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Photos by Peter Merts

Prison Arts Collective (PAC) is a collaborative project dedicated to expanding access to the transformative power of the arts through collaboration and mutual learning. PAC’s multidisciplinary arts programming in California prisons supports the development of self-expression, reflection, communication, leadership, and empathy. Buckley founded Prison Arts Collective in 2013 in collaboration with university students and incarcerated artists. Since that time, PAC has grown to include chapters at five California State University campuses and to facilitate programming on 17 yards in 12 prisons. Buckley has received grants and contracts for PAC from the National Endowment for the Arts, California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, and the California Arts Council Arts in Corrections program. PAC is currently based at San Diego State University. PAC is based on the belief that art is a human right and envisions a safer, healthier society where everyone has access to the arts to promote wellbeing and empowerment.

Relevant links for Prison Arts Collective:

Prison Arts Collective: project website

Outside:Inside Productions:


Essays on Prison Arts Collective by Annie Buckley, Radical Actions, March 1, 2016
Part One: Teaching Artists
Part Two: Participating Artists

Featured Articles:

Prison Projects Rehabilitate Through Creativity” by Shana Nys Dambrot, Alta Journal, October, 2017

How Art is Helping Southern California Prisoners Reconnect with Their Humanity” by Matt Stromberg, LA Weekly, September 1, 2017

Review of “Beyond the Blue: Prison Arts Collective,” by Andrew Everett, Key Point, February 15, 2020

Inmates get creative in the arts with Prison Arts Collective,” by Catlan Nguyen, The Daily Aztec, January 22, 2020


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