Arts in Corrections by Ann Noriel
It was an honor to be invited as a guest to attend the Arts in Corrections conference at the beautiful campus of the University of San Francisco. There were people from all over the United States, England and Japan who came together to discuss delivering arts programming to incarcerated youth and adults. Some of these artists have been working in this field for over thirty years and they shared such heartwarming stories. Also attending were family members of incarcerated adults, those who used to be incarcerated, some local politicians and even people from the corrections side. Everyone gave such amazing testimony of how the arts are making a huge difference in the lives of so many inmates. There are not a lot of artists who work in this field and it can feel a bit lonely at times, so to be around so many people of like mind was such an encouragement. A huge thank you to The California Arts Council, William James Association, The University of San Francisco and California Lawyers for the Arts for making this conference happen. More funding is being allocated to delivering arts programming to incarcerated individuals and Southland Sings teaching artists and I look forward to continuing to work with this very under served population.