In April 2020, Ohio Prison Arts Connection was invited to provide arts materials to incarcerated Ohioans, provided we could present them on 8.5x11 sheets of paper. With the collaboration of dozens of artists in Ohio and around the United States, we have compiled five 40-page volumes that have included writing prompts, visual art exercises, artworks to inspire the reader or viewer, introductory music theory guidance, and more. The goal was to support connection with one's own creative self during the isolation and uncertainty of the pandemic, which has impacted life inside prisons in extreme ways. We've delivered over 3000 booklets to all 28 prisons in the state of Ohio, and have made PDFs of all volumes available to staff members to reproduce freely. We estimate that at least 4000 incarcerated Ohioans have been able to access these resources.
Currently, we are working on volume 6. We are also working on a video documentary project with incarcerated artists at Grafton Correctional and Dayton Correctional to share the story of this project.
We are grateful for the support of Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction Recreations Area for making it possible for us to provide these resources. We are also grateful to the OPAC working team - including Tara Smith, Gracie Guichard, Denise Shively, Shannon Lakanen, Lori Askeland, and interns from Justice Arts Coalition including Jenan Cameranesi, My, and Iris.