Break down the barriers of prison arts programs

California’s Arts in Corrections program is a model recognized across the globe for its approach to strengthening rehabilitation through arts and culture. We’re currently seeking program development project proposals to help maintain our state’s forward-thinking momentum and grow the potential for the field of prison arts in California.

Has your organization been interested in getting involved with our Arts in Corrections program, but doesn't yet have a fully developed program or curriculum? This funding opportunity is for you! 

Up to $25,000 in support is available for program development projects, including:
  • The mentoring and training of organizations interested in becoming an AIC Coordinating Organization
  • The professional development and/or mentoring of individual artists to become AIC Arts Providers
  • The development of AIC training and/or training tools that advance the prison arts field
  • Curriculum development of new workshops that are culturally competent, equitable, and inclusive of the AIC participants
  • The assessment and/or evaluation of current AIC programs
  • Innovative projects that expand and/or challenge the status quo of arts education in state correctional facilities
Click Here to Learn More

Administered by the California Arts Council and made possible via an interagency agreement with the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR), California’s Arts in Corrections program is designed to have a positive impact on the behavior and attitudes of people in incarceration. Arts education can increase critical thinking skills, build positive relationships and promote meaningful interactions between participants and their peers, facility staff, loved ones, and other individuals and community groups both inside and outside of the boundaries of their institution.

Services provided span the full spectrum of art disciplines, with organizations offering instruction in visual, performing, literary, traditional and cultural arts. Now in its sixth year, arts programming has grown to reach all 35 state adult correctional institutions. Learn more at
Proposal details are available at
Deadline: April 22, 2019 – 4 p.m.
Questions regarding the proposal process may be submitted through a two-round public inquiry process, due by 9 a.m. PDT on March 27 and April 8. Responses will be posted online at 11 a.m. PDT on March 29 and April 10, respectively.
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The California Arts Council is seeking Arts in Corrections Advisors to consider the opinions and viewpoints of returned citizens who have experienced incarceration. Individuals selected will serve as advisors to panelists reviewing Arts in Corrections proposals received from an RFP and will receive a $200 honorarium per day, in addition to accommodations, meals, and travel expenses covered (if the advisor lives 50 miles outside of Sacramento). Click here to view the Advisor application.
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Tracy Grand Theatre Galleries Group via 

Fri, Mar 29, 2:37 PM (21 hours ago)
to me


Blue Light Special, oil on canvas panel, 12x16 inches by Kenney Mencher


Shipping takes 3-4 Weeks

The size is a standard US frame size and can be framed inexpensively.
(Buy framing kits on the US version of Etsy, Amazon or go to DickBlick. (.com's)

I try to make really well crafted work about the human figure and the human condition. I focus on the kind of beauty for both men and women that is "non-standard."

I'm a voyeur who appreciates the beauty in all people, especially the unusual or non-standard variety.


Early Christian Art Catacombs and Sarcophagi

For all the videos in order with a textbook and study guides please visit:

The Catacomb of St. Peters and Marcellinus -
200 CE Rome, Italy
Early Christian
(go here for more detail views)

Form:  The catacombs were a series of underground tunnels dug into the soft volcanic rock beneath Rome.  Some of the tunnels were connected as an overall network system.  The small spaces were most often used as tombs in which the bodies were kept in crypts and in niches carved directly into the rock.  The cells or rooms for these tombs were often decorated with frescoes although in terms of the illusionistic and over all quality of the frescoes were not as fine as those found in Pompeii.This particular fresco is on the ceiling of one of the chambers.  It is a symmetrical design that fits the contours of the ceiling.  The over all shape is a medallion (circular form) which contains another circle.  Radiating from the inner circle is a cruciform (cross like) design that terminates in lunettes (small half circles).  Each of the empty spaces contained by the design hold a scene or a figure.  The figures all stand the orant pose but those inside the half circles and the central circle contain slightly different scenes.
The central circle contains a naturalistically rendered image of a figure standing in contrapposto pose.  His over all pose follows the schema of the sculpture of the Moscophoros.   The surrounding lunettes show scenes from the story of Jonah and the Whale. 
Iconography:  The imagery is neither wholly Roman, Jewish or Christian but instead a kind of composite of the best qualities of each.  The contrapposto pose and nude figures done in the Roman style demonstrate that the the ideas of kalos and beauty from the Greek classic periods have not completely faded.  The image of the youth carrying the lamb, is a borrowing from the Moscophoros image dealing with a sacrificial lamb but also refers to the Jewish and Christian ideas concerning King David from the Old Testament as a foreshadowing of the images of Christ as the "Good Shepherd."  The use of Old Testament themes to illustrate New Testament stories is referred to by Stokstad as typological exegesis.  (Go to Stokstad page 293 for more on Jonah)
Context:  Stokstad has an excellent description of the context that these frescoes would have been found in on page 293.

Sarcophagus of Junius Bassus c359 CE
4x8' marble, St. Peter's, Rome Italy
Early Christian Culture and Period
Form:  The overall form of the casket is almost like that of a symmetrical classical or Roman building.  There are Composite columns, arches, entablatures and pediments.  Each of the scenes is contained within its own architectural niche.  Each of the individual scenes is then also structured into a symmetrical or semi symmetrical composition.  The fairly high relief figures, although a bit more classical in their depiction of contrapposto and drapery are still proportioned very much like the figures on the Arch of Constantine. Iconography: The use of classical orders and Roman arches is a link with the culture of Rome and a way of making the new Christian iconography "classic."  The scenes chosen are a selection of the stories of both the Old and New Testaments.  The purpose of placing these scenes together  is a typological exegesis.  Each of the Old Testament scenes is designed to link refer to the newer ideas expressed in the New Testament.  (See Stokstad The Iconography of Jesus pg 307 and the text on page 308-9.)
This is a diagram of the scenes.
Abraham and IsaacPeter Arrested for Preaching after Jesus's DeathChrist EnthronedChrist before Pontius PilateChrist before Pontius Pilate
Misery of JobFall of Man
(Adam and Eve)
Christ's Entry into JerusalemDaniel in the Lion's DenSt. Paul Lead to His Martyrdom
Here's an example of one of these typologies from the Old Testament of the Jewish/Christian Bible that relates to a message or theme in the New Testament.   The story of "Daniel in the Lion's Den" is a story in which a Jew's faith was being challenged because he would not bow down to a Persian king.  He was thrown into a lion's den but because he put his faith in "god" he was not harmed.  His faith protected him and he was rewarded.  This is similar to how Jesus' faith was tested when he was before Pontius Pilate.
As in the frieze on the Arch of Constantine, these images are much more diagramatic and straightforward.  The viewer has all the iconography placed before them in one single unobstructed view. Jesus, in the center panel, is placed in the center of the symmetrically designed composition which puts him in the most important position.  Perhaps this new digramatic style is related to the second commandment and its law against images.  It has also been suggested that the larger heads and reduction of naturalistic elements relates to the new Christian ideal of deemphasizing the physical world and reemphasizing the spiritual and mental.
Context:  Junius Bassus was a city prefect (a minor official in the Roman government) who converted just before his death.  The practice of converting on one's death bed or shortly before one's death was a fairly common practice and a way of insuring that, just in case the Christian's were right, that the after life would be pleasant.
Some messy contextual notes on Catholicism/Christianity 300-1500 AD
  • Catholic: means “universal”
  • Monotheistic
  • Triad of Three cultures ideas: Roman, Greek, Jewish
  • Greeks and Romans gave it:
    • Plays for morality,
    • Symbols of dome and circle (iconography),
    • Saints, Bldgs.,
    • State religion w/ pope @ head, roads, technology, laws, language
  • Jews gave it:
    • monotheistic faith,
    • Bible (Old Testament),
    • rules,
    • 10 Commandments
  • Vulgate: common version of the Bible
  • Christ: means “annointed”, blessed one
  • Philosophical points: it’s all about love, be nice to one another, forgiveness, guilt
  • So popular b/c: afterlife is rewarding, Jesus and apostles from lower class so people relate, rulers are dictators, (antiwar, afterlife, forgiveness).
  • Edict of Milan: legalized Christianity
  • Nicene Creed: standard Catholic (universal) philosophy
    • Jesus was not a prophet but actually God on Earth
    • Holy Trinity is three beings all of same vehicle;
      1. God- creator,
      2. Jesus- incarnate flesh,
      3. Ghost- spirit
    • Heretics are people against church; “wrong believers”
  • Structure of Church’s Authority:
    • Jesus’s #1 Main Apostle- Peter (Petrus) (“rock”, 1st pope)
    • “On this rock I will build this church,” said Jesus.
    • Hierarchy:
      1. Pope
      2. Bishops
      3. Cardinals.
        1. Bishops become priests and cardinals are important bishops that elect pope.
  • Old Testament: prophetic book (typological exegesis) leads to life of Christ
    •   Psalms: songs
    •   Prophecy: coming of messiah
    •   Apocrypha: history added on, leads up to birth Christ, family tree
  • New Testament: Gospels (teachings & stories)
    •   Acts: apostles’ stories after life Christ
    •   Letters: lives of apostles
    •   Revelation: apocalypse
For all the videos in order with a textbook and study guides please visit:


Three new CAC funding opportunities inside!
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MARCH 25, 2019

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Council meeting: March 26 in Sacramento

The California Arts Council will hold its next business meeting tomorrow in Sacramento. The public is invited to attend and to address the Council during the public comment period. A detailed agenda and meeting packet are available here.

State-Local Partner & Statewide & Regional Networks Now Open

Our last two grant program funding opportunities for the 2018-19 fiscal year are now open for applications! The State-Local Partnership program provides general operating support and technical assistance for county-designated local arts agencies, while the Statewide and Regional Network program provides general operating grants for arts service organizations' networks with regional or statewide reach. Click on each individual program for details. The application deadline for both programs is May 1. Due to the specialized nature of these programs, new applicants are encouraged to contact the Program Specialist to confirm eligibility.

Connecting Art & Law for Liberation: April 12-14 in L.A.

The California Arts Council is a proud supporter of the upcoming Connecting Art and Law for Liberation (CALL), the inaugural art and law festival hosted by UCLA School of Law's Prison Law and Policy Program, Criminal Justice Program, and the Prison Education Program at UCLA on April 12-14. The event seeks to join together artists, attorneys, advocates, legal scholars and community members in a "call" to end mass incarceration by sharing innovative, cutting-edge collaborations at the intersection of art and law, and by uniting communities through various art mediums while simultaneously developing and disseminating new advocacy strategies. The three-day program will feature workshops from California Arts in Corrections coordinating organizations TheatreWorkers Project and the Prison Arts Collective of UC San Bernardino, as well as a presentation from California Arts Council Arts in Corrections staff. The event is free and open to the public. Visit the Call to Action UCLA website for more details and to register.

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