhibition of Free Write student work hosted by Chicago Art Department and the first collaborative effort between Free Write and PNAP. Since 2000, Free Write has facilitated creative writing workshops, one-on-one literacy tutoring, and arts programming for youth in the CCJTDC. Since 2011, PNAP has facilitated art and humanities classes for men incarcerated in Stateville Prison, located in Crest Hill, Illinois.
Mitigating Evidence opens at Chicago Art Department during the Chicago Arts District 2nd Fridays gallery night.
Curated by Free Write staff members Mathilda de Dios, Elgin-Bokari Smith, Roger Bonair Agard, and Ryan Keesling; PNAP staff members Tess Landon, Damon Locks, Alexandra Antoine, and Sarah Ross; and Chicago Art Department artist and curator Chelsea Ross.

April - July, 2016
Exhibition: Freedom Dreams

Please join PNAP and Social Justice Initiative for an exhibition that makes connections between artists in and outside of prison. Chicago-area artists were commissioned to respond to writing developed by men in PNAP's Freedom Dreams cultural studies class at Stateville Prison. Together, their writings and art works – ranging from print and sculpture to photography and collage – urges the public to reconsider, rethink, and reimagine what freedom means, especially in the context of an ever-growing prison nation.

Co-curated by Alice Kim, Iván Arenas and Sarah Ross. Exhibition support from Alexandra Antoine, Monica Stokes and Irina Zadov. Funding from the Propeller Fund and Social Justice Initiative.

Reception: April 14 5:30-8pm // Pop Up Just Art  729 Maxwell St. Chicago, IL


Tuesday, June 21, 5:30-9pm: Freedom Dreams Collage Workshop with Krista Franklin Limited space. Email to inquire.

Thursday, July 7, 7:00-9pm: Writing through a Wall
Lasana Kazembe, Alice Kim, Kai Parker and Beth Richie will read poetry and letters from writers at Stateville about religion, violence against women and the pressures of confinement.

Thursday, July 14 7:00-9pm: Artist Conversation + Performance
Join Eve Ewing, Sherwin Ovid and Fereshteh Toosi and others for a conversation about creating work responding to the writing of incarcerated artists. Damon Locks will perform a new sound piece.

Gallery hours are by appointment email to make an appointment. Classes are welcome!

Jan 10, 2016
Exhibition: The Weight of Rage

January 10-March 20, 2016 at the Hyde Park Art Center


See more images of the opening here and a review of the show from South Side Weekly here.


Jan 10
Show is open to the public.

Sunday, Jan 16,  3-5pm
Weight of Rage Families and Communities Event
Join Prison + Neighborhood Arts Project (PNAP) for a walk through of the exhibition The Weight of Rage. Families, friends, advocates and allies of incarcerated folks are invited. Lasana Kazembe will read poems from current PNAP poets at Stateville. William Estrada will photograph participants for free as part of the Portraits of Resolution Project--a mobile photo studio documenting the impact incarceration has on the community. And Alderman Walter Burnett and Benny Lee will be there to say a few words! Sponsored by St. Leonard’s Ministries.

Sunday, Feb 14,  2-4pm
This interactive poetry performance, by Just Yell Chicago Team of Poets, responds to work the exhibition. Confronting issues of authorship, production, and keepers of identity, the poets reveal truths withheld and (un)told. This event is hosted in partnership with the Poetry Foundation.

Saturday, Feb 20,  2-3:30pm
Listening and Response Session with 96 Acres
Michael Johnson and Maria Gaspar from the 96 Acres Project hosts a listening and response session of audio stories taken from their archive and based on communities most impacted by the Cook County Jail, the largest single site pre-detention facility in the country. Participate in this collective dialogue and learn through the act of personal storytelling and a more human perspective on incarceration.

Sunday, Feb 21, 3-5pm
All exhibitions open at Hyde Park Art Center.

Wednesday, Feb 24, 6-8pm
In this moment: Liberation and struggle after prison reform
Join Jasson Perez, Black Youth Project 100; Beth Richie, scholar and member of INCITE and the P-NAP teaching collective and Rachel Herzing Storytelling and Organizing Project to dialogue about the limits and possibilities of current prison and policing reform initiatives.

Thursday, March 3, 6-8pm
Double Feature: A Place To Stand + The Insiders
March 3, 6-8pm Join us for double feature of two intriguing films! A Place to Stand (2014) is a film based on Jimmy Santiago Baca’s memoir of the same name, which explores the life and mind of a man who – through the power of poetry – found his place to stand. The Insiders (1970, 16mm film) portrays daily life at a state prison filmed by an incarcerated person at Missouri State Penitentiary for the NBC Educational Enterprises Series. This event is hosted in partnership with the Poetry Foundation. Presented in partnership with the Poetry Foundation.

Wednesday, March , 16
The power of letters
In this creative writing workshop will be open to Village Leadership Academy students! Workshop participants will begin with a walk-through of the “Weight of Rage” exhibition, paying particular attention to open letters crafted by P-NAP students in a “Writing Time and Place” seminar. Students will compose their own open letters in response to the exhibition, and have the opportunity to expand and refine their written work through the workshop process. This workshop will be facilitated by Audrey Petty, writer and member of the P-NAP teaching collective.

March 20: Show closes

September 11-12, 2015
96 Acres: Projections at Cook County Jail

PNAP was invited by 96 ACRES to screen an animation made by Damon Locks, Rob Shaw and 11 artists at Stateville. The works were screened alongside "Letters Home" and projected on the wall of the Cook County Jail over the course of two evenings in Sept. We were excited to be part of this project and got great feedback from passersby and the community of people that came out to see the projects. 96 ACRES is a project organized by artists and educators who host community-engaged, site-responsive projects that involve community stakeholders’ ideas about social and restorative justice issues, and that examine the impact of incarceration at the Cook County Jail.
Learn about this 96 Acres project.

March 23, 2015
Exhibition: The Material That Went to Make Me


March 23-April 3
NEIU Library

The Material That Went to Make Me is an exhibition of work by incarcerated artists and writers in the Prison and Neighborhood Arts Project at Stateville Prison. Visual and literary work on display includes a series of experimental timelines that explore the daily lives and life-times of artists; personal narratives and a collaborative animation. 

Join us for events on the NEIU Campus (5500 St. Louis Ave):

March 23, 1pm:
FA 226
Cultural Production in a U.S. Prison: Artists Damon Locks and Sarah Ross in conversation with Vida Sacic about the vitality and critical lens incarcerated artists bring to cultural production. 

March 31, 3-4pm:
Fine Arts Center 152
Roundtable discussion:
Building Opportunity: Educational access for people inside and after release from prison

April 2, 3-4:30pm:
LWH 3071

Screening and discussing of Girl Trouble a film that looks at compelling personal stories of three teenagers entangled in San Francisco's juvenile justice system. Trying to change their lives, the girls work part-time at the innovative Center for Young Women's Development, an organization run by young women who have faced similar challenges. This event is sponsored by Formerly Incarcerated Standing Together (F.I.S.T.) -- a new student group on the NEIU campus!

Jan. 16, 2015
Exhibition:Art and the Prison State

PNAP was invited to exhibit work at the North Shore Contry Day School. This K-12 school has a robust art program and a gallery. The show will be on view until Feb. 27. A reception will be held on Jan 16 from 4:30pm-7:30pm.

Location: The John Almquist Gallery North Shore Country Day School 310 Green Bay Road Winnetka, IL 60093

Gallery Hours: Monday-Friday, 9-3 or by appointment, 847.446.0674 Weekday gallery visitors are required to check-in at Reception in the Upper School.

Nov. 15, 2014
Exhibition:Annual PNAP exhibiton!


The Material That Went To Make Me
This exhibiton has been extended to DEC 29th! Go by and check it out!:

South Side Community Art Center
3831 South Michigan Ave
Chicago, IL 60653

Nov. 22, 3-5pm In a Different Era: Prison and the Black Arts Movement
In the 1970s, artists in the Black Arts Movement and others taught in Illinois prisons through existing State programs and with the support of outside institutions, such as colleges and museums. Many local artists taught or performed in Illinois State Prisons. Join us for a conversation with some of these artists to discuss the legacies of their work and the implications for our current prison nation.
Panelists include: Phil Cohran, musician and co-founder of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians and founder of the Affro-Arts Theater; Preston Jackson, sculptor and Faculty at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago; Masequa Myers, performer, producer and Executive Director of the South Side Community Art Center; Useni Perkins, poet, playwright and author of “Home Is A Dirty Street: The Social Oppression of Black Children”; Nathan Wright, Executive Director of the Etiquette Foundation of Illinois and formerly incarcerated artist.

After the panel, join the AACM (Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians) in concert from 6-8pm.
Performers: NOW Generation.
Admission is $10, youth ages 15 and under are Free!
Purchase tickets online through:
Performers are NOW Generation
Dec. 6, 3-5pm: First Annual Alternative State of the Illinois Department of Corrections Report: 2014 ¡Presente!

A constellation of organizations across the city and state are working to change the conditions of incarceration and re-imagine the justice system altogether.
Their work seeks to end mass criminalization, develop alternatives to policing and incarceration and create communities we know we need. Join us for an engaging performance by Chicago poets who will bring this work to life

For more information go to:

July 10, 2014
Exhibition: TO SHOOT A KITE

CUE Foundation
137 West 25th St. New York, NY

Over the past two decades, the US prison population has increased by 700%, despite the fact that our total population has grown only 20%, and our crime rate has decreased. With over two million incarcerated people, we lock away more individuals per capita than any other country that publishes these statistics. To Shoot a Kite, curated by Yaelle Amir, presents the US penal system from the vantage point of artists, scholars, organizers, and the prisoners themselves, who all seek creative solutions to elucidate and alleviate this broken system.

* This exhibition will be up until Aug. 2 and will include posters, an animation and an audio track created this year in the art class.

May 24, 2014 Exhibition: PROPELLER FUND

Mana Contemporary
2233 S. Throop St. Chicago, IL

In 2012, PNAP was awarded a generous Propeller Fund grant. An exhibition of work from grantees will be held featuring work made during the residency. Artwork and writing that was featured in our fall 2013 exhibition will be on display!

*This exhibition will be up through mid-August.

May 1, 2014

Jane Addams Hull-House Museum
800 S. Halsted St. Chicago, IL

Join us for the opening of the museum’s newest exhibit, Unfinished Business: The Right to Play, which explores the history of the social movements that created the first playgrounds, fought for an eight-hour work day, and suggested that time off from work could create a more just world. On May 1, the museum and courtyard will be bustling with activity: field games, food trucks, DJs, live music, and performances by the Jesse White Tumbling Team and other youth ensembles. Rain or shine, we invite visitors to exercise their right to play!

** This exhibition will be up for the year and will include a fantastic animation and book of timelines created in a year-long art class focused on ideas of time.


April 8, 2014
Film Screening and Discussion

Join PNAP and Northeastern Illinois students, faculty and alum to watch a groundbreaking documentary "A Hard Straight" by Goro Toshima and Lindsay Sablosky.

The documentary focuses on challenges and sturggles post - incarceration. A panel discussion on educational access for people during and after prison and reentry will follow. Come to learn about PNAP, the newsletter Stateville Speaks, and local movements for educational access.

A panel will be moderated by Frank Gaytan, Social Work and Director, ENLACE Leadership Institute

Participants include: 
Ashor Jajou, FORCE & NEIU 
Benny Lee, Justice Studies, NEIU 
Mark Mitchell, Chicago State University
Vanessa Koonce, Harold Washington College 

This event is free and open to the public. Join us :

April 8, 2014 at 7-9pm
Northeastern Illinois University 
5500 N. St. Louis Ave
Golden Eagles Room (SU 103)

This event is sponsored by the College of Education with the Justice Studies Department, the Angelina Pedroso Center for Diversity and Intercultural Affairs, Women's and Gender Studies, Latino and Latin American Studies, and African and African American Studies.

Nov. 10, 2013
Film Screening

Join us at 3pm at the Jane Addams Hull-House for a screening of "Natural Life" a film by Tirtza Even.

Following the film Tirtza Even, Mariame Kaba, Shobha Mahdev and Jill Petty will be in conversation about current issues around juveniles serving life without parole.

natural life

Nov. 16, 2013
Roundtable Discussion

Join us at 3pm at the Jane Addams Hull-House for a roundtable discussion on social movements and incarceration. How does incarceration effect the right to housing, health care , family autonomy and justice for immigrants? Panelists Evan Lyon, Dept. of Medicine faculty, University of Chicago; Chicago Anti-Eviction Campaign; Moratorium on Deportations; Charity Toliver, Black Thought, Black Action; Benny Lee, National Alliance for the Empowerment of Formerly Incarcerated People and Erica Meiners will discuss these important intersections.

A workshop will follow in which participants will be asked to imagine budgetary reallocations for the state's nearly $1.3 billion Department of Corrections 2013 budget. This exercise is based on workshops by Californias United for a Responsible Budget.